What to Wear to a Music Festival – 11 Essential Coachella Style Tips
What to Wear to a Music Festival
If you’ve been searching what to wear to a music festival and only found articles that touch on not being too trendy and that a swimsuit doesn’t make an outfit I know you’ll find this blog post useful!
It was my first time attending a music festival this year, Coachella. Before planning my outfits, I researched what to wear and what was not only comfortable but appropriate. I ended up putting together 3 very comfortable and stylish outfits; this is the outfit series I’m sharing with you! If you missed my previous outfit make sure to check out; Coachella Fashion – A Boho Chic Outfit.
For this Coachella outfit, I made the black embroidered romper the base of the look. The accessories I added all matched the romper.
11 Essential Style Tips for Your Festival Outfits
From my experience at Coachella, these are the most important tips to remember. If you’re wondering what to wear to a music festival, this is a good starting point.
Before you even get to the festival location, and you’re home packing your bags remember these 11 essential style tips when putting together your festival outfits.
1. Wear Comfortable Footwear
You’re going to be walking a lot, and you will be on your feet for most of the day. On average for the three days at Coachella, we walked an average of 7 – 8 miles a day! That’s 7 – 8 miles in the sun, in the heat, among thousands of other people.
Either wear chucks, flat sandals, flat boots, Nikes, or ankle boots with a thick stacked heel. I would advise against wearing wedges or anything with a high heel. Unless you’re planning on hanging in the VIP area all day and not making your way to the front of concerts, then it might be ok. But if you’re planning on catching a lot of concerts and dancing the night away, be smart and wear comfortable shoes!
2. Opt for a Hat Instead of a Flower Crown (Skip if you’re ok with sun rays)
I don’t like standing in the sun for hours; it’s not healthy for your skin, and you might get burned. I saw many burned face during Coachella.
I not only wore wide-brimmed hats because I love hats, and they brought my outfit up a notch, but I also wore a hat because of sun protection.
You don’t have to wear such large hat as I did, a simple straw Panama or baseball cap will work. The only thing with baseball caps is that it exposes your ears and neck, make sure you cover up with sunscreen if you do opt for a cap.
Some people might think that a wide brimmed hat is overkill but if you feel you can pull them off, why not!
3. Wear Sunscreen + Chapstick
Wear Sunscreen! Peter and I put some on before we left the hotel and again later in the day. Reapplying sunscreen depends on how early you leave to the music festival. We left at noon on the first day of Coachella because we wanted to explore, take pictures and get the lay of the land.
We wore Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 100 on our body and Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Lotion Sunscreen SPF 110 on our faces. They are the best!
Peter has very light skin and cannot be in the sun for longer than 15 minutes without burning but with these sunscreens, he was very protected. After three days of sun, he was not a bit red.
4. Wear Sunglasses
Not only for looking cool, but sunglasses also help with the bright sun! If you don’t wear sunglasses, you will be squinting a lot. We’re not joking when we say it’s very bright.
Another thing that sunglasses help with is the dust and sand. When the winds pick up, they will act as a shield for your eyes.
5. Wear Your Hair Up or in Brands
Wearing your hair up is a good idea for two reasons; you’re going to be very sweaty and having your hair on you is gross, it will be a tangled mess by the end of day three!
I wore my hair in braids for the first day and down for the last two days (bad idea), and I spent the drive home untangling my hair. There is a reason so many women wear their hair in braids, and it’s not only to look cute but it keeps their hair from tangling.
6. Layer Up
It’s hot during the day but chilly at night. If you’re in the crowd for the evening concerts, then you don’t have to worry about it.
For the first two days, we were standing in the middle of the main concerts surrounded by thousands of people so not cold at all. On the third day, we stayed back from the crowd in the open air, and it got chilly. I would take an extra layer if you can, if you don’t have a way of carrying it then layer on a piece that goes with your outfit, like long sleeve denim jacket or light poncho.
7. Wear a Crossbody Bag
You’re not going to want to be worrying about your handbag so opt for a crossbody. Medium to mini crossbody bags is best. They need to be able to hold all your necessities but not be so big that you get tired from carrying it around all day.
If applicable; see tip 11.
8. Select One or Two Statement Pieces
There’s a difference between wearing multiple statement pieces and festival wear essentials. Don’t go overboard and pile on a ton of trendy and loud pieces, go with one or two. But feel free to wear multiple “festival pieces” like fringe, denim, ankle boots, etc. For an outfit example; see this Coachella fashion post.
My statement pieces for this outfit is the large sunhat and the necklace.
9. Go Light on the Makeup
So you know how I mentioned that it’s sunny and hot, and you’re going to sweat a lot. It’s best not to wear a lot of makeup.
Yes, you can wear a light foundation and some blush, that’s what I did. But a bunch of eyeshadow, mascara and lipstick are not needed. Think natural.
10. A Bandana is a Must!
A bandana is not only a stylish accessory; you will need it to protect yourself from the dust and sand when the wind picks up.
We brought bandanas because we thought they would be a nice touch to our outfits and Peter also used a bandana to protect his neck from the sun when he wore a baseball cap. I didn’t expect that they would be useful.
Almost everyone we saw had a bandana tied around their necks and when the wind picked up everyone had it covering their faces.
As a side note; the bandana was also useful around all the smoke. There is a lot of smoking at the festival, and I don’t smoke, never have, so when people were smoking around me up came the bandana.
11. Ask Your Boyfriend to Bring a Backpack for Other Important Items (If Applicable)
Before headed to Coachella, we made sure to buy a backpack for Peter. We used this to bring in and carry the extra important items.
We had in his backpack; a towel so we could comfortably sit on the ground, water bottles, sunscreen, portable charger for our phones, bandanas, hand sanitizer, and tissues.
We used everything that was in that backpack, and I’m so happy he wore one. If possible, bring a backpack to carry the little extra items that you’ll need.
Joshua Tree National Park
We took these photos at Joshua Tree National Park. Since we arrived a day early, we made the 40-minute drive to explore the park and take some pictures!
If you’re able to make a quick detour I’d recommend it. We didn’t spend all day here, just a couple of hours. We didn’t even make it all the way through the park, we turned around and left the way we came in. But if you can make a day or half day of it, it is worth it.
Have you been to Coachella before? Are there any other essential tips you could add to this list?
I hope this has answered your question what to wear to a music festival! If you have more questions, feel free to email me! I’d be happy to answer any question I didn’t cover in this post!
Shop the Look
Embroidered Romper from Nordstrom // Gladiator Sandals from Klub Nico // ‘Buckley’ Wool Felt Hat from Nordstrom // ‘Mini Eartha’ Top Leather Satchel from ZAC Zac Posen // Aztec Statement Necklace from Sole Society