Music festivals and fashion are so closely entwined these days that several major retailers launch festival-inspired lines every spring. While there’s some variance in the styles available, a clear theme emerges from every catalog: Boho princess meets desert cowboy with a dash of retro punk. It’s so pervasive that most brands might as well slap an “As Seen In Coachella” sticker on the tags.
So how can you let your individuality shine so that you stand out from the music festival crowds this summer? Whether you’re heading to Outside Lands, KAABOO, or even Burning Man, here are some tips to ensure you’re not the millionth attendee wearing a flower crown:
Pop out some color
Traditional music festival wear involves a lot of cream lace, muted flower prints, and earthy colors like sage green and muted gold. To stand out figuratively as well as literally, try wearing bold colors like royal blue, cherry red, lemon yellow, or kelly green. One piece is enough to do the trick, so wear a bright tee with denim shorts or a flowy, colorful jersey skirt with a black or white tank.
Band tees for the win
No matter what kind of music event you’re attending, from outdoor festivals to dive bar concerts, band t-shirts are always in style. To add a dash of individuality, scour thrift stores and vintage shops for the most obscure band tees you can find. Or, considering the 90s is now the retro fashion decade of choice, look for t-shirts featuring bands like Nirvana, Toad the Wet Sprocket, the Cranberries, or TLC.
Cutouts are the new fringe
Fringe—on shirts, skirts, purses and even shoes—is so common at music festivals that you might think it’s spontaneously reproducing. To break the fringe mold, try cut-outs instead: geometric shapes cut out of tops, stars cut out of skirt hems, or jeans with random patterns cut down the outer seams. If you can’t find this trend in stores, don’t worry—it’s easy to replicate at home with stencils and a pair of fabric scissors.
Say it with statement jewelry
If you want to keep your clothing choices light and practical—which is a pretty smart move when spending a weekend out in the summer sun—make your fashion mark with statement jewelry. To find the most unique chunky necklace or sparkly cocktail ring, check out the accessories section at thrift stores and vintage shops, or go on a borrowing spree in Grandma’s costume jewelry box.
Denim is forever
Aside from going with nearly everything, denim is one of the most practical fabrics for summer music festivals. Damp grass, unexpected mud, spilled food and drinks—denim can hold up to anything a festival can dish out. But instead of going the cut-off route along with everyone else, look for denim shorts, skirts, or jeans with unique embellishments like black lace, metallic studs, colorful embroidery, or even rhinestones—it’s your festival and you can bling if you want to.
Banish the boho this summer with unique festival wear at Thrift Trader
Thrift trader in North Park and Pacific Beach is your source for the most comfortable, stylish, and unique fashion for this summer’s music festivals. And if you have any pieces in your closet that match our suggestions but don’t excite you like they used to, bring them in for cash or trade during our buying hours, daily from 10am-6pm.