How to Dress for a Music Festival

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Hi, I'm Chelsey


One of my favorite things to do is see live music, and last year I had the pleasure of attending my first music festival. I left that experience with a ton of great memories, but also a few lessons for next time. As I prep and pack for upcoming shows this month, I wanted to share a few style tips that can make your next outdoor event a breeze.

5 Style Tips for Attending a Music Festival

1. Carry a backpack instead of a handbag.

Ideally, I’d advise not carrying a bag at all. Realistically speaking, that isn’t a useful option since you’ll want to bring things like portable chargers and water. When it comes to carrying around a bag outdoors for long periods of time, there are two options to choose from: a fanny pack or a backpack. Both options are low maintenance, hands-free, and secure. Tote bags may carry a lot, but they will wear on your shoulder before the end of the night. Opting for a bag that’s light on the shoulders and out of the way will be your best bet. Although fanny packs tend to make a small comeback around festival time, a backpack can also double as a makeshift pillow to rest your head on while laying in the grass enjoying a show. It’s likely to get dusty and dirty so keep that into consideration while shopping around and opt for a bag with a low price point.

2. Wear worn-in, comfortable shoes.

Music festivals involve a lot of walking. That being said, you don’t even realize how far you’ve walked until it’s the end of the night and your feet let you know just how sore they are as you’re making the long trek to your Uber driver. Your best bet is to add the athleisure trend into your festival outfit and wear gym shoes. If you’re like me and prefer to wear an open-toe sandal, be mindful of the comfort level by packing a pair you’ve already worn. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a new pair of shoes for an event and realizing how uncomfortable they are when it’s too late to switch into a cozier option.

3. Keep face makeup light and minimal.

An outdoor event isn’t the place to experiment with long-wearing full coverage foundation. To avoid the melted makeup feeling, pack a sheer coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer and concealer. Using both will provide enough coverage for any blemishes or areas with an uneven skin tone.

4. Opt for a low-maintenance, no-fuss hairstyle.

For your hair, styling in a low maintenance hairstyle like a ponytail or braid will ensure your hair is kept out of the way all day. Keeping your natural texture with minimal manipulation pairs well with the easygoing vibe of a music festival.

5. Dress for function first and fashion second.

Festival fashion is fun to plan out because it gives you the chance to step outside of your normal daywear and you can even get away with wearing something as minimal as a bikini top and shorts. While considering wardrobe options, think about function first. Festivals are all-day outdoor¬†events, so choose outfits that are comfortable and practical enough to wear for hours. Breathable fabrics and light colors will help keep you cool during peak weather conditions. Accessories like hats and sunglasses are fashionable ways to protect yourself from the sun. A flannel tied around your waist can double as a small blanket to sit on so the rest of your outfit isn’t stained with grass.

What’s your go-to festival style?


Need more tips? See what I wore to music festivals over the years:

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