Survival of the Trendiest
A Head to Toe Guide on How to Be Fashionable and Functional at This Year’s Coachella Music Festival
WRITTEN & STYLED BY: JILLI JOFFE | PHOTOGRAPHED BY: ADAM GENTRY
With April comes the start of my favorite season, and I’m not talking about spring. I’m referring to festival season—that time of year when everyone can escape the real world, if only for a weekend, and really enjoy living life in the moment. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Coachella is my Christmas. It’s my happy place; three magical days in the desert where the only things that matter are what you’re going to wear, who you’re going to see, and how you’re going to get there. Luckily for you, years of attendance have made me somewhat of an expert on all of these topics. Some of the best weekends of my life have been had at music festivals.
In fact, much of that joy comes from how you prepare. I’m going to share with you everything
I know about festival fashion, beauty, makeup, and logistics, so that you maximize your time and get the absolute most out of your festival-going experience. The truth is that preparing for the festival, and deciding what to wear, can be half the fun!
FESTIVAL FASHION TIPS: COMFORT IS KEY
Coachella is arguably one of the most fashionable of all music festivals, and deciding what to wear can be a big decision. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that festival fashion needs to be one thing above all—COMFORTABLE. Trust me on this; you’re going to want to enjoy the moment, and not experience discomfort because your outfit’s too hot or too tight or too complicated. That doesn’t mean your style has
to suffer. It just means you have to get creative. That’s why I’m a huge believer in keeping festival outfits relatively simple (think denim cutoffs, cut-in tanks, loose fitting dresses, and flowy kimonos) and then focusing on the accessories. It’s the easiest way to ensure your outfit screams ‘hot, ’ and not ‘hot mess.’
BRIGHT IDEA: PLAN AHEAD
It’s a really good idea to try on all of your outfits ahead of time, and take photos of yourself in them. Outfits often look different on your body than they do in your head, and looking at them in pictures puts everything in perspective. Look over the photos, make adjustments, and finalize all looks before you leave. Once you’re there, it’s too late to make any changes. And don’t forget to plan some cold weather options just in case!
ALL ABOUT ACCESSORIES:
When it comes to festival accessories, more really is more. This is how you’re going to take that simple, comfy outfit we discussed earlier, and elevate it to the level of boho chic. I’m all about layering multiple long necklaces, bracelets, and rings. I love the look of a double-cuff—wearing two matching bracelets, one on each wrist. Having a body chain peek out from under your crop top or bikini is also a really nice touch. And the right chain belt can add instant chic to even the plainest outfit.
If you don’t already own a good amount of jewelry, and don’t want to spend a fortune, another great option is Flash Tattoos. These temporary tattoos are a fun, easy, relatively inexpensive way to add some instant cool to your festival look. Just make sure to go on Instagram for inspiration on unique ways to wear them! I’m always impressed at how long they last, even after logging hours of pool time.
BRIGHT IDEA: DO IT YOURSELF
Plan a DIY party with your girlfriends before the festival; put on a Coachella playlist, and make your own jewelry! Everyone can contribute something. I would suggest bringing some thin chain, jump rings, and lobster clasps—everything you need to make a body chain. They’re super simple, and you can find lots of web tutorials to guide you.
BOOTIES BOOTIES BOOTIES BOOTIES, WALKING EVERYWHERE
When it comes to festival footwear, nothing compares to the bootie. It’s the perfect combination of fashion and function, protecting your feet while enhancing your outfit. But with that being said, it’s also a good idea to bring a change of footwear as a backup. Seriously, no matter how comfy you think your shoes are, walking around in them for an entire day might change your mind. And the last thing you need is sore feet slowing you down when you’re running between stages trying to catch the opening of your favorite band!
BRIGHT IDEA: BE PRACTICAL
Keep in mind that your shoes are definitely going to get dirty, and quite possibly destroyed. Don’t wear anything too expensive that you wouldn’t mind getting ruined.
LAYERING: THE MORE THE MERRIER
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, when it comes to festival fashion, comfort and versatility are your best friends. When you’re in the desert for an entire day, you need to be ready for just about anything; the weather can go from unbearably hot during the day to surprisingly chilly at night. Smart layers are essential. Be strategic in planning your outfit, and make it work for multiple scenarios. My typical Coachella outfit usually consists of: a bathing suit under my outfit (shorts and tank or dress) with some sort of coverup on top (this year I’m loving the kimono). Then, I always bring knee-high socks, a warmer jacket, and a bandana in case a dust storm should hit.
