It’s officially festival season in Australia! Music festivals are my favourite events to go to. Some of the best times in my life, so far, have occurred at a festival. They combine all the great things in life; music, food, friends, dancing, drinking, and fashion.
At a festival, ‘fashion rules’ don’t apply. It’s a wonderful realm of adult make-believe where you can come as anything and/or as your truest self.
No judgement is passed as everyone is there for the sole, unified purpose of having a magical time. The more extravagant and avant-garde the look, the more praise and encouragement ensues. As a result, the people watching is also phenomenal. However, without any limitations, the choices are endless and figuring out what to wear can be a little daunting. Obviously, you don’t NEED to wear anything ostentatious. For a lot of people, a t-shirt and shorts combo will suffice as it is important to be comfortable. But as you probably know by now, I’m not really a t-shirt and shorts kinda gal. Plus, half the fun of the day is the whole process of getting ready. Everything from your hair, make-up and accessories are all part of the overall ethos that you create and slip into for the day.
Finding inspiration for your look can be a challenge and I have incurred the same difficulties. (Hence the purpose of this post and hopefully more like it to follow.) As a side effect of my search, you could say I am a little over glitter and even found some coming out of my ears regardless of the fact I don’t own any.
Glitter seems to be the butter if festivals are the bread. And that’s totally fine if you love it and think it’s magical, but the last thing I would want to do when I am stumbling home after partying all day is having to deal with the inevitable mess that is (Urban Dictionary’s words, not mine…); “an unholy disease that transcends time and space”. To add insult to injury, it’s also kind of tacky. Ladies, we can do better.
I was at Yours and Owls festival in Wollongong a few weeks ago and it felt like we had transcended into a previous era. Every second girl was wearing flares, most of the guys had long hair and were wearing vintage shirts. There was fringe and hats and overalls galore! I think I even spotted a young Cher in the crowd.
Music and fashion have a strong influence on one another and this pull to the past is also reflected in bands like Cub Sport, Ocean Alley and Angus and Julia Stone.
It was a two-day festival, (I’m not THAT extra and incorporated a costume change) and my dear friends helped me get some photos before and during the event. So, they are a little different to the usual images and I’ve love to know what you think of the more casual vibe.
Day one’s look was a bit of a wild card. I wasn’t sure how it would be received initially but then I thought “Fuck it! I like it and that’s all that matters!”. As I said, festivals are the time to experiment and wear something that you wouldn’t normally be brave enough to. Let your freak flag fly! I’m calling this my bohemian pirate ensemble. Layering is key for a festival, especially as we get into the warmer months. It’s boiling when the sun is out and you’re dancing up a storm and then the temperature can drop quite a bit at night. However, crowds in front of stages do have a similar heat retaining quality to penguins huddling in the Arctic winter. I layered a white broderie anglaise maxi dress over black bike shorts and a black bralette. (Showing a bit of skin also goes hand in hand with festival culture.) My insurance policy against the cold was my mum’s vintage duster coat you may remember from my Autumn Lookbook. There were many people who didn’t bank on this and were walking around with the very unplanned accessory of a foil blanket – thank you very much Ambulance service.
You don’t need to buy all new items for a festival. Versatility is part of the mission statement here at Water and Wine Wardrobe and festival attire is no exception. The white maxi-dress works great as a bohemian style light duster over any casual outfit. All the other pieces I have worn before, the only exception being my new festival boots.
Roc specialise is bad-ass festival boots or just regular boots for the everyday bad-ass woman. Boots are your best friend at these kinds of shindigs as you can walk a mile, be standing up all day, maybe your toes get jumped on and you’ll still leave with your feet intact at the end of the night. These boots are not something that works with my everyday style and are the epitome of a ‘wine’ item in my wardrobe. I think they really make the look come together though and got plenty of attention. Having one hero item can be all you need to be festival ready. However, I’ve put these baby’s to bed until next time.
Day two was a bit more of a struggle to get ready due to the shenanigans of day one. As a result, comfort and movability were a driving force behind the inspiration for outfit two. I still look like some kind of 80’s pirate though so Captain Jack Sparrow can take some more credit there. I forgot to mention that during day one I utilised the belt bag that I had previously featured in a Water and Wine blog series episode. I was right, it is super handy for a festival and was great at cinching in my waist, however, I couldn’t raise my arms very high. So, when the lead singer or DJ would ask everyone to raise their hands, I looked like a T-Rex trying to participate.
I’m sorry to have the burgundy, velvet flares in two posts back to back but I did warn you I loved them. They are quintessential festival attire and variations were seen on many a pair of pins. Pants are just a great option, especially when you have the opportunity to go on someone’s shoulders in the crowd. Disembarking can be a little tricky when wearing a skirt or dress. But you don’t want to go for your run-of-the-mill jeans. Check out my last post, if you missed it, for some good variations.
Because my legs are covered, and they are high waisted pants, I felt I could get away with wearing a crop top. Like I said, no fashion rules apply within the sanctity of the festival ground, however, one rule I choose to continually uphold is if my top half is exposed, I cover my legs and vice versa. I’m a little old fashioned that way, but I believe is more about flattering your silhouette than modesty. For warmth, we have come full circle from last years Yours and Owl’s festival, as I am wearing the vintage, suede, fringe jacket I bought at the Wandering Merchant’s stall last year.
Unfortunately, I had a casualty at the expense of the outfit. My faithful white converse that have seen me through many a footwear pickle, succumbed to the intensity of the festival. Their beautifully white appearance and canvas exterior were no match for the muddy and chaotic combination of the day. They were laid to rest in my red bin and although the ceremony was undignified, the steps they walked with me with never be forgotten. They are a ‘water’ piece that is a little more fragile and requires a repurchase ever couple of years. It’s a price I am happy to pay. However, learn from me kids – wear your white converse to a festival at their risk.
The headscarf was a bit of an experiment for me. The silk scarf has had great success in the commercial fashion market and is being worn in various different ways. The way I have styled mine was my ode to the pirate aesthetic. However, I think it can be quite ‘fashion’ so keep an eye out, I think it’s something that we might be seeing more of in the future. It also matched my pants perfecting so I couldn’t not wear it.
Another little tip: my best friend and I also share a mini black backpack for most festivals as well. It just holds the essentials, keeps our hands free and doesn’t get in the way when having a boogie.
I have also attached my festival inspiration Pinterest board that I have been working on. I hope it gives you a few more ideas but essentially, it’s all about being creative, stepping outside the box and having a bit of fun with your look. If you like this one, let me know and I’ll do another one soon. See you next time!
Love Hayley xo
Photographers: Jacob and Kim from Velvet Wings Media