One of the most fun things about festivals is planning what you’re going to take and what you’re going to wear. Festival fashion is huge, but for some people partying in a field with no social boundaries is just a license to look ridiculous.
There’s always one, well usually a lot more, who feel the need to take festival fashion too far, and in the process look like an overexcited child who’s been given free reign over a dressing up box and a superstar transvestite’s make up collection.
No matter how many festivals I go to I can guarantee there’ll be someone there who fits into the following categories of ‘ridiculous festival fashion’, but which look will you be going for next year?
1. The Head Dress Honcho
I blame MTV for this one – all those music videos a la Gwen Stefani, Lana del Ray and Ke$ha who make out like it’s cool. If you choose to wear an Indian headdress at a festival you’ll stand out, like really stand out – unless you’re at Burning Man that is. I’m guessing that’s kind of the aim though. A lot of people find this look offensive, reasons cited include lack of cultural understanding, the fact you look like a moron, or the fact you look too awesome for words.
2. The Crochet Boho-er
I have never seen so much crochet in my life as I did at Coachella, and I’ve been to Niamh’s house in Ireland. Everywhere you looked at ‘Croachella’, there were crochet kimonos, crochet tops, crochet shorts, crochet hair flowers – my grandma would’ve had a field day.
3. The Novelty Mad Hatter
Viking hats, animal hats, trilby hats, panama hats, drinking hats and ‘funny’ slogan caps are among the usual suspects. It’s an easy way to get in the spirit, thanks to the festival stalwart rip off hat stalls waiting to persuade you to hand over twice as much of the usual to take advantage of the drunken fools stumbling by. Hats are all good fun until you’re 5 foot nothing and have to stand behind someone going for a ‘hat off’ with the rest of the festival.
4. The Glitter Face paint Fairy
The Glitterati can’t get enough of the stuff at the summer festivals. Love to know how much glitter sales go up over the summer months. Expect to see a ridiculous amount at the likes of Secret Garden Party and Latitude – both well known for their sparkly clientele. You may mock the glitter fiends at first but I guarantee once you’ve had a few drinks you’ll be scrounging around for some sparkly stuff like a leech after blood.
5. The Onesie Wonder
Can anyone pinpoint the day it became ok to wander around in public in a massive babygrow? Now it’s fairly standard to see a few leopards wandering around, maybe a Dalmatian here and there, or even a giraffe. Wouldn’t fancy managing it in a festival toilet though.
6. The Dress Up Box Darlings
Some festivals – I’m thinking Bestival here – have become one long fancy dress party. At least Bestival sets a theme every year, so you know you’re letting yourself into. The year I went it was pirates, although I saw the best Lego heads I’ve ever seen in my life. Some people go to a lot of effort for their festival fancy dress, but how do they carry it all in I wonder?
7. The Fancy Dress Faction
There’s only one thing more ridiculous than fancy dress, and that’s group fancy dress. When there’s a whole army of blue Smurfs chilling out on the grass next to you, you can’t help but notice them – playing right into their plans. When you start planning group fancy dress at a festival you know you’ve taken it too far.
8. The “Shocker”
Now what’s the weirdest thing you could carry around at a festival? Think about it… Keep thinking… You need to shock everyone, to show off your wacky personality while acting nonchalantly at the same time. Exhibit A: This guy at Sziget in Budapest just casually carrying a large doll around. Exhibit B: I once saw a man at Field Day in London with two terracotta flowerpots strapped to either side of his head with masking tape. They still had the flowers in.
9. The “Feeling Free” Team
No one wants to see your bits bouncing as you rock out with your cock out (*some people probably do). We’ve got clothes for a reason and if you think you’re too good for them you’ve got no place at a festival. Even just tops off can be disturbing, from girl and guys. Picture it: you’re dancing in a crowd, it’s getting hot, you’re getting hotter, you’re dripping, and the poor person behind you has to do all they can to stop from sliding on your sweaty back. Bleugh.
10. The Conforming, Non Conforming Crew
Maybe I’m being a little too harsh as this normally concerns teenagers, angsty gothy ones, and I was one of those once so I know how they feel, but you’ll know what I mean. Groups of kids who’ve gone a little ‘ker-razy’ and are caked in make up, black clothes, wonky hair and piercings wherever they can fit them, hanging around with people who look just the same. They just want to stand out, to show they’re different, just like all their friends.
11. The Winged Raver
Wings are for children, not for fully grown adults who think they can fly when they’ve had a few too many. Another really annoying thing about wings at festivals is the fact that you’ve now essentially doubled the amount of space you take up and everyone else has to fit around you. Once you’ve been jabbed in the eye repeatedly by a fabric-covered coat hanger you’ll know what I’m on about.
12. The Old Hippies
Dreads, hair braids, OTT jewellery, dream catcher tats and baggy trousers – do they really look like that the rest of the year? Where do they work? Is their life a permanent festival? How can I be one too?
The old hippies love a good festival – mainly so they can come and moan about how it wasn’t like it was in the old days, which it probably wasn’t, but that’s progress for you. I don’t think festival fashion is actually a thing for those guys, but for the young ones that come in and imitate the golden oldies, complete with a nose piercing, bandana and tie-dyed top it certainly is.
Vicky is a festival and travel blogger at vickyflipfloptravels.com. It may not sound like it but she loves festivals – you can see her committing all these festival fashion crimes over on the blog, and keep up @VickyFlipFlop on Instagram too.