It’s here peeps! Festival fever hits us and knocks off our sunglasses in the process. There is nothing better than a touch of festival style dressing. But before I delve into my ‘happy place’ of festival wardrobe possibilities, here is an interesting little fact that the Telegraph UK threw out in a recent article. ‘The average age of a festival attendee is now 33 – or 36 at the Mecca of all field-based fun, Glastonbury”. This brings me nicely onto this passionate subject of mine as I am a fully pledged member of this age group. Well, 35 years plus, anyway! What is the festival style of a fab doll 35yrs+? All I can say is ‘glam up the grown-up’ festival outfits and bring it on, baby!!
*image above via Pinterest- Jimi Hendrix
Summer Festival Fever
I’m a Summertime girl through and through. I love the Summer sunshine, summer social diary and let’s be honest, the Summer wardrobe! A huge part of Summer for me is a beverage in my hand and some fab tunes in the background.
Back home in the UK, Music festivals are a big component of the Summer diary. The iconic music festivals such as Glastonbury and Isle of wight remain legends on the music scene. But over the last couple of decades, there has been a significant rise in many other festivals who have brought brilliant music, bands, people and families together during the Summer months.
Last weekend was the momentous Glastonbury festival. Luckily I’m able to devour every ounce of music via BBC iplayer. Glastonbury, which began its musical festival history in 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died, annually continues to deliver new bands and celebrate established talent. But for anyone who has a fashion eye like me, Glastonbury is also the hot spot to soak up some of the coolest street style, albeit, being worn in a muddy field!
*image above via Pinterest- Alexa Chung at Glastonbury 2016
Festival style of how the other half dresses
Did anyone read that article in the Telegraph UK “How the VIP crowd packs for Glastonbury“? A very cool & interesting read. Amongst the tales of luxury glamping tents, helicopter arrivals to the site, onsite hair stylists apparently there are luxe shopping boutiques. Yep, that’s right, designer hand-picked festival pieces to buy in a onsite shop??!! Is this real or pretend? Put your hand up if you want to have a nose around that little retail therapy haven?!! God, and to think my bank manager thinks Topshop online is dangerous territory!
*image above via Pinterest- Poppy Delevingne
This article put a reassuring spin on the effortless festival-style look that graces so many of the social media pages that we flick through on the way to work. Those “f*&$ me, did she really just bloody wake up like that?” is actually often created by a ‘clever-clog and finger-on-the-pulse’ creative stylist way ahead of time and by a clean shower and a clean loo trip too. It’s a different style reality to ours, when what you are actually wearing is indeed all that you can carry in a backpack as you traipse across the miles of fields with your portaloo anxiety ridden footwear quivering!
Festival reflections of the grown up
As a proud member of the ‘over 35 yrs’ festival attendee posse, writing this post got me thinking of what our style choices hold. On reflection, when I was in my 20’s going to music festivals, my concerns were primarily how much beer I could buy on offer at Tesco’s and then how much I could carry! You can just imagine the conclusive ratio of this equation!! After that, the priorities were carting a tent, setting it up, followed by my best mate and I congratulating ourselves with half the bloody beer stash in those first few hours of arriving! Those were the days that my line-free skin, cut off denims and a tee were the epitome of cool, youth, and carefree days. Music and the ‘hangover breakfasts’ were all that was required. We were young, looked good and frankly just didn’t have a bloody care in the world. Our money went on our festival ticket and supplies. There was no other thought other than living in the moment.
Now, my festival days & nights are my ‘break away’. My treat. The babysitter is booked, the next day organization of kids back packs and lunches are sorted and I’m set for some great music and laughs with friends! My pocket money times have changed along with my style taste. I’m a firm believer in the older you get the greater you know yourself and therefore the more confident you should be. I’m also a strong advocate of individual style. Be bold, be different, be unique, be creative. I feel the difference in my festival wardrobe now from that of my 20’s is that I maybe have a little more money and sense for my wardrobe pieces compared to the days of paying for rent and beer. We are wiser now and in my case, most definitely more sober.
