If your usual style isn't bold and avant garde, then there could be some tricky emotions involved when trying to figure out what to wear to a music festival. This is the time when the feather crowns are put on heads, metallic henna tattoos cover arms, hair gets dip dyed lavender and gray, and all sorts of fringe and grunge get coaxed out of the closet. It's an opportunity to let your sartorial game run wild, awarding tipped down sunglasses and street style photos to the winners among us.
It's a playful time for sure, but what happens when you're the type to favor jeans and grays on a normal week day? Putting on a giant floral crown and a Goldie Hawn-like dress can feel a tad silly. It's so outside of your regular comfort zone that you can practically feel the stress sweats begin just by opening your front door. What will people think? Can you really sit on a bus with a bouquet of flowers on your head? But if you don't, well, then you will feel just as out of place in your t-shirt at the concert grounds.
It's always more fun to partake than chicken out, so once festival season rolls by, the floppy hats and fringe kimonos come out even for us shiest of dressers. However, by taking such a leap outside of your comfort zone you might find yourself entering a spiral of emotional stages over being dressed for a festival. Repeat after me: Breathe. Chin up. You look great.
1. Am I Really Doing This?
There you are, standing in your apartment foyer, pacing back and forth between the mailboxes and the door. Your '70s style peasant dress is flirting with your ankles as you try not to wring your hands to keep the fake tattoos in place. Are you really going to do this? Are you really going to step out onto Main Street looking like you just tumbled out of Woodstock? Taking a deep breath and wishing you had the sense to take a shot for liquid courage at 11 a.m., you head out the door.
2. Maybe I Should Take Off The Hat? No, Wait...
You're standing by the bus stop, convinced every single man, woman, and child is staring at you. You're pretty sure that second grader knows you're a poser. She kind of smirked in a perfect Regina George way. Feeling the anxiety take over, you snatch the floppy hat off your head and feel semi relieved. And then feel immediately guilty. What do you care what a grade schooler thinks? The hat makes the outfit, you're putting it back on.
Then you immediately take it off again. When is this damned bus coming?
3. Hi, Am I The Only One Going To This Festival?
Oh... everyone on this bus is either going to work, to the grocery store, or somewhere definitely not wristband-tickets related. Everyone is literally wearing jeans. And there you are, looking like you might go burning a bra if someone looks at you for a moment too long. God.
You think you might be offending someone with your puffy sleeves, so you awkwardly pat them down to deflate them a bit, and then immediately stop, feeling your cheeks prick. You have a wild moment when you think you might have gotten the date wrong and are the only one in the city dressed like this.
4. Fake It Till You Make It
You get off the bus and still have to walk a few blocks to the venue. Feeling slightly like you're enduring a walk-of-shame, you decide not to let anyone know how uncomfortable you are. Squaring your shoulders and raising your nose, you hold onto the hat on your head as the wind does its best to wrestle it away and mortify you further. Whatever, you're almost there. You got this.
5. Minor Relief
About two blocks from the park, you begin to notice tropical prints and snap-backs, fanny packs, and rompers. People with braids and mirrored sunnies are beginning to weave into the crowd of normally dressed people, making you feel a little bit more at ease as a sea of fringe and crop tops begins to form. Your people. You've found them. You breathe a sigh of relief.
6. More Than Minor Jealousy
As you enter past the gates and make for the first beer stall, you begin to catch yourself blatantly checking girls out. Did you see her dress? How amazing is her mermaid hair? Where did she get that crop top and how do you invite it into your life? As the line slowly inches closer to the cashier, you begin to wish you dressed even... louder. Maybe you should have put a henna tattoo on your face, who knows?
7. Festival Bliss
One wine pouch in and two concerts down and you're feeling like you've never been happier. You love what you're wearing and you've stopped comparing yourself because 1. It's hotter than the second level of hell and you can't be bothered, and 2. You're having way too much fun to care.
Now go play in the mud, buy an over priced ice cream cone, and enjoy the 10 other lineups you're planning to see!
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