Fashion: Summer Music Festival Style

Fashion writer Emma Yardley highlights Victoria's summer festivals and what to wear to each one

  • Jun. 27, 2013 10:00 a.m.

Emma Yardley's journey as a style writer has taken her from gumboots and Gore-tex of Island life to the glamour of Toronto's fashion scene

Music may  wash away the dust of everyday life from the soul (thank you, Berthold Auerbach!), but this outfit will protect you from that dust in the first place.

Modern-day music festivals have come a long way from their free-loving/free-for-all Woodstock roots. Sound engineering has gone digital, the variety of onstage acts has grown, and vending carts now serve seaweed-sprinkled hotdogs and locally raised lamb burgers. But there are three things that haven’t changed: it will be hot, it will be dirty, and the fashion will be fabulous … and exceptionally functional.

Inspired by the Moroccan kaftan, the ultimate music-fest outfit begins with a graphic-print maxi dress. In the ’70s, Jerry Hall wore this long-hemmed style while disco dancing on the Studio 54 dance floor; nowadays it’s her daughter, model Georgia May Jagger, who’s donning this drapey dress to her favourite outdoor music concerts.

On top of its groovy history, the maxi dress is super-functional – it not only guards against dirt and scratchy grass, it’s also ideal for swishing around during the crescendo of that invigorating encore. (And kaleidoscopic prints are a trend that keeps going and going and going … you get the point!)

Top off this ankle-grazing dress with a shoulder-grazing leather vest. Soft leather adds an unexpected edge while protecting your core from unpredictable gusts coming up off Juan de Fuca Strait. Since it’s sleeveless, remember to bring some high-SPF sunscreen – don’t worry, you can safely stow it away in a brightly-coloured crossbody bag. Bonus: Bold colours will help your friends find you in the crowd!

While carrying a midsize bag with an over-the-shoulder strap option is a must for comfort, so is wearing sensible shoes. Remember, “sensible” doesn’t have to mean boring; an embellished flat sandal strikes the perfect balance between being in style and being able to walk (rather than hobble) in between soundstages.

With your perfect music festival outfit ready to go, all that’s left to do is order your tickets!

Do you have a styling conundrum? Send your questions to eyardley@gmail.com.

 

Where to Wear It

• Festival Mexicana (July 12-14): From salsa dancing to salsa tasting, this Mexican cultural celebration will make one hot mamacita out of even the most rhythmically challenged festival goers.

• Rock the Shores (July 13-14): City and Colour, Sam Roberts Band, and Matthew Good make sure this rocking music festival has a ton of Canadian content.

• Victoria Ska Fest (July 9-13): With over a dozen dance-inducing acts, this ska music festival is set to be one upbeat party.

• The Phillips Backyard Weekender (July 19-20): The parking lot of this local microbrewery is transformed into a summertime music festival for one weekend only.

 

What to Wear

• Dorothy Perkins Orange Aztec Print Maxi Dress, The Bay, $67.

• Beige Leather Vest, Danier, $269.

Leather-Like Ankle Cuff Sandal, Le Chateau, $49.95

 

 

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