I have just a few key rules when planning an outfit for an outdoor music festival: 1) Will it withstand crazy grass stains? 2) Can I transition into colder temperatures and unexpected downpours without spending $50 on a band sweatshirt from the memorabilia shop? 3) Do I look amazing enough to be on every photographer’s best-dressed list…?
After all, outdoor music festivals are the red carpets for we everyday people. For just one shining moment, if we dress to impress, we too can feel as pretty as Jennifer Lawrence in Dior at the Oscars while newspapers snap photos of us rocking out in our most boho-inspired look that screams, “I’m just all about the music, man.”
Imagine my excitement when I realized my ever-so perfectly planned outfit for this past weekend’s Field Trip in Toronto landed me on this “best of” photo album here. It may have been the first outdoor music festival of the summer, but I still remembered to follow the rules to a T: Grass stain prevention? I had that covered with the all black get-up. Weather transitional? All black looks amazing in the rain, and I layered sexily for temperature. Best-dressed list? Um, if you wear a kimono anywhere photographers are going to go nuts… especially if you can try to catch a light breeze or something for extra dramatic factor – but that’s really Outdoor Music Festival Dressing 2.0. Let’s get to the basics of how to dress for an outdoor music fest because Osheaga is right around the corner, and Montreal brings it hard. You need to represent, dude.
Wear Nothing From This Season
Nothing totally deflates your indie cred quite like rocking a Club Monaco dress that everyone currently recognizes from the Summer 2013 window displays. Pick a statement piece that you already have in your closet, or buy something vintage or from another country, if you insist on rocking something new-to-you. Your best bet is to opt for something that looks as beautiful and yet as old as Mick Jagger’s face. I decided on this Mink Pink kimono I bought last summer at JacFlash on Queen West. It makes me look like the kind of girl Don Draper wants to meet up with on the Lower East Side instead of going home to his wife… like back in Season 1 when Don Draper was still interesting, right?
Denim and All Black Are Your Friends
Sure, wearing a cute white onesy might seem like a good idea when you’re taking selfies in the mirror at home, but when you get to a giant field covered in hipster sweat (which smells like regret) and half-empty cans of PBR that are intoxicating what’s left of the grass, you’ll wish you wore something that made it a lot easier to sit down anywhere without looking like a used paper towel.
Have Something That Has “Stylist’s Own” Appeal
If you make a best-dressed list, they’re likely going to ask you what you’re wearing. You don’t want to ruin the bohemian high of the moment by listing a bunch of clothes that clearly cost a fortune. That’s why I threw on a black Lycra tank top that my Mom used to wear to aerobics classes back in the ’80s. Not only is it 30-years-old and still fabulous, it creates the false impression that I didn’t really give a damn when I threw my outfit together in the morning. Also, it has a story behind it. That tank has seem more jazzercize classes than Richard Simmons. That’s best-dressed list genius, if you ask me.
Wear At Least One Thing That’s Stupidly Cheap
Again, as in the point above, you’re going to be asked what you’re wearing, and nothing says, “I’m more style savvy than Alexa Chung,” quite like balancing out one expensive item with a ridiculously cheap one. For instance, I bought the black belt I’m wearing at Forever 21 last summer for $5. My Mink Pink kimono was around $90, so the Forever 21 belt practically cancels out the one sort of pricey thing I’m rocking. It also makes my lace shorts and vintage aerobics tank look like they’re actually an adorable onesy without the complications of wearing a onesy to the festival out-houses. (Which is, of course, something else to keep in mind. You’re going to have to pee at some point, and you want to be in-and-out of those makeshift bathrooms faster than you can say, “Oh my God, there’s no toilet paper!”)
Wear Slip-On Shoes Instead of Flip-Flops
Flip-flops are great, until you’re trying to get to the front of the stage in hopes that Jack White or Johnny Greenwood or whoever you’ve been mad crushing on will actually notice you and take you backstage and then on the road, and you’ll never have to pay the rent you forgot to pay this month because you’ll live on a tour bus for all eternity… or maybe that’s just me. That said, the closer you get to the stage, the more people are going to step on your feet. Wear a pair of slip-ons you don’t care about instead. I rocked black gentleman’s slippers I bought at Town Shoes for, like, $20. Yeah, they now wreak of the beer that was spilled on them by clumsy hipsters who can’t handle a bevvy above 4.5%, but that’s really the only way to christen your shoes for the next outdoor music festival. I’ll see you at Osheaga!