Whether you’re raving out at Creamfields or head-banging at Download, your outfit will always be one of the biggest concerns. Everyone wants to look good at a festival, so if you’re wondering what to wear to a festival this summer, read on for our style guide to learn all about the best music festival fashion out there.
No matter how much guys try and pretend that they’re not trying to look fashionable at a festival, we know they want the perfect outfit. Here at The Idle Man, we understand your festival fashion needs. If fate is kind then you’re going to be spending a lot of your time in the sun. This means that you’re going to want some summer festival attire.
Over the last decade, summer has become about one thing, and one thing only: which festivals you’re going to. What used to just be a couple of expensive weekend events every year has become hundreds of music festivals catering to every kind of music taste. This means that festivals have become an ideal place to show off a unique and exciting area of your wardrobe. Where else can you wear a Hawaiian shirt with a bucket hat and get away with it?
What to Wear to a Festival
The main thing to remember about festivals is they’re fun. This should be reflected in the clothes you wear at a festival. You’re probably going to be wearing lots of bright coloured and loud clothes. As we’re talking about a music festival here, it’s unlikely you’re going to wash for three days. Therefore, you don’t want to be wearing your finest and most expensive clothes. It doesn’t matter how good you look in them, they won’t look so cool covered in mud and beer.
If you’re reading this with little to no idea of how to dress for a festival then don’t fear. By the end of this article, you will be an expert. You’re not going to get much more of an informal setting than a music festival. Therefore, it is a great opportunity to have some fun and be experimental with your outfits.
We’re not saying you should go absolutely crazy and wear fancy dress every single night with a pair of novelty sunglasses and an umbrella hat. Unless there is a specific fancy dress themed event then leave the banana costume at home – you’re not fifteen anymore. Instead, dressing for a festival is more about finding comfortable, lightweight, affordable and fun pieces of clothing.
As there is a high chance that some of your clothes may not survive a festival, you need to be sure to not break the bank when shopping for clothes. Anything that you do care about either leave at home or make sure it’s durable enough to withstand the harsh festival conditions.
Best Clothes for a Festival
Have you been wondering what to wear to a music festival? When it comes to festival clothes you’re going to want something, light, easy to wear and low maintenance. The core of your outfit is most likely going to be the humble T-shirt. You will want to wear a T-shirt as they are usually lightweight and can be easily thrown on in the morning, making them perfect for a festival. You don’t want to be struggling to dress in your two-man tent. There are, however, a few things you should think about when deciding what T-shirts you should bring to a festival.
First of all, keep it colourful but simple. Try avoiding any clichéd graphic print T-shirts. It doesn’t matter how cool you looked in your multicoloured Primark ‘Hype’ T-shirt in 2014, it just doesn’t look that good anymore. Instead, why not try wearing some more creative? Try a refined graphic print T-shirt. The production of many subtle and stylish graphic print T-shirts this season means there is absolutely no excuse to be wearing anything other than a great collection of T-shirts.
Remember to avoid wearing any T-shirt that is too mad in design as well. If you’re a fan of showing off your body, I’m sorry but V-neck T-shirts are a no-go for summer festivals. As nice as your chest may be, no one will appreciate it when you’re sweating out in the dance tent. Stick to some loose fitting crew neck T-shirts and you will be in good hands.
A floral button shirt has always been a staple of festival fashion and remains a great way to add some detail to your outfit. Although a pink Hawaiian shirt may be taking it one step too far, you can find some great subtle shirts still. When choosing floral shirts, try and go for something in a darker colour such as a navy blue. Why not try and combine this with a plain white T-shirt underneath for a great, bright summer outfit.
Coats and Jackets
Despite the fact that festivals generally take place during summer, as we who live in the UK will know, this doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination mean the weather is going to be good. If you have seen footage of any festival you will know that you’d be an idiot to not bring a coat or waterproof jacket with you.
