Who doesn’t love a good summer festival? I don’t attend the all-weekend affairs as often as I used to, but I still eagerly watch for the lineup announcements of my favourite fests and – budget permitting – I’m always ready to drop everything and go.
This summer Andrew and I are heading to Truefest alongside a big group of our friends for our low key stag / hen do, so I’m starting to think about what to take and what to wear. This, alongside getting a couple of messages in the last few weeks asking for festival fashion ideas, made me think it was a good time to put together a festival-themed post with a couple of looks and some advice about what to take with you to ensure you get the most out of your weekend!
I like to travel light, and every time I’ve been to a festival I’ve either forgotten something or intentionally left something behind, so over the years I’ve refined my list down to the essentials which strike the perfect balance between things I need and the space I have to take them with me. Here’s what my festival packing looks like:
- Suncream – the first thing in my bag, I never use less than factor 50 on either my face or my bod.
- Poncho – because I guarantee that it 100% will rain if you don’t take one.
- Water bottle – you’ll want to stay hydrated but not pay £££ for bottled festival water, if you take a bottle you can use the fountains (if they have them, most do).
- Hair band – on the days your hair is still clean enough to wear down (if it’s long) then a hairband also comes in handy for keeping other bits tidy in your tent or bag.
- Spare sunnies – just take some spare cheapo ones in case your main pair get lost or broken.
- Baby wipes – a festival ESSENTIAL, especially for the ones that don’t provide showering facilities.
- Junk phone – do not take your good phone to a festival. It will break. Or get stolen. Or get lost.
- Battery pack – if you must take your good phone, then bring a couple of battery chargers otherwise the whole thing is useless!
- Face cream – bringing your whole 10 step morning and evening routine might not be practical, but if you bring your moisturiser you can keep things ticking over.
- Spare pants – self explanatory, really.
- Spare tee – for quick changes in case of spillages, rain, excessive sweat etc.
- Cover up – keep a light cover up with you for when the evenings cool down or to give your shoulders a break from the sun in the blaring midday heat.
- Headphones – ideal for when you want to take some time to chill and listen to music you’ve actually chosen.
- Spare cash – tuck a tenner away into an inside pocket of your bag for emergencies (or an extra pint).
- Disposable camera – see, this is why they still sell these things, because if you’re wise and have left your good phone at home you’ll still want to get some snaps right?
- Torch – because tripping over tent guy ropes sucks.
- Beanie Hat – the days might be warm but it can get so cold in a tent overnight.
- String – some plain old string can fix so much stuff when you’re camping, super handy!
- Toothbrush – don’t forget it!
- Flip flops – it’s best to not go barefoot even in the nicest of communal showering situations.
- Ear plugs – sometimes you have to leave the party early, and if that’s the case, you’ll want to grab some sleep without the noise from those still going strong.
Also, can we talk about how all of that stuff actually fits in this beautiful Bellini Glamour OG backpack* from Spiral? They very kindly sent this over to me to use for my summer festival adventures, and it’s the perfect size (18L, that’s massive!). There are loads of padded inner pockets and dividing sections which keeps everything secure but still easy to find. One of my favourite features – aside from how sparkly it is – is the little media port, which I can feed headphones or any cabling through while keeping the backpack safely closed.
When it comes to festival outfits, for me there are two distinct types: the breezy, pretty, sometimes sparkly ones and the comfy, practical, ‘I’ve not washed properly for days and I’m tired of mud’ ones. I’m going to cover both here, and have put together a couple of looks that are legitimately on my packing list for this years festivals.
For look number one, I’ve taken inspiration from this post and gone for something that is kinda simple but also super versatile for the first day of the festival. A black cami dress is the perfect foundation for a festival look, but if you want to switch things up a bit, you could go for a vest and denim shorts. I love a good duster jacket, and as much as I’m a big fan of the sequin ones, a light one like this is easier to fold away in your bag.
You can’t see much of my legs – but I’d 100% go for a fishnets / Dr. Marten’s combination as it’s an absolute classic. Even on day one with the sun cracking the flags, the ground can start to get a bit muddy, so DM’s are a great alternative to wellies.
Top Festival Outfit Picks
My second look is a slightly softer outfit which is ideal for day two. Any kind of denim at a festival works so well as it’s comfortable as well as hard wearing. I’m not a huge fan of jean shorts on me, so I’ve paired this Damart button through skirt* with a brightly coloured Monki cropped tee. The skirt is a soft denim like material, with a comfortable elasticated waist and pockets – perfect for a long day of music watching – it is a bit on the small side, so I sized up once.
This would be the day / outfit when I’d be inclined to pile on the face glitter so it would liven up the whole look and possibly hide the bags from the night before! If the weather wasn’t so sunny, I’d switch the Birks out for either boots or Vans.
Finally, I’ve put together the comfiest, most relaxed, and easiest to wear look of the three. For the last day of partying, I can’t recommend cycling shorts and a baggy tee enough. I’ve popped my Vans on, but there’s no reason you couldn’t chuck on your wellies or DMs if things have gotten muddy where you are. Whilst this look might not win any fashion awards, it feels like getting away with wearing your pyjamas to socialise!
If you’re planning your own festival adventures this summer, I wish you the best time! I hope this post has helped you refine your packing list a little, and that maybe my festival looks have given you some ideas to build your own festival wardrobe from – remember, you can always add as much sparkle, glitz and glam as you like!