Vintage Festival Inspo
I do love to look back over fashion history. Some inspiration and admiration from the greats who wore it first! Brilliant pics in this Telegraph Fashion article
*Images via Pinterest and Telegraph Fashion article ’50 Years of festival fashion’
Festival dressing options for the grown up
I explored and wrote about the classic festival clobber last year in a blog post; Festival Fever Hits. But what do you think is hanging in the wardrobe of the typical 35+ festival attendee?? I reckon there will be some high quality pieces with longevity to their name, such as the leather biker jacket. The pieces that have a permanency in the wardrobe. The cool fringed scarf that makes an appearance at a summer dinner ‘al fresco’ with friends but also teams up happily with dirty, muddy denim and rock’n’roll boots. There won’t exclusively be the ‘cheap and cheerful’ disposable fast fashion pieces. We’ve gone beyond that now and are becoming more aware of the slow fashion movement and how we can be more conscious with our choices and make better purchases. Primark and People Tree are battling in our shopping subconscious. These are the pieces that will not only be fab for our night out or weekend at the festival, but will be worn beyond the beer tent and muddy field.
The Dressing Considerations – Give A Damn
I use the same ‘style dressing considerations’ formula for festival outfits as I do with my general wardrobe. Now whenever I approach new purchases, outfit plan for an event or just alter my seasonal wardrobe, I always think of the 3 categories I drummed up and now live by religiously. Bring on; The staple, the style and the statement. They have helped me pare down and buy better in my ‘grown-up’ years. I wrote a blog post about this realization last year too! Capsule tricks: The staple, the style and the statement.
*Image above via Pinterest – Alex Turner of The Last Shadow Puppets at Glastonbury 2016
So, if planning an outfit for a ‘festival trip’ during my lunch break or whilst sitting at the top of the stairs, crouched on a step, with that familiar parental assertive presence followed by my words of “go to sleep now and stop messing around”. I’ve come up with this style plan that works for me. Generally, I tick the box of each category. One of each with a little added touch of ‘me’ to the dressing equation. Bingo….outfit success!
*image above via Pinterest- Alexa Chung nailing the style mix of staple, style & statement pieces
The Staple – The Festival Basics
These are the non-negotiable basics. We already have most of these in our wardrobes. They are the washable denim pieces that can withstand any splash of Beer or Shiraz! They are the cross body bags that hold our keys, cash and iPhones close to us. They are the simple easy tees and tanks in neutral colours that may have been picked up at the cheap and cheerful $5 gap sale but also in reality look no different to the American Apparel or Zoe Karssen collections. Make your jeans as authentic as possible. Can you get hold of a pair of vintage Levi 501’s? can you hack and chop away at a pair of well-worn, lovely washed out jeans? Remember your flat sandals for the sun-baked dry fields or if it has pissed it down with rain, then reach for the ubiquitous Hunter welly boots. Pull out your green utility Cargo Camo jacket for the chilly nights and maybe team it with contrasting delicate fabrics such as silks, lace etc. All hail the music festival dressing staples.
The Style – The Festival Trends
These are the pieces that may appear in the festival concessions of the shops or in the pages of the magazines. They are this year’s summer trends that have caught our eye and are likely to give a nod towards the summer boho or trend-flare of festival dressing. For the windy times or when it’s just plain bloody nippy, then grab your bomber jacket or timeless Leather biker jacket. It can be causally thrown over your shoulders or zipped up tight to the collarbone if it’s a chilly one! The off-shoulder top trend is riding high on that ‘bang on trend’ wave. Bare those shoulders to the sun and put on those ankle boots if you don’t want to bother with wellies. Think Dr Marten boots or vintage cowboy boots. For the dry land graced by the summer sun, then call upon your Stan Smith trainers. Grab your simple ankle boots that team up well with boho dresses or denim distressed cut off shorts. Accessorize your basic tee’s and tanks with a silk scarf draped casually round your neck. Maybe you use your scarf tied round your bag or wrist. Possibly embrace the ultimate boho look and tie around your head? To protect your face from the sun and to hide any dodgy hair moments, then take along your trilby or fedora. Hats in straw, felt or wool are perfect festival accessories. All hail the music festival dressing styles.
The Statement – those pieces that scream ‘individual’!!
These are the individual style pieces. Festival dressing is a bloody good excuse to celebrate your style & individuality. Be confident and wear what you like. Time to hit the vintage store in my book. Dig out the pieces that give a glow to your heart.
This is not the time to shy away from glitters, sparkle, metallic & sequins. Don’t ever listen to anyone who says ‘sparkle is for Christmas’. Reach for those metallic’s and shine on! It’s good to play and contrast those textures. Team a vintage silk kimono jacket with distressed denim. Look for a vintage fringed cape that wears well with skinny jeans and boots. Think vintage glam for an individual look and pair it with your festival staple pieces. If you’re looking for some stand out accessories and want to pass on a scarf then look no further than the new rumbling sounds of ‘super-size’ earrings. Go big or go home!
