It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas. Festival season!

The days are getting longer, temperatures are (finally) getting warmer, and “songs of the summer” are being released. Coachella kicks off the season this weekend, and after that it is week after week, month after month of music festivals across the globe. Unfortunately Haute Talk can’t make it to Coachella this year but we are hitting up our fair share of festivals (Gov Ball and Glastonbury anyone?) so we are already trying to think about what to pack. Of course packing lists vary from festival to festival, but there are some basics you want to make sure you have no matter where you are. It took us some trial and error to figure out what to bring and what not to bring, and we would like to pass forth that knowledge unto you, young grasshoppers.  So here are our festival fashion packing do’s and don’ts.



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(image via chilli beans)

Bring your sunglasses. Bring two pairs. Leave the designer sunglasses you got for your birthday at home though. You don’t want to run the risk of them breaking, or someone stealing them (and you know if you bring them, this will no doubt happen.) We understand not wanting to sacrifice fashion though, and sometimes those cheap $10 ones don’t offer UVA and UVB protection (you do check that kind of thing, right? Of course you do) and you could hurt your eyes spending all that time in the sun. Chilli Beans has killer shades that won’t break the bank, and will keep up your fashion standards.


While it does depend on where you are, for the most part you can count on it being hot during the day and chilly (or chillier) at night at your festival. The heat of the desert may seem unbearable at Coachella during the day, but once that sun goes down? It can get cold. Governors Ball in New York is at the beginning of June so sure it get warm during the day, but once that breeze kicks up on Randall’s Island and the sun goes down? Chilly. Leggings are great because you can roll them up and throw them in your bag (if you are at a festival where you can’t just run back to your tent in between sets) without taking up too much space or adding too much weight. They are easy to slip on under that cute sundress or skirt, and hey, they even look fine under a pair of high waisted shorts. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

Water proof outer layer


(image via target)

You probably can’t bring an umbrella to the festival with you, but even if you could you shouldn’t. They are a pain to carry, you’ll annoy everyone around you, and you’ll probably hit someone in the face. Rain jackets are the way to go. You can get them for fairly cheap (and cute ones too) at Target and similar stores. You know what also works as a good rain jacket substitute? A faux leather jacket. Say it with us: pleather is better cause you can wear it in the rain. Here is another tip: make sure it has a hood. Going some place where you know for a fact it won’t rain? Bring something anyway. Rain jackets/shells are usually pretty good at blocking out wind as well. Throw it over a hoodie and you will be able to rock out all night in any weather.

Extra Socks

There is a pretty good chance that it might rain while you are enjoying your favorite band. Hopefully if you are going to a festival in England (or another place where it tends to rain a lot, like maybe Washington State for Sasquatch) then you brought rain boots. Sometimes however, rain can be unexpected. And what is worse than soaking wet feet? Soaking wet socks and nothing to change in to. Crawling back to your tent with freezing feet will make the already-hard-to-come-by sleep even harder to come by. Keep an extra pair rolled up in the bottom of your bag, wrapped in a plastic bag.

Toilet Paper

And not just a little bit. I am talking an entire roll. Every person in your group should bring a roll. Don’t worry, it flattens out pretty well at the bottom of your pack. If you are camping/staying outside  of where the music is, pull off a generous amount and shove it in your backpack before you head in through the gates. Believe me, midday on day 3 you will be happy you don’t have to drip dry. And I’m not saying you can sell it for $0.25 a square to people who forgot, but I’m also not saying you can’t.

Dry Shampoo


(image via)

We love dry shampoo even when it isn’t festival season. Like, seriously love it. If you only bring one thing from this list, make sure it is dry shampoo. One of the worst things is feeling grimey and disgusting. However, that is festival life. A quick spray of dry shampoo (the scented ones are even better) will help you feel a little more human on day 3.

Baby Wipes

AKA the festival shower. Unless you spend a bajillion dollars for an air conditioned cabana with indoor plumbing (I don’t think these exist) or you are attending a festival that doesn’t require you camp/you choose not to camp, then finding a place to wash your bod is going to be hard to come by. Sometimes there are spigots but the lines can be super long, and you could always fill a water bottle and dump it on yourself, but baby wipes are the way to go. Ask for a minute to yourself in the tent, wipe down, put on the same clothes from yesterday, and go forth and rock. Everyone else is doing it so it isn’t that gross, we promise.


Your favorite shoes

I don’t care if they are perfect. I don’t care how cute they are. Don’t bring them. Bring your old beat up Chucks or some knock off Keds from Wal-Mart. Festival grounds get dusty and muddy, you’ll spill beer on your shoes, other people will spill beer on your shoes, your feet will get stepped on etc. Plus you do tons of walking. Seriously, buy a neutral pair of cheap Keds knock offs the week before, and chuck them as soon as you get home. No one sees your feet when you’re in the crowd anyway. Also do you really want to wear those adorable boots you just bought from Top Shop in a porta-potty? No. We didn’t think so.



(photo via nastygal)

Rompers are adorable and we love them and wish we could live in them all summer long. And we basically do. But have you ever really needed to pee while wearing a romper? Now try multiplying that times 10 and then adding a massive line, and then adding the fact that you have to strip basically naked in a porta-potty that is out of toilet paper. Yeah, you’re rethinking bringing that romper now, aren’t you? Smart move.

Your entire makeup regime

It takes up space, it is heavy, and you’ll sweat it all off anyway. Stick to the basics. The travel size of your favorite water proof mascara, eyeliner if you need it, and a moisturizer with a sunscreen in it. Can’t live without lip color? Neither can we. Go for a tinted lip balm, you’re probably not drinking enough water anyway and your lips will get chapped.

Too many options

Keep it light. Yes, you want options and yes you need to layer but this isn’t spring break, you don’t need your whole wardrobe. Bringing black helps. Dirt won’t show up as well, you can’t see sweat and come on, black always looks glamorous. Dresses are easier than tops/skirts combos. And you really only need one pair of jeans, and they are usually just for emergencies. Also, there are so many people no one will notice if you are an outfit repeater, Lizzie McGuire.

What are you packing for festival season?

feature photo via thinkstock






AKA The Girl In The Red Sunglasses, Erin is a recent graduate from Colorado State University's journalism program. She is originally from Colorado and now lives in New York but desperately wants to live in London. She has a tendency to over caffeinate. She loves to travel, but prefers there to be concerts involved. She can also be wildly hilarious in 140 characters or less.