A summer festival guide: Do’s and dont’s

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Save yourself from next morning embarrassment

Sunny Thorne

Ubyssey (University of British Columbia)


From Coachella to Electric Daisy Carnival to Sasquatch and more, outdoor music festivals are one of the best parts of summer. With non-stop music, parties, camping and drinking (and other, less legal forms of escapism), there is really no better place to see the most fabulous and questionable expressions of personal style.


In anticipation of a festival-filled summer with great music and hopefully better fashion, here is a brief list of festival fashion do’s and don’ts.


DO connect with your vintage roots. Music festivals evoke an old-school feeling that can be expressed through a variety of great style choices. Here is an opportunity to wear that awesome retro band shirt you found at an overpriced vintage store or that hippie fringe vest you stole from your mom’s closet.


There is probably no better occasion to let your hair down and express your inner flower child or rock and roll god/goddess. After all, when else will you have the excuse to sport hippie head bands, flower crowns and fanny-packs all at the same time?


DON’T advertise your love of acid trips through your choice of chapeau. For the love of all things aesthetically pleasing, can we please address the SpiritHood?! These handmade, faux-fur hat/scarf combos (available in wild roadkill varieties such as hawk, leopard, wolf, and yes, panda bear) are a fashion choice that cause even the most style-blind individuals to stare in confusion.


If the ridiculousness of a stuffed animal resting on your head doesn’t deter you, perhaps the problematic marketing of the “Navajo spirit” should raise some alarms.


Not only are these hats offensive to the eyes, they are actually offensive to the cultures they claim to express. You will not embody the spirit of the owl. You are not a wolf. You are just a fool who shelled out 150 dollars to look like a hybrid teddy bear.


DO try something funky in denim. Music festivals are a perfectly appropriate environment to shed your everyday jeans and don a pair of cutoff shorts instead. Denim allows you to express your inner wild child, so channel some Nirvana or Courtney Love.


Whether you shred them, embroider them or stud them, you can’t go wrong; 90s grunge, in the form of oversized denim jackets and acid washed jeans, is definitely coming back in style.


Paired with flip-flops for the California surfer look, or with combat boots for a more punk-rock twist, denim is a versatile and incredibly comfortable style choice for those long, hazy festival days.


DON’T dress like a glowstick. Avoid the highlighter tees and the sunglasses at night. This is not A Night at the Roxbury and you are not fooling anyone. While those who enjoy their hallucinogens might express their inner National Geographic, festival “bros” seeking heavy basslines and techno anthems stick out like a sore thumb.


And ladies, never ever get caught in a photo with a pacifier. The 90s are over, and so is your infancy. Let the raves rest in peace.


DON’T get a Skrillex haircut. This “techno-mullet” is not only passé, but really quite hideous. The fact that you like the sound of robots copulating with the occasional T. Rex shriek followed by a “siiiick bass drop” does not need to be advertised on your head. In fact, all that your patchy scalp brings to mind is the hair-clipper prank in Jackass. Don’t cut it off, just cut it out.


Armed with these fashion guidelines, you can now go dance your heart out in the sunshine, confident that you look as great as you feel. Let the festival fun begin!

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