Last festival season, the uniform was maxi dress, denim vest, floppy hat, and sandals. In other words, a straight-up homage to the original women of Woodstock. This summer, outdoor concertgoers are still giving a nod and a wink to the flower children of yesteryear, but they’re doing it with some added urban edge and personal style.
“I feel like last year it was a little bit more cookie cutter, a little bit more typical,” says Ishra Sharif, the personal shopping manager for Topshop and Topman in the Bay downtown, talking to the Straight in time for next weekend’s Squamish Valley Music Festival. “I feel like people are being a lot more daring now. They’re really being inspired by what they’re seeing out there on Instagram and blogs, and they aren’t afraid to try new things.”
So instead of the full-coverage maxi dresses, which can be somewhat cumbersome on the festival grounds, look for a lot of airier, ultra-sheer maxi skirts with micro mini slips underneath—trend of the summer, no? A great example of this cheeky, peekaboo layering craze is Topshop’s completely transparent, floor-length digital- floral skirt ($88) with sexy slits on either side—which aren’t just for show, mind you. As Sharif points out, these vertical cuts are quite functional too: they’ll free up your stride when you’re hauling ass across a giant field to see your favourite band hit the main stage.
In terms of tops, Sharif suggests pairing these skirts with something cropped. Topshop’s white and chambray Contrast Floral Button Bralet is a super-sweet choice ($36)—very Lana Del Rey Americana.
As for cover-ups, according to Sharif, the denim vest still reigns supreme.
“If you don’t have one already, you definitely want to grab one,” she suggests. “You’re not going to wear it just for music festivals. You’re going to throw it on time and time again. So it’s a great investment piece to have.”
That said, let’s face it: vests may look badass, but when it comes to covering up sunburned shoulders or cold arms, they’re pretty much useless. So a good alternative is a kimono cardigan—they’re chic, they’re comfortable, and they can scrunch up super small in your backpack. Topshop’s got a great selection, including a silky eggshell beauty with some Aztec embroidered detailing on it ($110). But you may want to go for a darker tie-dye or an oriental floral print—what with all the dust and food-cart fare, it’s hard to keep your whites white at festivals.
If you’re feeling pretty confident about your gams, another look that’s back with a vengeance is jean cutoffs—not easy to pull off, true. But, hey, if you can rock high-waisted acid-wash denim shorts, more power to you!
A somewhat more foolproof look that’s huge this festival season is the always forgiving, always feminine knee-length sundress—you just can’t go wrong.
“They’re so easy,” says Sharif, “and I just feel like you can have so much fun with them.”
One of her top picks is a peachy little number that was inspired by Kate Bosworth. With crotchet side detailing and adjustable straps, this crepe cutie is a total standout ($66). For an edgier version of this look, there’s the floral Cutout Apex Sundress ($70)—this one’s got Rihanna written all over it.
As for headgear, straw fedoras are still going strong. But if you want to inject some street style into your look, Sharif suggests juxtaposing your countrified sundress with a homie-style baseball cap.
“I think it’s a rad look to be wearing,” says Sharif. “It’s fun. It’s young. It’s totally in right now. You don’t have to worry about your hair, and if it’s raining, you’re covered.”
Ah, yes, precipitation—be gone, you festival-fashion foe!