As with much of the festival styles, you want something that is lightweight but protective. There’s no point in bringing your thick winter coat unless you want to literally melt. Your best bet is almost certainly going to be wearing a lightweight kagool or rain mac. Cool and easy to store when the weather is nice, and waterproof and durable when the weather is bad. A rain mac is a must-have essential for this summer season as it keeps the rain off you and adds an extra layer of style to your outfit.
If you’re looking for a more casual jacket to give you another layer when the sun goes down, which isn’t specifically a raincoat, then think about purchasing a bomber or Harrington jacket. These are a good alternative to a raincoat if you don’t have a mac that is lightweight and easy to pack. The lack of a hood possibly makes them slightly impractical, but they make up for this with not being too hot and giving your outfit a great extra layer of detail.
No festival outfit would be complete without an assortment of various accessories, most important of which, is a pair of good sunglasses. As with much of this year’s summer fashion, a retro bright coloured style is definitely the way to go.
A pair of round 70s retro frames with some reflective or mirrored lenses are a fun addition to your outfit that you can purchase rather cheaply. To avoid ruining your weekend, leave your expensive sunglasses at home and get a cheaper pair. No one wants to see some drunk guy’s boot trampling a two hundred pound pair of shades. Combine these with a 90s bucket hat and you’ll have your Noel Gallagher festival style down to a tee. If you’re thinking of playing it safe, you can always get a cheap pair of classic wayfarer style sunglasses from pretty much any retailer.
Best Shoes for a Festival
As we’re talking about festivals, it’s important to remember that there is almost certainly going to be mud, and a lot of it. For this fact alone, as you’re choosing your best festival shoes remember it’s going to be a very important element of your outfit, so no Gucci loafers, unfortunately.
The most obvious and easiest choice for festival footwear is Wellington boots. As well as being extremely practical, wellies can be super stylish if worn correctly. Try wearing some Hunter wellies with a rain mac and some jeans for a classic festival look.
Wear a pair of trainers or plimsolls if you want a good alternative to wellies. When you’re walking around in some torrential rain or scorching sun you will want a pair of versatile and durable shoes to be your companion. A pair of reasonably priced trainers or plimsolls should fulfil this role perfectly. If the rest of your outfit is reasonably colourful, stick to a more neutral coloured pair of shoes such as black or navy blue. These darker colours will also show less dirt, which can only be a good thing. Don’t wear white shoes to a festival, you’ll only have yourself to blame for ruining them. I can guarantee they won’t come back the same colour.
Unless you’re going to a very specific festival like Benicassim where you know you’re going to be spending a lot of your time on a beach, avoid wearing flip flops or espadrilles. Unless you want some broken toes and the possibility of catching tetanus, avoid wearing these very lightweight and non-protective shoes.
The key when shopping for festival footwear is to find something that is relatively good quality without breaking the bank. A muddy field destroying your shoes is a big possibility and is therefore not the place for really expensive shoes. Some boat shoes or a pair of high top canvas trainers are a good option.
How to Dress for a Festival
Rave Clothes for Guys
As festivals have become more and more popular, so has the electronic and dance music genre. This now means that there is a much larger amount of dance and rave festivals out there to attend. As with many genres of music, electronic, dance and house music comes with its very own particular fashion style. If you’re wondering what to wear to a rave, then we have got all the answers right here.
A rave might be the only time it’s acceptable to wear a vest. The hot atmosphere will mean you’re going to want as few layers on as possible, so a vest will come in handy. However, a loose-fitting streetwear T-shirt is still going to be a first choice preference.
If the weather is nice and you’re thinking of wearing shorts why not try some stonewashed jean shorts? Denim shorts have always been a great casual but stylish pair of shorts and will work great at a festival where the added durability will definitely come in handy.
If you’re looking for some trousers to wear to a rave then consider getting some tracksuit bottoms. Originally seen as a typical ‘chav’ item of clothing, the tracksuit bottom has now become one of men’s fashion’s most stylish products. As well as being one of the most fashionable items of clothing on the market, tracksuit bottoms are also ridiculously comfortable.