BRIGHT IDEA: LOCK IT UP
Rent a locker! You can store all of those extra clothes, a change of shoes, and other essentials in it, and not have to lug them around in your bag all day.
TREND REPORT: FESTIVAL FASHION
As festival season kicks off, expect to see all the tried and true favorites, like denim cutoffs, crop tops and booties. But don’t be surprised if some newcomers creep onto the fashion scene as well:
Kimono styling was all over the SS15 runways, so it makes sense that we will be seeing a lot of kimonos come festival season. They’re the perfect boho coverup, so get in on this trend!
Halter crop tops are going to be huge—a throwback to the ’90s. Try pairing with a statement tribal necklace and/or body chain for some added interest
With more and more fashionistas embracing normcore, expect to see more girls (and guys) donning Birkenstocks than ever before.
A sportier aesthetic has been seen in recent seasons. Lucky for us, this means backpacks are cool again, as they really are the perfect festival bag.
The anklet is my new favorite accessory of the season. It’s an unexpected detail that all the boho ‘it’ brands are starting to include in their collections.
WHERE TO GET YOUR FESTIVAL FASHION FIX:
142 N Glassell St
Orange, CA 92866
Laurenly is a virtual one-stop-shop for festival fashion favorites. With tons of cute bikinis, denim cut-offs, slip dresses, kimonos, and rompers, this cute little store is chock-full of festival essentials. And that’s not to mention their expertly curated selection of jewelry; it’s scattered all over the store, but you’re sure to find something perfect—the problem will be narrowing it down to just what you need!
BLUE EYED GIRL
Old Pottery Pl
1200 S Coast Hwy, #106
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
With brands like For Love and Lemons and Free People, Blue Eyed Girl has got you covered when it comes to boho style! I really love their selection of booties, a festival footwear staple. They’re also a great place to shop for hats and other accessories, including Flash Tattoos.
1259 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Taim Boutique, located right across the street from Blue Eyed Girl, has lots of festival-appropriate fashions. Their basic tees would pair perfectly with your favorite denim cutoffs, and their tasteful selection of jewelry, including cuffs and crystal necklaces, will get you through any festival style. Don’t forget to check out their leather booties and structured hats!
MELROSE TRADING POST
7850 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
This local flea market is worth a trip up to LA one of the Sundays leading up to the festival. Here you’ll find endless vintage goodies and tons of boho jewelry. It’s always fun to just explore, and walk around from vendor to vendor. But make sure to visit the Vidakush booth, which has awesome jewelry, like midi rings, faux-septums, and body chains at super affordable prices.
CHILD OF WILD
The right accessories can make or break your festival look. And this online retailer is leading the pack when it comes to boho jewelry. Child of Wild has the most amazing chain belts, statement necklaces, and, my personal favorite, anklets! Their ethnic- inspired jewelry will really let your inner boho goddess shine.
BEAUTY + MAKEUP
MAKEUP TIPS: LESS IS MORE
Barely-there makeup was a major trend on the SS15 runways. This less-is-more approach is definitely the way to go when considering how to do your makeup for the festival. Trust me, you don’t want to be wearing very much makeup, because it’s going to melt off and leave you looking less than fresh. So, keep makeup
to a minimum with these three essentials: an SPF-filled tinted moisturizer, some waterproof mascara, and a moisturizing (desert = dry) lip balm.
BRIGHT IDEA: HAIRSPRAY
After your makeup has been applied, spray your face with a light misting of hair spray. This handy little trick will prolong your makeup and help keep it in place throughout the day.
HAIR TIPS: BRAIDED BEAUTY
Another take-away trend from the SS15 runways was the braid—a hairstyle that’s perfectly appropriate for any festival. Getting it braided (or doing it yourself) is a great way to ensure that hair stays in one place, and doesn’t get too crazy through the day. Hair that isn’t secured to your head can become really unruly in an impromptu dust storm! There’re so many options, so I would suggest checking out Pinterest to see what appeals to you and your hair type/length.
