Sunday 21 December 2014

Style guide: Festival fashion dos and don'ts

Danielle Cahill

Published 01/07/2009 | 13:40

Music lovers heading to Punchestown next weekend for Oxegen will no doubt be debating what to pack, and for the style-conscious there's the added quandary of what to wear.

Ireland’s unpredictable weather and the need to carry everything in on your back, can create a fashion drama and without the resources of a Kate Moss, it can be hard to strike the right balance between style and practicality.

The key to getting it right is planning your wardrobe choices well in advance, according to fashion blogger Angela Scanlon.

"You can wear jeans for two days," she says adding that no one would bat an eyelid if you wore the same item more than once over the duration of a festival since just about everyone does it. "Vintage T-shirts are also great and when in doubt nick one of your boyfriend's."

Pack the odd back-up item in case things don’t go to plan, says Angela. So if the plan is to wear hot pants with a T-shirt, put in a pair of jeggings or jeans in case it gets really cold or it rains.

Jeggings are also a great option, according to Angela, though she admits she struggles with the name given to this season’s leggings of choice. "I have issues, but mostly it’s with the name. Though they are everywhere and they’re cheaper than jeans," she says. "If you're eating and drinking they [jeggings] are more comfortable to wear than skinny jeans. Wear them with long vest tops and T-shirts."

The all-in-one playsuit outfit favoured by celebrities such as Beyonce is also worth considering, though keep in mind you may suffer for your style with this item. "Playsuits are very big this season and they are everywhere, but they’re not practical for going to the loo," says Angela.

Looking perhaps to offer a cure-all to the fashion focused, from July 10 AWear is offering festival outfits – a pair of jeggings, sunglasses and a slouch T-shirt for €40. The look comes with an oversized bag of mini-sized necessities such as L'Oreal shampoo and a toilet roll.

But most style-conscious music lovers will want to create their own look and the experts say the trick is to mix prints and designs and go for a bold and unique look. Festivals are all about breaking the normal style rules, according stylebible.ie’s Liz Greehy.

"The most common mistake people make is putting fashion first and practicality second. Festivals have their own fashion thread," Liz says. "Anything goes."

Experimenting with style is all part of the fun says Liz, who says there is an emphasis on individuality among hardcore music festival attendees. "It's your ultimate chance to break the rules."

If there's a high-street look you've been a bit shy to try or there are pieces you like that don't match, festivals are a real opportunity to try something new, says Liz.

Layering outfits is a simple and practical approach to being prepared for all types of weather. "Dress in layers so you’re not carrying around jackets and you can just peel things off," says Liz. Opt for light jacket or a military style-blazer to wear over a vest top or T-shirt.

Getting your hair professionally straightened right before you head to a festival is a great way to avoid a hair disaster. "You can pin it [your hair] up on the second day and bandanas are great. You can wear them to cover over a bad hair day."

But if there's a fashion don’t in not-so-sunny Ireland, Liz says it's flip-flops which are best left at home. "They are a disaster at festivals and you can trip up easily."

When packing, Liz says fashionistas need to be brutal with their selection of what to wear - after all does anyone have the time to wear five different T-shirts? Would anyone notice or care if you wore the same blazer for three days?

Here are a few other style tips that will come in handy as you plan your festival wardrobe:

  • Layers: Pick a few tops and pair them with a jacket or blazer to ensure you don’t suffer from the elements. Make sure your choices are light enough to peel off, but no so thread-bare that you’ll freeze if the weather turns nasty.
  • Sunglasses: The over-sized shades favoured by both major and minor celebrities are perfect for protecting you from the elements and they looks great. Remember to pack a travel-friendly bottle of sunscreen and a chap stick.
  • Baby wipes: "They are one of the all-time essentials," says Liz.
  • Blazer: Rather than packing multiple light jumpers to match different outfits, choose a military style jacket and wear it with all your outfits.
  • Wellies: Most high-street stores do a range of different wellies with different designs. Liz recommends popping into Debenhams or Pennys where can you find a large array of different designs for the main pair of shoes you’ll be wearing for the duration of the festival.
  • Travel-sized toiletries: Buy travel-sized essentials such as deodorant and moisturiser and bring face wipes and a small cleanser to remove your make-up. Bringing your own toilet roll might sound a little silly, but chances are you’ll be grateful for it when supplies run low.
  • Ballet pumps: A great second shoe option that doesn’t take up much room, a pair of ballet-style pumps maintain the right balance between style and practicality. Converse runners are another great style option that won’t leave your feet without proper support. Avoid flip-flops as it might rain and they can create all kinds of walking hazards.
  • Hats: Straw fedora hats are likely to be the head piece of choice at festivals across the land this year and are stocked by most major high-street stores. Havana hats are also an option and can be found at vintage fashion shops.

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