Festival Fashion

Is it just me that is sick of seeing ‘Festival Fashion’ posts where people are dressing like a frigging fairy? You’re not Florence and the Machine you know! I don’t understand why they’re wearing high healed shoes and things like that… It’s just makes me wonder how many of the people posting them have actually been to a festival and understand the logistics behind staying in a stinking field for up to 5 days without proper access to warm water, full length mirrors or a dressing table. Maybe I’m being too picky, but these posts should be renamed Festival inspired Fashion, although to be honest I’ve not seen many at Festivals in the past dressing  the way some of these looks are indicating.

I’ve been lucky enough to go to quite a few festivals and as much as I’d like to tell you it’s a glamorous event where you can wear your best floaty lace back dress and look all boho with flowers in your hair, I simply can’t tell you that. Because from my experience it’s just not like that! A lot of people will probably look like that on the first day, but after lugging their belongings from the car and the temperamental weather it doesn’t last very long I can assure you.

The last 4 festivals I’ve gone to I’ve stayed in the guest area and had access to actual showers and real toilets  and things and even with these luxuries you still can’t look like a superstar all weekend. Hell, this is how I ended up looking after the first day, never mind the 3rd or 4th! It’s hard to maintain looking flawless in a field, especially when it’s so grubby. Seriously blowing your nose when you get home is the weirdest thing ever, a ton of soil looking substance comes out due to all the dirt and crap that gets up there during the stint in the great outdoors. Or maybe that’s just mine because it’s a little upturned. Haha.
Oh, didn’t you know? Me and Colin Murray are big mates. Hahaha. Last year Leeds was so cold for a majority of the weekend. I’m glad I invested in a good quality quilted jacket. This one was from a horse riding shop, it’s been through a lot but is still in as good a condition as it was when it was new. If you’re going to get things like for example quilted jackets which are traditional items that are ‘in’ then I’d recommend just going to a shop which specialises in the gear. I noticed ‘riding pants’ are all the rage now. If you get some from an actual horse riding shop instead of American Apparel they’re probably going to be cheaper and better quality! (and they can do them quite stylish you know too)
Anyway. down to the ‘fashion’ part. I bet a lot of first time festival go-ers are getting a little anxious thinking it’s going to be some kind of Made in Chelsea fashion show. Well don’t because it’s simply just not like that. Personally I go for practicality and comfort over ‘style’ as lest’s face it; who gives a shit what you look like? Everyone is off their face anyway! Bare in mind that you’re going to literally be on your feet for 24 hours unless you like sitting on the shitty floor all the time (and the floor gets GRIM). Make sure you road test your wellies to make sure they don’t rub as if they do, you’re gonna be in for a very uncomfortable weekend.
The problems with Festival’s nowadays is that the weather is just so predictable, I remember the first time I went to Leeds festival in 2003 and the weather was amazing all weekend. Now the weather seems to be 60% rain and 40% OK and never really that sunny, weird how the same weekend every year can change so much! Make sure you still take sunscreen though as you’re still outside ALL day, I got sun burnt on a day it was raining one year just because I was outside. Sunglasses are also a life saver when you’re hungover and have no duvet to hide in during the day. You need to pack light yet pack for all occasions. So narrow down your clothes to things that can be layered easily yet are quite thing so they’re easy to carry (the parking can be about 2 miles away from the campsite sometimes) I take just one of those holdalls from Primark and a smaller bag to take my valuables around with me.
As you can see me and my friend here have matching pink cagoules.  I would strongly recommend you get a ‘cag in a bag’! They’re the best idea for festivals ever. Especially ones with a little clip that you can attach to yourself when you don’t need it. That sounds very sensible doesn’t it? But you will be thankful when it pisses it down on the first day and you’re prepared. If it rains on the first day and you have no rain proof garments you’re basically screwed for the weekend. You just can’t ‘dry out’ properly in a field!
I would also recommend a hat, doesn’t matter what hat, any hat is gonna look better than hair that coated with a distinct layer of dirt. Even though I’ve had access to a shower at festivals I don’t usually bother washing my hair as it’s a pain in the ass to make look good with no styling apparatus.So take a hat and jobs a good ‘un. It also gets FREEZING during the night so I always sleep in one too. You’re gonna be in a sleeping bag of course but believe me when I say it’s probably not going to keep you warm so take a good thick jumper too and a pashmina you can use as a scarf and also as an extra blanket if it’s big enough.
So, I suppose what I’m trying to say is that festivals tend not to be that glamorous, yeah you wanna look good but you’ve got to be comfortable too and I know I would rather the latter for a long weekend to enjoy it properly. I’d hate to have to be constantly worrying about my appearance. And as you can tell by the pictures I certainly wasn’t! Another thing I’d stress is always keep your valuables with you or buy a little lock for your tent that can go on the zip. One year when I went with a group of people someone went around and stole everyone’s wallets/purses from in their tents AS THEY SLEPT. Quite scary! So put anything like that in the bottom of your sleeping bag when you go to sleep, bastards aren’t getting it in there are they!
Just HAVE FUN and don’t worry too much about it being a fashion show, PLEASE. (you’re making us Sensible Susan’s look bad)

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  1. June 25, 2012 / 12:55 pm

    You make so much sense. The weather is always horrid so you have to be serious about it, haha!


