Fashion School Tips For Rocking the Festival in Style

Since it kicked off in 1999, the Coachella Festival has become known as much for its fashions as it has for the live music. Even fashion-forward headliners like Madonna and Bjork are upstaged by what the audience typically wears. So if you’re going to Coachella, or any of the spring and summer rock festivals across the country this year, here are some fashion school tips for the coolest looks to go with the hottest music.

Be comfortable. The only thing hotter than the music will be the weather. Temperatures in the desert can top out at 120 degrees, so be prepared. Sporting a hat is not only stylish, but practical. Our fashion college experts recommend one with a brim for shade, like a rumpled fedora or a vintage cowboy hat. Add your own touch to it with a band of fabric that matches the rest of our outfit. Another necessity for the sun is an awesome pair of sunglasses. Classic Ray-Bans or an oversized pair of Karl Lagerfelds are very Coachella.

Be prepared to go from daytime to nightlife. The live music extends into the night, along with the parties. So wear an outfit that can transition from day to evening with ease. For example, a silk scarf wrapped around the head to shield you from the afternoon sun can double as a sarong at an afterparty.

Dress the part. Everyone from moms to businesspeople to doctors go to Coachella, but once they’re at the festival, they can let their hair down and be someone else for a weekend. Who will you be? If you’re the hippie chick, try a crocheted, lacy top with some skinny jeans or cut-off denim shorts. Or grab a top or a dress you haven’t worn in forever and tie-dye it. If you’re the rocker type, go for the grunge, layering a floral dress over a tee shirt, and finished off with a pair of Doc Martens. Another popular persona is the music VIP: you’re there for the parties, so you’re expected to look overdressed. For you, our fashion design experts are gaga over string halter long dresses and one-shouldered minis.

Get bold with prints. With thousands of festival goers packing the Empire Polo Fields, you’ll stand out in big, bold prints. Oversized hounds tooth and plaids, graphic lettering, psychedelic flowers, even the Union Jack, can make you the ultimate in Coachella style. And the fashion bloggers will love you.

Step out in the right footwear. Flip-flops are everywhere at Coachella, but you can do better than that in the style department. A pair of gladiator sandals (with the more straps the better) will keep you feeling cool and looking like a fashion goddess. Flats are practical, as you’ll be on your feet all day, but get them with funky embroidery or beading. And leave the cowboy boots at home. They may look hip, but the heat will have your feet roasting in them.