For years, men’s jeans have become skinnier, resulting in some rather uncomfortable and embarrassing rearranging. The loose fitting and freeing nature of tracksuit bottoms makes them perfect for when you’re pinging around the dance floor. The huge range of sportswear brands that now provide tracksuit bottoms means there is a great variety of colours and designs. This means that there is absolutely no excuse for you to not look your absolute best when raving this summer.
If you’re not really feeling the tracksuit style then a pair of jeans is going to be your best alternative. A pair of skinny or slim black denim jeans is a classic look that goes with more or less anything and works well in the dark atmosphere of a rave. If you cuff your jeans around the ankle and wear some white tube socks and a pair of trainers you’ll have a great ensemble outfit.
Funky Festival Hats
When it comes to music festival wear, your outfit really wouldn’t be complete without a hat to finish off your look. Different styles of hats come in and out of fashion rather quickly. It is therefore extremely important that you choose the right hat for your festival outfit. The hard snap back that everyone was wearing in 2013 is a no-go for this years’ summer season. Leave them for the guys off Geordie Shore.
If you’re wearing a hat to a rave then consider a five-panel snapback. This hat is a stylish choice and is relatively easy to store due to its soft material and small brim.
Another retro essential for this summer’s festival season is the 90’s bucket hat, which has recently exploded back into fashion. Originally popular in Manchester during the Oasis and Stone Roses era, the bucket hat is a great versatile accessory to take to a festival. First of all, it’s 360-degree circular brim means that your neck will be protected from the sun. Secondly, it’s material makes it extremely easy to store, and you can even stuff it in your pocket when you’re not wearing it. The various colours and patterns these hats come in make it an essential for whatever festival you’re going to this year.
Summer Festival Outfits
When it comes to festival fashion for men, here at The Idle Man, we’ve always got your back. If you’re still wondering what to wear to a festival for men then don’t worry. Why not try out some of these cool outfit ideas for guys?
Music Festival Outfit Ideas
A combination of a vest with some tracksuit shorts is a perfect outfit that would keep you comfortable. Style a pair of trainers with some pulled up socks and a five-panel snapback to completely finish the look. This would work for the dance tent where it will be hot, as well as for lounging around your campsite.
If the weather isn’t looking great for your festival, you’ll be prepared for all weather fronts with this outfit. Style a lightweight rain mac with some jeans for a great outfit to wear when the sun isn’t shining. Add some trainers or plimsolls to protect your feet and an optimistic pair of shades to fully be prepared. Now you’re ready to go and enjoy some great music.
If you want something a bit more experimental when it comes to patterns, a floral style button shirt is a must-have. Wear it without the buttons done up over a plain white T-shirt for a great relaxed summer combination. Wear a pair of chino shorts and some boat shoes and you’ll soon have that festival feeling. Remember to not wear any visible socks with the boat shoes either.
What to Wear to a Festival for Men
- Keep your outfits simple and lightweight. If you’re camping at a festival you don’t want loads of bulky clothes to carry that will make you hot.
- Festivals are all about having fun and your clothes should reflect this. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colourful clothes.
- British festivals are renowned for their terrible weather and you will almost certainly need something stylish to stay dry.
- You’ll need a durable and versatile pair of shoes for a festival. Wellies aren’t going to look good and sandals will end in tears.
- Accessorise with a good pair of retro shades. A bucket hat or cap are also great additions.
On That Note
The summer music festival has become a key part of British culture over the last few years. Once you’ve worked out where you’re going and what the music genre is like, you need to dress appropriately. From wearing the best-patterned shirt layered over a T-shirt to a crazy bucket hat, we know the ins and outs of festival trends for this season. Follow the advice in this style guide and you should have no problem dressing fashionably for this summer festival season.