What to Wear to a Festival: Ultimate A-Z for 2018

What to Wear to a Festival: Ultimate A-Z for 2018

It's May. UMF, Time Warp and DGTL have come and gone already – oh, and Coachella too – so if you haven't already, it's about time to crack open the festival wardrobe again.

Practical, retro, boho, high-fashion or full-on gorpcore – whatever your vibe, here's your Ultimate Festival Fashion A-Z for this summer.

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Anoraks have stolen the show from bombers and leather jackets as outerwear of choice, both on the runway and in real life.

Which is just as well, since they're lightweight, warm, and are genuine protection when the inevitable shower/storm comes.


Bumbags, fanny packs, waist bags. Call them what you want, they're still riding the retro wave and proving themselves to be the most practical festival bag imaginable.

An archetypal bumbag at DGTL Festival Amsterdam 2018


Chelsea boots – wellies or otherwise – will never be a bad call, but it's crop tops that have been one of the season's biggest trends so far.

Pair one with short shorts, leggings, a pencil skirt… or, actually, pretty much anything.


disco nap

A post shared by Kaia (@kaiagerber) on


Daisy dukes and denim in all its forms will always be the heart of the festival party.

If you want to go super on-trend this year, unite them jean short shorts with a plain white tee.


Statement earrings, the bigger the better.


and fringing are still the best of festival friends, even more so in a year when the Western/Country look has taken centre stage. Shirts and maxi skirts are almost always enhanced by a floral print, too.

A fine fedora at Coachella 2018 – surprisingly (and impressively) not part of a Western/Country look


Gorpcore is going nowhere. Prioritise the garments that are so practical and uncool that they're practically the coolest thing you've ever owned, and concentrate on enjoying the festival.

Classic gorpcore at DGTL Amsterdam 2018


If you're going somewhere where you'll wear swimwear, make it high-cut this year. And if you're not, a holographic jacket, bag or skirt should be more than enough to console you.


Ink. Tattoos are always in, right? 'Ink' also starts with 'I', which was a surprisingly hard letter to fill (last year we had to go for 'Iridescence'…).


Jackets: bombers, denim or shell-suit. Enough said.


Sure, knitwear sucks in the rain, but good old crochet comes into its own above 20ºC; a big, comfortable woollen jumper is also an ideal way of layering up if it's on the colder side.


Always love hanging with this real life Barbie @revolve #revolvefestival

A post shared by Shay Mitchell (@shaymitchell) on


Leggings. They're comfortable, supremely practical (they pack super small and can fit into a bunch of different looks), keep you warm when you need it, and look great. Literally perfect for festivals.


The queen of any good boho festival outfit, maxi dresses are another warm-weather staple that is going nowhere. 


☀️ Fun day with @sinfulcolors_official @ultabeauty #SCVanessa #OmbreAllDay ❤️ #ad

A post shared by Vanessa Hudgens (@vanessahudgens) on


The nineties haven't been this popular since it was actually the nineties. 

The retro 90s look out in full force at Lost & Found Festival 2018


fancy dress is the name of the game at many festivals around the world, particularly if you co-ordinate with a big group. Expect to make a lot of new friends, fast.


Okay so paisley isn't setting the world alight, but it's a tried-and-tested favourite, that at least this one guy smashed at Coachella 2018. Plus, we already did playsuit last year – with an extreme word of warning.

Paisley bandana; crop top; yellow camo; slick shades; chokers – this shot has it all. Coachella 2018


Quartz crystals
 is still the only viable option for 'Q' so I'm hoping Quidditch Robes make it big by this time in 2019.

In the meantime, precious gems and crystals are hanging round a lot of a-list necks at the moment. Whether you buy into the potential health benefits or not, it's a classy way to add a point of interest to any outfit.


Rainbow print has it all – a summery feel, flexible options, and a more-than-just-fashion message.


The stars align ... ⭐️🌈⭐️🌈⭐️🌈⭐️

A post shared by Alessandra Ambrosio (@alessandraambrosio) on


How much, how little, and which areas of skin to show is as much of a fashion choice as the fabrics and styles you opt for.

Much may depend on the weather you're dealing with, but the key is feeling comfortable and confident. And don't be tempted to skip the sunscreen.


T-shirt may seem too obvious here, but a few faithful tees will see anyone though a festival weekend, whether you're fashion-conscious or not. Bolden up your colours, opt for a slogan, or just go plain white.


For simplicity, I'm going to bundle 'urban' together with street style. It's one of the broadest ideas in fashion, for any look that emerges from real people actually wearing it, and not from design houses in Paris, London, or anywhere else.

In festival season, this can mean anything from cut-offs and Reebok Classics, to full-on boho or braletts and sequins.

But ultimately it means that whether you feel fashionable or not, anything you wear is your own look, and it's bona fide street style. Wear what you love wearing, and you'll end up looking great as an afterthought.

Probaby the best definition of 'street style' is people just feeling good in what they want to wear


Vivid colours will serve you well come rain or shine, and all-out primary is even better.


Wellies (Wellington boots or gum boots if you really have to) are a festival non-negotiable. Ankle-high reduces the weight but won't cope with a real deluge; any size will work with shorts whatever the weather.

Hunters are still the most stylish wellies around


The X-rated look was big during modern music festivals' first wave back in the late 60s and early 70s. Freedom and expression were the spirit of the time, and the look is still a go-to option at several festivals around the world – but has undeniably become less mainstream.

Woodstock was a long time ago


'Gen Z Yellow' is taking over where Rose Gold left off. If you were wondering which one single colour you should be seen in from now on, then the answer is somewhere between Mustard and Canary.


Zoological prints. Choose wisely – i.e. well – but a good animal print can catch the eye in all the right ways.

Zoological print at DGTL Amsterdam 2018

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