Overall, remember: the bolder the better. This is your chance to pull out and wear those gems you love but don’t wear to nip out to Farm Boy when buying some more Kale Salad!! All hail the music festival statements!
What’s my festival gear this year?
This year I’ve got my festival gear sorted for all-weather eventualities with some new additions to my wardrobe. Whether its my ‘Where’s Flic? oh, there she bloody is!’ Topshop green metallic rain jacket, or maybe its my chilly night Red vintage band jacket. The Hunter wellies are a standby for muddy plains as are the Adidas Stan smiths and the gladiator sandals for sunshine graced grass and denim cut offs. My ‘hands free’ Longchamp red leather cross body bag or my Herschel backpack are set to enhance my beer glass holding capabilities. I will pretty much just grab from my wardrobe what I fancy on the day. It could be a silk kimono with distressed denim? it could be a silk scarf with a band tee? So keep a lookout on my Instagram feed for what I wear on the day. In the meantime, today I grabbed this trio of outfit festival formulae!
Wearing the statement piece: Vintage red wool band jacket (eBay uk), Zara stripe tee, Gap 1969 black denim shorts, Hunter black ‘snake print’ Welly boots, Red Longchamp cross body bag & Rayban wayfarer sunglasses.
Wearing the style piece: Topshop paper metallic green rain mac, Zara stripe tee, Gap 1969 boyfriend denim shorts, Adidas Stan Smith trainers, Herschel back pack & Nordstrom sunglasses.
Wearing the staple piece: Madewell came field jacket, Zoe Karssen ‘I will if you will” tee, Gap 1969 black denim shorts, Madewell Black wool Fedora, Wilfred Free suede bag, Zara fringed wedge ankle boots and vintage leopard silk scarf.
This years festival plans will include a definite night or two at Bluesfest. This is Ottawa’s annual outdoor music festival which takes place in early July, downtown Ottawa. I’m crossing my fingers I can do two events on July 8th and get to see Noel Gallagher’s High Flying birds. A possible night out to see The Lumineers on Saturday 9th.
But the ‘big festival night’ has me sourcing vintage Duran Duran T. shirts on eBay and vintage stores. Yes!!! Duran Duran come to Ottawa on Saturday 16th on their Paper Gods tour. If I can’t get hold of an 80’s band tee then maybe a tribute pair of 80’s white stilettos need to be hunted down!! “Simon! Simon! Simon! I’m over here Simon! Mmmmmm Maybe he just won’t be able to hear me?! ” Come on John Taylor & Simon Le Bon!! Don those white suits and jump aboard a yacht for ‘Rio’!!!
*Duran Duran and the yacht from the iconic 1983 Rio video- squeal!
Another great festival close to me is Osheaga. This is Montreal’s annual outdoor music festival which takes place in late July, at Parc Jean Drape. This years line up really excites me with the utterly divine Lana Del Ray is playing Sat 30th July, along with Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys in the Last Shadow puppets playing that night. Loved watching the Foals Glastonbury success and wouldn’t mind catching them on Sunday 31st July. They received great acclaim from the music critics. Bigger things are coming their way.
It’s simple. At the end of this hazy summer music festival day, just wear what you bloody like. No one should be judging negatively at a festival. If they are, it’s probably more of a reflection of their insecurity than anything to do with you! If they’re going to stare and raise their eyebrows, then just give them something bloody good to look at! Festivals should be enjoyed for the music and the amazing experience. What I love about festivals is that you can’t be false or fake the music. This is not the domain of the Kardashians! If you love live music and a little self-expression then just bloody go for it, ‘hell for the leather’. Have fun and don’t miss out on this chance to dress and reflect your inner style and creativity!! For this moment in time, forget the weekly schedule of your work or family life. This is a chance to have a day off from being the responsible grown up 35+. Be you, have fun, enjoy your life and time for that moment. That is what a festival moment can deliver, should you wish and choose to grab it? No problem if you can only grab it with one hand whilst you have your Shiraz or Beer in the other. I’ll be snapping my festival clobber and inspiring looks of others via my instagram during my time at Festivals this year.
Thanks for reading.