What to Wear to NoLa Jazz Fest

So you and your girlfriends just bought weekend passes to New Orleans Jazz Fest for a weekend away that’s way cooler than a spa getaway. Instead of indulging in mani/pedis, you’ll be wrecking your favorite beat up high-tops while grooving to Macy Gray and singing along with Elton John. But when you only have room for one small suitcase, what are you supposed to pack for a weekend in a city as wild and vibrant as NoLa? While your favorite pair of jeans and everyday tee certainly work, Jazz Fest is a celebration! Take advantage of the special occasion and use it as an excuse to break out some new summer clothes for the first time in 2015.

If you want to keep cool and comfortable from your morning beignets and coffee to your nights spent bouncing between bands, food trucks, and shopping in the marketplace, you need the perfect outfit to last the whole day through – and maybe even until the wee hours of the morning. Layers are your friend. So are comfortable shoes, sunglasses, and beauty products with SPF. Prepare for hot NoLa weather, fast-moving crowds, and hours upon hours of dancing in these New Orleans Jazz Fest essentials.

1. Indie Lady

If you're most looking forward to hearing Wilco and Ryan Adams at Jazz Fest, you'll love this indie look with a feminine edge. A longer, swingy skirt and cropped tank top will keep you cool, while chunky sandals help to protect your feet in the crowds. Top it off with a wide-brimmed hat that will shield your face from the sun as well as protect you in case of the spur-of-the-moment rainstorms that NoLa is known for. Since you'll be outside all day, you also want to throw a quality sunscreen in your bag that you can reapply every few hours.

2. Retro Cool

If your style is a bit more laid back and tomboy-inspired, pack a pair of short overalls to wear over a loose striped T-shirt. You can never go wrong with classic Chuck Taylor sneakers, and a pair of retro-inspired sunnies ensure that you see all of your favorite acts without squinting in the sun. Finally, stay hydrated with a cute water bottle that doubles as a matching accessory.

3. Breezy Boho

There's nothing more comfortable than an ankle-grazing maxi dress, and this one makes the perfect festival-ready outfit. Choose a maxi in a vintage-style print — or, better yet, hit up one of New Orleans' great vintage stores to find an authentic one while you're there. Pair it with some quality leather booties that will protect your feet from the dust and crowds, then add a cross-body bag that will hold all of your essentials without getting in the way when you're rocking out to The Who.

4. Grunge Queen

If No Doubt is at the top of your must-see list of Jazz Fest bands, pay homage to Gwen's iconic '90s style with a grungy outfit that will make you feel ready for anything. Doc Martens are much sturdier than almost any other shoe choice, so you can be sure that no one steps on your toes in these babies. Add a loose plaid shirtdress and a twisted black turban to keep your bangs out of your eyes, then slip on an effortlessly cool pair of wayfarers to complete the off-duty look.