  2. June 25, 2012 / 12:54 pm

    I went to the Hackney weekend yesterday and just laughed at all the girls in heels, I don't know how anyone can think that heels are suitable footwear for a muddy field!

  3. June 24, 2012 / 10:10 pm

    Really love this post, the term 'festival fashion' annoys me no end! I've been going to festivals for just over 10 years now, I've been to about 15 different ones and was a long-term patron of Leeds Festival (it was my first festival way back when I was 14) and I have never understood why people would take expensive clothing or totally impractical stuff like floaty maxi-dresses and fringed crop-tops.. that isn't going to keep you warm and dry when it inevitably pisses it down for hours on end, and its not going to be the best idea when you have to brave a long drop and your pretty floaty skirt soaks up all the wee on the floor!!!

    I do have to say though, a padlock on your tent isn't the best idea… it will just scream "I have something in here to protect" and a tent isn't exactly made of bricks and mortar… its pretty easily slashed open!

    • June 24, 2012 / 10:11 pm

      The padlock just gives me peace of mind more than anything! I get one of those tiny ones and lock the zip tags together then cover it with the flap so it's not noticeable unless someone is messing about with it in the first place!

  4. June 23, 2012 / 6:26 pm

    Terri I just love your honesty! My brother just came back from download and he stunk like a dead animal! Seriouse! Erchhhhh! Even when i went camping for a day I felt like shit xxx

  5. June 23, 2012 / 2:14 pm

    I've never been to a festival but I've been to loads of gigs over the years, I get hot and sweaty with my makeup sliding off my face at them and that is only one evening! I'd hate to see what I'd be like after a weekend! I always think that mags and bloggers who do these kind of posts are mainly interested in looking good and posing, and less interested in the music and atmosphere of the festival. I might be wrong and harsh, but I can't help thinking it! x

  6. June 23, 2012 / 1:24 pm

    Sound advice Terri. There's nothing I hate more than going to a festi for 5 days and smug people rocking up for the day looking like Topshop threw up on them while I look like a gremlin. But now I am a hypocrite and did a one day fest this year (guess we all looked the same, apart from me far less trendy Is the word trendy even trendy?No.) Your photos also brought back my fond memories 🙂 What has been your fave festival so far? xxx

    • June 23, 2012 / 1:51 pm

      My favourite is definitely The Big Chill but it wasn't on this year due to the olympics. It was more a bit family fun day than a festival though!

  7. June 23, 2012 / 10:28 am

    Such a fantastic post. I really don't like all these festival fashion posts, who has time for accessories when there is drinking to be done and bands to watch. I always wear hoodies and jeans and comfortable pair of boots/shoes. everyone smells and doesn't look there finest at festivals that's part of the fun. Thanks for a great post. 🙂

    • June 23, 2012 / 1:51 pm

      Glad you liked it! Yeah I certainly haven't got time to prick about getting ready in the morning at a festival but I do still have to wear make up! I'm vain that way!

  8. June 23, 2012 / 10:03 am

    I think 2003 was my first Leeds too and taking wellies didn't even cross my mind. I remember it spitting a little on the Saturday night and thinking "OMG MIGHT AS WELL GO HOME". Complete contrast to 2007 (I think, maybe 2008. You forget) when it rained aaaall weekend, you were up to your knees in mud and never got dry.

    To back up this post here's a picture of me at Leeds on the last day:

    Totes glam.

    • June 23, 2012 / 10:05 am

      Haha what a delicious picture! The weather is just so unpredictable and it sucks when people are paying so much for a ticket now too!

  9. June 23, 2012 / 9:43 am

    Best festival post I've read this year! I get fed up of seeing 'festival style' on blogs & in magazines & it does make me wonder if they've ever actually been to one before.
    Festivals are grim & filthy – not the place for looking pretty ha.
    Rebecca x

    • June 23, 2012 / 10:05 am

      I'm glad you feel the same! It was just bugging me all these glamorous looks and I was concerned people might actually go dressed like that and be in for quite a shock!