how.what.wear. an ode to faux-chella.

Now that we’re well into Spring (for the most part, the weather is resembling summer as well), the whirlwind of the music festival season is easily upon us. Honestly, I would have thought the opening of the season by SXSW would have garnered more attention (Panels! Secret shows!); however, the spotlight quickly shifted from SXSW to Coachella, as easily evidenced by the massive celebrity and brand-sponsored presence in Indio, California.

festival fashion meme 1

sounds about right. / whowhatwear

I don’t want to count how many emails and social media posts have clogged up my inbox and internet feeds, but its difficult for someone like myself — who’s normal attire to a concert is ratty jeans + baggy tshirt + maybe a hoodie + and Chucks — to imagine dressing up for a music fest. Am I comfortable? YES. Able to mosh-the-fuck-up? Hell YES. But for that desert destination, my appearance would easily fade into the background. Or be met with odd glances because clearly I had missed the memo for appropriate Coachella attire. Where mah bootie shorts at?!

As much as I’d like to be completely untouched by the desire to go… I can’t help but daydream about seeing some awesome bands out in the middle of nowhere, and maybe channel my own vision of the festival by incorporating the get-ups seen in the desert into something more appropriate for myself.

[1] kimono-sabe

embroidered kimono jacket / becauseimaddicted

This Eastern-origin cover-up has been having something of a moment over the past few seasons, popping up easily during the more mild months in lieu of the usual blazer or cardigan. But instead of a sheer fabrication, something with more weight comes in handy during the cooler evenings (or even at the freezing office), and a print or embroidery pattern evokes colorful summer nights in the desert. But how to incorporate an obviously less formal piece into your work wardrobe? Let’s try…

collage kimono 1

kimono + straight leg pants

collage kimono 2

flowy top + bold heel

an embroidered or geometric patterned long kimono jacket [belize kimono / wasteland]

slim fit pants in a light wash or faded pattern [cotton pants /]

watercolor flowy tank top [double-layer tank /]

boldly colored heel to dress up the ensemble [vernon / justfab]


[2] florally flowing

emmy rossum floral crown eonline

florals on top / emmy rossum, eonline

Just because its a festival in the desert and everyone is wearing flower crowns doesn’t mean you have to as well. And Emmy Rossum’s look here doesn’t let the crown get all of the glory; the denim and maxi are part of the complete look rather than by-standers. For a weekend version of this, you could…

collage weekend skirt

balanced casual

take a loose column printed maxi skirt [column skirt / freepeople]

add a fitted tee that looks ‘lived in’ [vintage soft tee / oldnavy]

and Chuck the heels for some sneaker action instead [converse one star / target]

Fullscreen capture 4302014 120110 AM.bmp

oh, and try some demure flowers on a ribbon, rather than a full-on crown, woven into your hair [flower chain / urbanoutfitters]


[3] get shifty

nasty gal shift dress

bright dawn dress / nasty gal

Mod is now modern thanks to the sneaking presence of the 60’s universally-flattering silhouette (see: F14 runways, ahem). The shift is simple, and whether you’re busty or hippy, you can dress it up and down in a number of ways. Although it would be easy to say “shift dress + blazer = perfect for work!” that would also be the obvious route. Especially since the shifts seen at Coachella were detailed with fringe hems and pastel coloring, why hide it under a blazer? Instead, take this sometimes-basic dress and add some unexpected elements, like:

collage get shifty

a shift dress in a diluted color, such as the pastel blush here [bright dawn dress / nastygal]

tuxedo vest in off-white [fashion vest in cream / target]

brown woven flats with a menswear flair [leather booties / f21]


[4] prairie queen

If we’re talking a desert festival with a hippie twist, there’s bound to be an abundance of lace, crocheting, and ruffles… sugar, and spice and everything nice. Obviously, one can’t waltz around the city of Houston in a long-ass white maxi dress and expect to be taken seriously. No, really, you’ll be mistaken for a panhandler. But if I can dial down the boho princess and add some refinement, the ‘prairie queen’ look can be adapted for the rest of us normal folks.

lace crochet wwd

crochet + lace / wwd

Re-imagine the flirty dress and boots combination with:

collage prairie queen

a long off-white or white crocheted maxi dress or skirt [far from here maxi / threadsence]

button-down light-washed denim shirt, can be worn over or under [faded denim bf shirt / gap]

neutral bootie, cut-outs to give breathing room [adriane cut-out bootie / shoedazzle]

layer on the long necklaces + thin bangles in antique silver


So now that ‘the’ fashionable festival has come and gone, what can we look forward to seeing at Lolla, Warped Tour, or even Austin City Limits? Perhaps styles we can appreciate and emulate realistically — but with a love of music which remains center stage.

A small deviation from the next DIY Files Project: since I’m headed to Texas Frightmare this weekend, I decided to whip up something I’d been considering making for a few weeks now. It’ll be horror-related, but even the queasiest of folks won’t be able to look away! Ha!

Oh, yeah…night.



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