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What to Wear to Festivals, in 11 Easy Looks

Thinking about what to wear to festivals is one of the most fun things about actually going to them, right?

If you’ve got any booked for the next few weeks then I’m going to assume festival fashion is playing on your mind. We’ve got that awkward conundrum of comfort vs fashion vs awesome vs practicality, and what do we come out with?


To be honest, most festivals have a clear ‘uniform’. You’ve got your tie-dye and sunflowers at the hippy ones. Your Hunters and Ray-Bans at the middle class ones. Your crochet and fringe at Coachella. Your glitter and feathers at the ravey ones, and finally, anything, at Glastonbury.

I’ve been to over 50 festivals now, I’ve been around, I’ve seen things. If you’re wondering what to wear to this years festivals to look awesome, here’s a rundown of the key items you need in your backpack.

What to Wear to Festivals in 9 Easy Looks

1. Sequins and sparkles

weather at Wilderness Festival

– Feeling like a disco ball at Wilderness Festival

Honestly, from Glastonbury to Henley Festival, sequins and sparkles win every time. They look so good when the sun shines, and you stand out from the crowd so your friends can find you. The sparklier the better in my opinion. I mean, check me out at Wilderness 2016 ^.

I picked this gold number up from a charity shop, especially for Wilderness’ ‘gold’ themed day. For Glastonbury this year I had this awesome sequin jacket from Azbro for our mermaid theme (see also ‘Mermaid’ below). There’s so much sequin and sparkly stuff out during festival season, check out the pickings below.

Sparkles are a great way to liven up boring clothes, so you only need one key piece to really look awesome. Think, a sparkly top with black jeans. A sequinned jacket with denim dungarees or a sparkly dress and wellies. Winner! The magpies will love it.

Read more: The Best Make Up for Festivals

2. Go tropical

Bilbao BBK Live Festival

– Loving my tropical shirt at BBK Festival

So on trend right now. Flamingos, palm trees, neon – all goes great at festivals. I had this tropical palm tree shirt for getting into Glastonbury, and although I was absolutely boiling with my wellies and black jeans in the 28C heat, I did love the shirt. This was from H&M a few years ago, but the shops are full of Tropicana style right now.

Get your flamingo fashion on!

3. The fringe

What to Wear to festivals

– I don’t have any pics of me in fringe, so check out Mel Blatt’s jacket from the Henley Festival

Melanie Blatt, aka Mel from All Saints, looked awesome at her recent closing gig at the Henley Festival. I want a jacket like this for next year.

Fringeing is just soooo Coachella though. I went to Coachella in 2011 and every second girl was channelling her inner Vanessa Hudgens. Fringing on tees and jackets looks awesome at festivals. Not so good if you’re planning on getting mucky though – bit of a nightmare to clean. Best to keep your fringey fashion for those summer days.

Get it on your shoes, on your bags, on your jackets, everywherrrreeee. Works for hippies, grungers, and anyone just wanting a bit of movement when they dance.

4. Mermaid

Life as a glastonbury mermaid

– Me, Helen and Jen looking stupid at Glastonbury

The mermaid look is taking over festivals, trust me. Helen, Jen and I decided to get leggings and wigs for Glastonbury, and although there was no one else who’d gone all out on the wigs, there were so many people in these leggings. Both girls and guys. Really easy way to get dressed in the morning too – which is what we all want. Just don’t bother with the wig – pure annoying from start to finish, and we look kinda stupid :).
I spoke to one shop owner and he was saying they were flying off the shelves. At £20 they’re a pretty easy way to get in the festival spirit. Or you can buy the mermaid leggings from Amazon like I did and save yourself a few quid.

5. Flower crowns

Flower garlands for festivals

– Mum and I getting our flower crowns on at Eroica Britainia 

Oh it’s a classic look isn’t it? Go to a festival, buy a garland, stick it on your head – yay, festival ready!

Mum and I bought them at Eroica Britannia, £3 each to get us in the spirit, although, I think we were the only ones at Eroica Britannia wearing them. It wasn’t really that kind of festival. Got my money’s worth at Glastonbury though.

You can buy flower crowns from Amazon here.

6. Sunflowers

Sunflowers and festivals

Some festivals – I’m looking at you Isle of Wight Festival – are all about the hippy love sunflowers kinda theme. At IoW Fest they were selling charity sunflowers to attach to whatever you were willing to put a safety pin in – I thought it might be a little overboard to add one to the outfit above.

I picked up this sunflower playsuit from Monki, and love it. I fit right in at the IoW Festival, and brought it out again for Glasto. Super comfy, can layer up over tights and a tshirt, and it’s baggy enough to not have to take the whole thing off when you go to the toilet.

Sunflowers are the happiest, hippyest flower – get involved.

7. Matching tshirts

C’mon, it’s fuuun. You could get some tshirt printing in London done and you and your mates all wear the same tees for the day. Always good for a stag / hen / party – how about some positive slogans to share around the festival site? Love, peace and happiness, and all that…

8. Glitter up

Glitter is an absolute festival essential. I’m now the proud owner of a whole bag of about ten different kinds. There’s just something about being able to walk around all day with glitter on your face, and having other people doing the same and no one blink an eyelid.

I bought the Unicorn glitter below for Glasto and although £5.50 for a little pot seemed like a lot, it does go a long way. That’s the one I’ve got on on my cheeks above. 

The other one is a little cheaper at around £3, but don’t you think it looks better the chunkier it is? Whether you just want a little nod to the glitter trend on the side of your face or full on cheek full of the stuff, life’s always more fun with it on your face.

This was our vibe at Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi anyways.

Read more: Beauty Tips for Festivals

9. Fancy dress

Summer of Love Bestival

– Me and the bezza following the Summer of Love theme at Bestival

Ooo you can’t beat a bit of fancy dress, can you?

Some of the best festival fancy dress I’ve seen is when a group of you dress up with a theme. At Glastonbury there was a group that had just worn all gold – they looked awesome. A flexible theme like this also means everyone can get involved no matter what your budget, body shape, and time. Loved it.

At Bestival one year I saw a group of 8 dressed as Love Hearts, and they actually later went on to win the fancy dress prize, meaning all of them won Bestival tickets for the following year. Brilliant!

Some festivals, like Wilderness and Bestival, have official themes, but even if they don’t, you can always make up your own.

10. Low key wax jacket cool

One of the best looks for festivals is just a wax jacket, a black chunky jumper and some black jeans with rocker boots. Think Alexa Chung goes Glasto.

Oh and don’t forget the sunglasses. Maybe a little hint to leopard print in there too?

11. Don’t forget the kids!

Swear you see more and more kids at festivals these days. None of that when I was young!

Anyway, if you’re bringing them along you want them to look the part right? Check out Chocolate Clothing for their take on kiddie festival fashion. Loving this pink jacket – WITH JEWELLED SLEEVES – reckon it’d go over that shirt, or the shorts, for super cool girls or boys!

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