Music Festivals

The Cynic's Guide to Music Festival Fashion

SXSW is behind us, along with one weekend of Coachella. But the bulk of festival season lies ahead, including several blowout events this week in Denver in honor of 4/20. We were hoping to have a living, breathing fashion expert talk to us about the really fashionable things you’re supposed to put on your body this year. Unfortunately, that dude flaked out at the last minute and no others were available, so we had to go solo, with no prior training in the ancient and mysterious sartorial arts. But we think you’ll be pleased with what we’ve got. Here goes:

Short pants: Or “shorts,” if you will. We figure that this legless form of breeches will be all the rage this year. You probably shouldn’t wear them if you’re performing. But if you don’t want cloth touching the part of your body between your thighs and your ankles, shorts are the thing to wear. Even if you’re on a budget, we suspect that taking a pair of your own pants and cutting off the lower leg parts are likely to result in shorts.
Giant Foam Cowboy Hat: We saw these once while browsing the World Wide Web and have it on good authority that the hippest of the hip will be putting them between their heads and that oppressive summer sun this year. The foam acts as both a protective and insulating layer that will keep that dome cool, both literally and figuratively. When you’ve got one of these babies on, no one will bat an eye when you ask, “Hey, attractive person, which way to the cool band playing right now?”
Racially Ignorant Whatevers: We know that the American Indian headdress thing is soooo two years ago, but that doesn’t mean we can’t offend a whole new culture with witless hip consumerism this year, right? How about conical Asian hats, or sub-Saharan African headdresses? The white Rasta look is a perennial classic. But don’t worry: Nothing is racist if you took a full semester of cultural anthropology from an accredited university.

Chaps: They’re like reverse! Let’s say that instead of exposing your thighs and ankles to air and copious sunshine, you would rather expose your ass cheeks? Boom: chaps. Just don’t forget to slather on that SPF 50, friend, or you’ll be standing for a lot longer than the time it takes to recoup your dignity on Monday morning.
Lady Beards: Everyone who’s everyone knows that straight women are all about facial hair on men right now. But we’ll never hit “peak beard” until cis-females get in on that action, too. Ladies, if you can’t naturally grow a beard, there are hundreds of options at your disposal to get anything from scruff to a full-blown Jeremiah Johnson. That Coachella clock is pretty much ticked out, though, so you might just have to cut some off your head and glue it to your faces.

Steely Dan T-Shirts: Steely Dan will get the joke, even if no one else does.