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How-to Dress for a Music Festival

Last weekend, I went to Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival. When I went to ACL for the first time in 2004, it wasn’t a huge deal. Now, I feel like it’s blown up and there’s more of an expectation to dress the part. It’s almost as if there is a music festival dress code these days, which can leave a lot of us wondering what to wear.

Have no fear! Here’s the five things you need to know about how to dress for a music festival. Whether you’re headed to weekend two of ACL or Festy in the Old Dominion, you’re sure to look the part.

1) Rule Numero Uno.

  • Embrace the bohemian vibe, yet don’t take it too far. While part of going to a music festival is letting your freak flag fly a little bit, you don’t want to end up with a closet full of clothes you’ll never wear again.

2) Keep your base neutral.

  • The base layer is your blank canvas where you can paint your festival masterpiece, so to speak. While I went with pants paired with tanks and tees for all these looks, you could easily do dresses, shorts, or button-downs depending on where you are headed.

3) Layer fun accessories.

  • I was able to create three distinct looks by using different accessories. The first look has more of an urban rocker thing going  on. The second gets it’s interest from the layers of colorful necklaces. And the third is slightly more polished, but the scarf, which I wore as a turban, keeps it from looking too stiff.

4) Plan your outfits ahead of time.

  • You don’t want to miss the music because you’re fretting about what to wear. For the first time in a long time, I planned out every outfit down to the lipstick I was going to wear before I left for the weekend. This ensured that I could forget about what I was wearing and just dance to Jimmy Cliff. Highly recommended.

5) Rock your own style.

  • At the festival, I got so tired of seeing girls wearing the exact same thing. It almost seemed like a uniform. I highly recommend wearing a few pieces that are uniquely you so you don’t get swallowed in the sea of cut-off shorts. While the outfits I put together have a great bohemian vibe, they aren’t too far outside my wheelhouse because they all contain things I wear on a normal basis.

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[Outfit 1: J.Crew Bag (similar)//Calvin Klein Fedora (similar)//Target Scarf (similar)//Ray-Ban Aviators//Leather Bracelet//Vintage Silver Cuff (similar)//Moroccanoil Treatment//Melissa Joy Manning Hoops//Lucchese Cowboy Boots//Tom Ford Vampire Kiss Lip Color//Arquiste for J. Crew Perfume//Coach Wallet//Citizens of Humanity Jeans (similar)//Motif 56 Belt//Altuzarra for Target Tee//J. Crew Jacket]

[Outfit 2: J Brand Jeans (similar)//CeraVe Sunscreen//Melissa Joy Manning Hoops//Vintage Necklaces//Sanctuary Clothing Tank (similar)//Straw Cowboy Hat//Dooney & Bourke Purse (similar)//Mossimo Supply Co. Sandals]

[Outfit 3: Vintage Belt//Madewell Necklace (similar)//Tom Ford Sahara Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss//Vintage Adrienne Vittadini Scarf//Dooney & Bourke Purse (similar)//Ray-Ban Aviators//Melissa Joy Manning Hoops//Everlane Tank//Citizens of Humanity Jeans (similar)//Mossimo Co. Sandals]