Skip to content How-To: Braving the Summer Music Festival

August 23, 2008

While summer, and along with it summer fun, are coming to a conclusion for the rest of the country, we Southwesterners will be enjoying many more sticky, sandy moments for weeks to come. Though we will be subject to weather ranging from 75 degrees to oven baking preheat temperature from now until late October, there is a bright side. What is that bright side, you ask? Simple: Austin will still be able to host giant outdoor festivals, even in late September! Since a lot of us Texans, especially here in Austin, plan on attending the three-day concert referred to lovingly as ACL, or Austin City Limits, we at felt that a simple how-to for outdoor concert dressing was in order.

Though this article is mainly geared towards dressing successfully for a music festival, don’t let that stop you from using these tips for the weekends, or for college/college-bound readers, from following this guide to put together outfits for the first day of class, when you’re running around on campus (it’s hot!) from class to class.

What to wear:
Comfort is key! Even when standing around outside for extended periods of time exposed to heat and UV rays, you want to look cute, but you definitely do not want to be constantly readjusting something that you’re wearing. To tackle this conundrum, keep in mind that light layers are important. Wearing a bathing suit underneath your clothing also gives you a lot more choices as to what articles of clothing you have to keep on throughout the course of the day. A tough chic, vamped-up basics aesthetic (à la Erin Wasson) serves as fantastic inspiration. Miss Wasson’s signature look of well-cut, oversized tees paired with denim cutoffs is a great outfit idea. For a more feminine alternative, try a simple romper or breezy summer dress—there’s no need to worry about coordinating pieces, and best of all, they’re easy to take off just in case things get too unbearable.

Double Pocket Top | Harlan Bel
Disc Top | Society for Rational Dress
Crepe De Chine Mesh Tank, High Waisted Shorts | both Harlan Bel

Sailor T-Shirt Dress | Charlotte Ronson
Strapless Dress | Sophomore
Voile Ombre Dress | Kensie
Tank Snap Dress | Sophomore
Run Away Romper, Little Black Romper | both Samantha Pleet
Belted Denim Jumper, Sailor Romper | both Charlotte Ronson

Shoe-wise, it really depends on whether or not it will be raining. If it’s raining, pull on some Wellington boots. Sunny and dry? Wear what will stand up to lots of walking and dancing. Canvas flats are easy to clean and will keep feet comfy and happy. Bottom line: unless you plan on standing in the outskirts of the crowd instead of in the pit while your favorite band is playing—which we know you don’t—it’s going to get really hot and sweaty in the pit, so the less clothes you have to worry about, the better.

What you should avoid:
Heels. They might be fierce, and they might have even invented those nifty espadrilles especially for the summer, but it really just isn’t a very bright idea to wear them to an outdoor concert. Remember there will be food there, and unless you want to worry about the possibility of there being various liquids and sticky foods getting all over your shoes, don’t wear them! If you must wear a shoe that finishes off your outfit (trust me, we’ve been there—fashion over function), take advantage of the many equally cute flat summer sandal styles available.

Diana Sandal, Patricia Sandal | both Devotte
Judy Punk Loafer | 80%20
Inspire Shoe in Black, White; Classics Shoe in Yellow, Red Plaid | all TOMS

What you should keep on hand:
When trying to decide on which purse to bring, a medium sized bag with a long strap is best. Being able to sling your bag over your body will be a lifesaver after a few hours, we promise. There can be lots of downtime between shows you want to see, and you definitely won’t want to plop down in the dirt, so bring a beach towel or something similar to sit down on. However, if you’re fine with a more natural seating choice, a simple id case (like Fallon’s Delinquent Case) to keep money and important cards is great as well. Remember to only bring concerting essentials so you won’t have a lot of stuff you don’t really need weighing you down. Most of all, don’t forget water and sunscreen! No one wants to be dehydrated and have a sunburn to boot!

Lastly, remember to have fun! Looking chic is only half the battle ☺


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