What to Wear to a Festival: The Essential Guide - THE STYLE INSIDER

Whether you’re going to Lovebox or Glastonbury, festival fashion can be hard to nail down. Television may leave you to believe that everyone is covered in glitter and rainbow prints, but this actually isn’t the case for most festivals.

The majority of English festivals don’t have a dress code, so feeling confident and being yourself is the most important when considering what to wear to a festival. They do all have a particular vibe that many people want to stick with and we can help you nail that particular feel with ease. If you’re unsure as to what to wear to a festival, just keep reading and you’ll soon be looking like the Queen of Coachella (but English, of course).

WHAT TO WEAR TO LOVEBOX

Based in Central London, Lovebox is the number one festival for hip-hop fans, new and old. As an inner-city festival with no camping ground, you should wear something that you feel comfortable walking around London in.

You’ll have to make your way back to your accommodation at the end of the night, so you may want to tone down the festival gear. Save the glitter and feathers for Glastonbury and show off your street style instead.

Think baseball caps, sportswear and urban vibes all the way. Depending on the weather, a light sweater, distressed shorts and a chunky belt will do the trick. Feeling the heat? Swap this for a bandeau or a strappy sports branded bodysuit, such as Nike or Ellesse. Band tees are acceptable at this festival but go for an artist involved in the hip-hop community to really impress.
Unless heavy rain is scheduled, leave the wellies at home and wear some sporty trainers to amp up the street style. Top off the look with a pastel baseball cap and you’re good to go.

Rob’s top tip: Whether it’s the wind or someone crowd surfing, you don’t want your new baseball cap to fly off in the middle of a set. Get some bobby pins that are a similar colour to your hair and slide them upwards so they attach to your hair as well as the hat. It’s discreet and will keep your cap in place, no matter how windy it gets – it is England, after all.


WHAT TO WEAR TO LATITUDE

Known for its indie folk music and laidback atmosphere, Latitude is a haven for hipsters. Forget overloading on glitter; your look should be whimsical and sophisticated rather than brash.

Vintage clothes are a winner for this, especially long floaty dresses. If you want someone to look towards for some inspiration, Florence Welch has perfected the Latitude style effortlessly.

Fringe detailing is a popular choice for many festivals, but it is particularly perfect for Latitude. A leather backpack with fringe detailing is practical for the festival and adds some hippie-inspired detail to the outfit.

Floral, floaty dresses are a surefire way of pulling off the Latitude look, especially if it has a high collar and buttons. Add some heeled Chelsea boots or flat biker boots to bring some edge to this effortlessly elegant outfit.

If you don’t want to wear a dress, try cuffed mom shorts, a floral kimono and a cropped white shirt. A wide-brimmed hat exudes glamour and has the bonus of keeping the sun from scorching your face.

Rob’s top tip: Go for floaty midi dresses, but not maxi – unless you want to ruin it when you’re walking through mud to get to the next text.


WHAT TO WEAR TO READING & LEEDS

Although it now hosts many mainstream artists, Reading and Leeds Festival is the most alternative event on this list. The majority of bands are of the indie and rock genre, giving you the perfect excuse to amp up the edginess of your outfit.

Dresses are easy to style and look great when paired with fishnet tights, which are a festival favourite for many. Black dresses with contrasting white collars are a great choice as they have the perfect balance of dainty femininity and rock ‘n’ roll chic.

If, by some miracle, the English weather is far too hot to wear black, try a shirt dress instead. Plaid shirts have always been a key piece in alternative fashion, so wearing a dress in this style puts a twist on a classic style.

Depending on the weather, you may want to wear wellies to avoid getting covered in mud. Alternatively, chunky biker boots with stud detailing will make you feel right at home with the Reading and Leeds Fest crowd.

Rob’s top tip: If you’re not into wearing black, swap it for red, grey or blue. Whatever you do, don’t go for too much white – unless you’re remarkably careful, that is. A top is fine, but a colourless outfit is a no-go due to the fact you’ll most likely end up sitting on the bare floor at some point or another.

WHAT TO WEAR TO GLASTONBURY

Glastonbury is one of the most anticipated festivals of the year – if you’re one of the few who managed to get tickets, count yourself lucky.

One of the many great things about attending a festival this big is that pretty much anything goes. Glitter, feathers and fringing are all acceptable, but so is your bog standard outfit. Of course, we think you should still take the excuse to dress up, but don’t panic too much about standing out for the wrong reasons.

Fit and flare dresses are breezy enough to keep you fresh without being overly dressy. They’ll flatter your figure and ooze feminity – plus the loose nature of the waist will hide that food baby after you’ve tucked into some festival food.

Again, if the weather is terrible, you may want to stick with wellies but otherwise, the choice is yours. Those looking to add some edge to their outfit should opt for chunky trainers, otherwise consider wearing some flat soled boots.

Rob’s top tip: Don’t be afraid to really amp up the accessories at Glastonbury. Face gems are fantastic at giving you that festival vibe without ruining the rest of your makeup. Flower crowns, fringing, feathers – nothing is too much for this massive five-day event.

WHAT TO WEAR TO BROADMASTERS

As you probably know, Boardmasters is based on the sandy coast of Cornwall. It’s all about beachy, summery clothes as you’ll most likely head from the venue to the beach for a spot of surfing.

Bardot and cold shoulder tops are one to watch out for as they exude a surfer feel without flashing too much skin. Pair them with distressed denim – either high waisted jeans or a skirt – and a backpack for a practical yet stylish outfit for this laidback festival.

Another equally as trendy option is a cold shoulder dress. As we’ve mentioned in other sections, dresses are super easy to style which makes them a great option when you have no clue what the typical dress code is.

Khaki is an amazing colour for festivals and is super on-trend this year, so why not try something different from the typical pastel colours? Sunnies and a wide-brimmed hat are a must when heading to Boardmasters, more-so if you’re heading to the beach at some point.

As tempting as it may be to whip out the sandals, festivals just aren’t the place. Play it safe by opting for cute and casual tennis shoes.

Rob’s top tip: It can get chilly by the coast as there tends to be a breeze even in summer, especially at night. Put a chunky knitted cardi in your backpack so you don’t end up shivering during your favourite act.


WHAT TO WEAR TO CREAMFIELDS

Known as one of the most legendary festivals for EDM, house and grim, Creamfields has a similar unofficial dress code to Lovebox. The more sporty and urban, the better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add in some softer elements.

Denim is a great choice but we’d advise against the ‘shorts and crop top’ combination at this event. A light acid wash denim dress is edgy without being overly masculine, allowing you to wear street-inspired accessories while still holding onto your femininity. T-shirt dresses are comfortable and unrestrictive, which is a major benefit when you’ll be dancing the night away.

Bucket hats are practically essential at Creamfields, so choose one that’s sporty and stylish. Ellesse is a brand that has a 90s feel and we all know that that era’s fashion has come back in full force.

Finally, a cross body bag will keep your valuables safe without distracting from the dress and hat, which we’d consider to be the main event of the outfit.

Rob’s top tip: Pair your denim style dress with short wellies rather than full length to show off your legs – unless it’s freezing outside that is. In that case, pop on some cosy tights and go for bulkier wellies.