Find Your Festival Style

Feature by Kate Pasola | 31 Mar 2016

Anyone who has ever navigated the choppy and changeable waters of planning the perfect festival wardrobe knows the distracting twinge of sartorial dread that comes with a ticket to a weekender. Fashion changes, the weather changes, even your motherflippin’ mind changes, and for that reason it’s nigh-on impossible to get your festival packing totally right. But the days of dolefully Googling ‘what to take to Glastonbury’ and individually scouring millions of high street shops, before giving up and panic-buying a kimono and temporary tattoos are over. Here’s why.

In order to make shopping for your jaunt as stress-free and exciting as it bloody well should be, we’ve teamed up with Zalando, an online shop which stocks basically every designer under the sun (potentially an exaggeration). Together, we’ve put together a list of packing essentials and festival-friendly trends so that whether you’re traumatised from falling over in a portaloo thanks to an ill-advised jumpsuit (we’ve all been there), have seen your maxi dress turn into a litmus test thanks to Glasto mud, or once narrowly avoided trenchfoot after being adamant that ‘T in the Park is definitely not going to be torrential this year’, your trauma can end now. Let’s do this.

Festival Essentials


Sure, a pair of Hunters will do you if the mud’s set to get heavyweight. But a pair of more streamlined Vikings could be a pretty cool alternative if you fancy something that doesn’t scream, ‘I thought Macklemore was headlining.’ Docs will serve you well for city-type festivals too.


Imperative. They’ll hide your day-old eyeliner, protect your poor dilated pupils, and you can even deploy them in overcast weather to warn fellow humans you’re only open to conversations which result in receipt of coffee or paracetamol. Spend a little more on some high-end stunners and rest assured that you could pair them with a noodle-stained sweater and still look the height of chic. Or, if you’re the type who’ll drunkenly sit on them by Saturday lunchtime, go for functional-yet-cool from the likes of Cheap Monday.


There are two types of festival coat-wearers in this world: those who embrace the role the coat can play in a festival outfit and those who despise it. If you fall into the latter camp, try a transparent anorak which’ll keep you dry while showcasing the meticulously selected ensemble that lies beneath. If you’re all about the statement festi-coat, perhaps go for a pastel parka or a utilitarian midi jacket. Don’t be lured in by bombers and leather jackets; you’ll be furious as soon as the sun comes out and you realise you can’t tie your coat around your waist.


Fair enough, sling whichever huge, heinous backpack you want over your shoulder on the way to the festival. Comfort is key when queueing for your campsite. However, a whole new world of options opens up when you’re picking the bag that’ll be storing your phone, money and rain-damaged festival programme. The delightfully cute mini rucksacks popping up all over the place are perfect as they’re not too cumbersome within big crowds; just keep an eye out for naughty pick-pocketers trying to swipe your stuff. That said, the safest and comfiest option will always remain the trusty bucket bag. Wide enough to fit your essentials, it’s fashion’s answer to a Mary Poppins satchel. You can also tuck it under your jacket if you’re trying to mosh and are worried about your belongings. Festival bonus points if it has a drawstring and/or tassels.


We can’t stop you from wearing an ‘ironic’ floral bucket hat. Nor a Native American headpiece. We can, however, point you in the direction of sport-luxe caps from Nike and Adidas, classic beanies and knot-tied wool turbans, all guaranteed to keep you warm, dry and free from three-day hair shame.

Festival-Friendly Trend Pieces

Lightweight denim: Not only a hot tip from SS16, but also extremely handy due to the fact that lightweight denim dries after cider spillages a whole lot quicker than heavy denim.

Cold shoulders: According to London and NY Fashion week, your shoulders are well and truly welcome to the fashion party this summer. Combine with the kinds of puffy sleeves dreamed up by Jil Sanders and Givenchy and bingo, you’ve got a double-trend, sun-saluting ensemble. If you’re a little nervous to go full romantics (or if it’s freezing), opt for a cold shoulder sweater as a subtle nod to the look.

Netting: Alexander Wang, Simone Rocha and Marchesa have been experimenting with everything from structured and gridded fabric to punky fishnet à la 90s Gwen Stefani of late. If you’re feeling brave or are headed to a sunny destination, give this look a shot by layering a long sleeved netted number over a statement crop top. Otherwise, channel the trend via a skirt or statement tights.

Fringing: Yes, would you believe it, tassels are still a thing. They’ve made a grand old festival comeback, just less 70s chopped suede and more fine-threaded border fringing.That’s handy for your festival packing, isn’t it?

Metallics: Sure, it’s probably not in your best interests to channel Loewe’s broken mirror embellishments from SS16, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wrap yourself in something shiny and glisten with festival spirit. Go for a reflective miniskirt or some amazing sparkly denim, and wham bam you’re the hippest drunkard in the silent disco tent.

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