With the festival season about to kick off now is the time to start thinking practically about your summer wardrobe. Do you have what it takes to cope with the inevitable festival ‘four seasons in one’ weather whilst looking effortlessly stylish and chic as day turns to night.
Here is a practical guide to your must have summer wardrobe for the British festival scene and it’s not all glitter and tassels there’s a big dollop of common sense in here to.
The layered look
Given the unpredictable weather you can’t go wrong with lots of layers that will help you stay warm and dry but that can discarded if and when the sun does finally decide to shine.
A favourite look is an oversized plaid shirt layered on top of a cool slip dress with the obligatory wellies so you’re not left stuck if the weather turns nasty. Dresses also give you an touch of ladylike elegance even if the rest of you is covered in mud! Make sure the dress is lightweight and made from a material that can be rolled up, squashed and sat on and still look amazing. Check out the range of proper ladies’ dresses online and rock that festival look.
Cool head scarves and neckerchiefs are also a must both to keep the chill off on the cool summer nights and to cover bad hair mistakes after three days of less than sanitary conditions!
There’s no getting away from the fact that it rains a lot in Britain and especially when there’s a major festival on. Rain means wet clothes with nowhere to keep or get dry. In reality if it rains at a festival you spend most of the weekend soaked to the skin, shivering and trying to get the smile plastered on your face despite the driving water. However you can keep yourself protected with a decent rain mac. In fact the rain mac has had a bit of a comeback since the explosion in popularity of the music festival and you can now get rain covers from most of your favourite designers plus quirky pac-a-macs that are lightweight, cheap and offer good rain protection.
If you’re lucky enough to be at a festival this summer and it isn’t raining having a rain mac still comes in handy as a dry and protective seat on ground most likely soaked in sweat and alcohol as well as being a great cover for clothes you don’t want to get damp as the cold morning breaks.
When you think festivals the word sensible probably doesn’t enter your mind but the truth is most of your time at a festival is spent either walking to a stage, standing in front of a stage (or thousands of people back from the stage), dancing and then walking back from a stage. That’s a lot of time spent on your feet in underfoot conditions that may not be conducive to balance and elegance. Add into the equation the potential for a few drinks and those flimsy flip floppy style shoes that looked so good at the beginning of the day will seem a huge mistake and will probably be thrown in a pile at the side of the field somewhere with straps and buckles broken.
If you want to stay on your feet and partying to the very end your best bet is to choose comfortable and weather resistant footwear with a solid, flat sole that you have worn more than once so you know they won’t cause blister pain as soon as your feet heat up.
Wellies are perfect attire but it is worth also taking along something cooler like a pair of quality canvas shoes that will give your legs and feet more room to breathe if it is a little warmer. Given than your shoes are most likely to be covered in mud by the end of the day you don’t need to think too much about whether they will match every outfit – what matters is that they fit and keep you foot fit for the whole festival.
Wear it on the hip
It used to be that the bumbag was seen as the mainstay of the middleaged and slightly overweight but that’s before celebrities such as Rihanna started sporting them as a practical carry-all at festivals.
Not only can you carry your purse, phone, camera and other must haves around with you all day with no fear of putting them down and forgetting them but you can also keep your hands free for drinking, dancing and those hand in the air moments.
Bumbags are also security smart as it is much more difficult for pick pockets to take your stuff from right in front of you.
The fashion industry has cottoned on to this surge in popularity for the humble bumbag with labels like Dolce and Gabbana and Michael Kors all launching their own take on this 80s fashion icon.
Don’t label yourself
Even if you love labels the festival is not the place for designer gear unless you have backstage passes, a warm dry bed and adequate toilet facilities. Leave the designer gear to the celebrities because clothes and shoes get ruined at festivals – fact!
It doesn’t mean you have to trade in your label look. In fact it gives you a new shopping opportunity to find a designer look for less that only has to last the few days you are away from your precious label collection.
Rule of thumb: if you’re not prepared to jack it don’t pack it!
There is a festival tradition that whatever the weather skirts and dresses are hot, trousers are definitely not. Even the men tend to bare all with shorts and even sarongs. But if the forecast is freezing cold nights and not much warmer days how can you keep warm without breaking the unwritten festival dress code?
This is where tights are your best friend. Easy to pack, quick to dry and toasty warm on bare legs they are the perfect festival accessory and can be worn with skirts, dresses or just large baggy t-shirts for a completely different festival look.
You can keep them classic with the black opaque choice or go for a statement with red, yellow or even printed tights to show off a bit of your personality.