Festival clothes

Festival style authority Susie Wild offers some advice on how to dress sensibly - and sexily - when you're living in a tent.

Two people standing in their wellies

Whatever you wear it will get covered in mud

While you may be tempted to dress in your newest, bestest, sexiest clothes on the off-chance you get to get off with a star, you’ll be crying all the way home when the mud has ruined it all and the only offer you got was from a sludge-covered madman.

What shoes should I wear to a festival?

Prepare for both weather eventualities, they normally crop up and if not you can always leave things in the car boot/tent. Do not take platforms, stilettos, kitten heels – you will look stupid, you’ll probably break an ankle, and you’ll miss most of the festival because it hurts to walk. The emphasis is on comfort.

  • Mud: Wellies/comfy boots, or trainers wrapped in carrier bags.
  • Sunshine: Trainers. Flip flops and uneven tracks are to be avoided – broken toes and limping across the site for three days are no fun at all.

How can I stay dry at a festival?

Several options here:

  • Take out your nasty school waterproofs and try to squeeze into it – not a good look, or colour scheme.
  • Leave it ’til you get there and grab an army poncho from one of the stalls.
  • Adopt the 80s bin-liner look – limited ability to keep you dry.
  • Don’t bother and get hypothermia.
  • Pack a decent light-weight one that fits, works and takes up little room so you can carry it with you at all times.

What sensible things do I need?

  • Head: Hats/headscarves are fairly essential at festivals – they keep the cold out, keep sunstroke away and cover up your nasty, greasy locks.
  • Periods: Girls, if you are on the pill and can safely skip your period while you’re there, do so. Dealing with one, especially a heavy one, at a festival is far from ideal. If not, remember to pack plenty of supplies, more than you need. You can buy tampons there but they are more expensive. Take painkillers if required so you can keep partying instead of lying foetal in the tent (check which painkillers you can mix with alcohol first.) Remember your hygiene ladies – when you are there wash your hands before and after going to the loo and take baby wipes.
  • Hairy Mary: Ladies again – either wax beforehand, take a razor with you, or let it grow. It’s your call.
  • Going home: Keep some clean dry clothes to sleep in/travel home in – wrap them in plastic bags to keep any rain away. It really is worth it.

But seriously now, how do I look good at a festival?

The best way to look good whatever the weather is to pick flexible outfits – wear sarongs with wellies, sunnies and your waterproof poncho. Layers are key. In the end you’ll all look the same anyway – muddy, greasy and sunburnt. Avoid wearing soaking clothes the whole week, unless you like chaffing…


  • Shorts or three-quarter length trousers (gotta love those pockets, plus you can hose the mud off your legs.)
  • T-shirt and hooded top/shirt.
  • At the risk of sounding like yer mum, make sure you have warm clothes for the evenings – it will get cold (yes, that means jumpers.)


  • Face/body paint.
  • Henna tattoos.
  • Odd hairstyles sprayed blue/green/red (although you will look like a twat.)
  • Mad hats with bells on (see above comment.)
  • Sunglasses.


  • Bikini top/bright vest tops (but remember the sunscreen even if it’s cloudy, and cover up over lunchtime – burnt boobs aren’t sexy.)
  • Skirts/sarongs (on their own in the sun or over tights/leggings/ knee-high socks/ all three in mud.)
  • Leg warmers, chunky hippy jumpers, scarves etc. – even if it’s sunny, the nights will be cold.

Extras, if you want to really go for it:

  • Fairy wings (although you won’t look as good as me.)
  • Glitter/face paint. Endless fun decorating each other.
  • Make-up – only take bare essentials if any, plus some cleansing wipes.
  • Hair dye.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Hairbands/clips – Unless you have a skinhead you will need them to get the greasy mess away from your face.


Next Steps



By Susie Wild

Updated on 29-Sep-2015

Photo of wellies by Rachel Docherty