BEAUTY TIPS: TREAT YOURSELF
224 Marine Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92662
Before all of the festival-craziness begins, why not pamper yourself with a little visit to Rosey Toes? Located in the heart of Balboa Island, this quaint little nail salon gives one of the best mani-pedis in Orange County. Go for a deep purple shade on nails and toes for a dark, mysterious look that matches your festival vibe.
BEAUTY PRODUCT SURVIVAL GUIDE
- SPF Products: I know you know that sun care is important, so don’t let the sun get the best of you!
- Lip Balm: The desert is dry, so keep lips soft and kissable with a generous application of moisturizing lip balm.
- Waterproof Mascara: News flash—you’re going to be sweating… a lot! Make sure your mascara stands the test of time, and buy a waterproof formula.
- Hair Brush: Hours of sweaty dancing and wind = dreadlocks. Keeping a hair brush on hand will save you from dealing with a rat’s nest later on.
- Moisturizer: Again, the desert is dry. Keep skin moisturized and it will definitely thank you.
FESTIVAL TIPS: MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR EXPERIENCE
No matter what, you’re going to have an awesome time.
But there are definitely things you can do to take an already amazing festival experience to the next level:
RESEARCH MUSIC AHEAD OF TIME
As soon as the lineup comes out, I get to work researching and discovering as many new bands as possible, then I put together a Coachella playlist on Soundcloud and listen to it on repeat. This is definitely time- consuming, but so worthwhile. Nothing makes the entire festival experience better than hearing a bunch of your new favorite songs played live!
BRIGHT IDEA: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Start your morning with coconut water, and remember to stay hydrated throughout the day.
TAKE THE TIME TO ORIENT YOURSELF
Take time the first day with your group to orient yourselves with your surroundings. The festival grounds are huge; the stages are spread out, and you want to make sure that you know where everything is before the sun goes down, and it all becomes even more confusing. Pick meeting points at each stage (i.e. back right Mojave Tent, behind A-11 at the Main Stage) and agree that this spot is where you’ll be whenever you’re there. This is a great back-up plan in case anyone gets lost.
BRIGHT IDEA: TECH TALK
Make sure to start each day with a fully charged phone, and realize that you’re not always going to get the best cell service, that’s why setting meeting points is always a good idea.
Make a schedule of all the shows you want to see each day, and keep track of time. There’re going to be conflicts, so decide what’s most important to you, and know that you probably won’t be able to see everything you want to. Be flexible, keep an open mind; move on if something isn’t living up to your expectations. There’s so much to see and do, you should never be bored or underwhelmed.
If you can only attend one day of Coachella, I would say that Saturday is best, followed by Sunday. Although, Friday is the least busy. There really is no ‘best’ day, it all depends on who you’re most excited to see.
WHERE TO STAY:
Camping on the festival grounds is always a great option. Many people prefer it, because it allows you to stay onsite, and avoid what is often the worst part of Coachella, getting to and from it! But if ‘roughing it’ just isn’t your thing, and you value a soft bed and a warm shower at the end of the day, then renting a house nearby is probably your best option. Try to find something in Indio; it’s a common misconception that the event is held in Palm Springs, which is, in fact, 45 minutes away. Don’t leave this until the last minute— Coachella houses fill up fast! So, find a group of friends that you want to spend the weekend with, and search Airbnb or VRBO.
HOW TO GET THERE:
It’s best to figure out how you’re going to get to the festival well ahead of time. My friends and I always rent a big limo
bus so that all of us can travel together. And while this may sound like an expensive option, it will probably end up saving you money, and certainly a lot of headaches in the end. When the festival lets out, cab lines are insane, and Ubers can double
or triple in price at times of high demand!
BRIGHT IDEA: SET YOURSELF APART
Bring something that will help your group find each other if you get separated, like a pool noodle covered in glow sticks. This may sound silly, but it’s actually really practical. It’s easy to lose your friends in a sea of people, and having something that stands out in a crowd will help keep everyone together.
OTHER FESTIVALS TO CHECK OUT IN SOCAL:
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE
When: May 21-25, 2015 Where: Bradley, CA Information: www.lightninginabottle.org
When: June 13-14 & August 8-9 Where: Palm Springs Information: www.splashhouse.com
When: August 22-23 Where: Los Angeles Information: www.fyffest.com
MADE IN AMERICA
When: TBD Where: Los Angeles Information: www.a.madeinamericafest. com
When: April 24-26, 2015 Where: Indio, CA Information: www.stagecoachfestival.com