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Festival Fashion Finds

Summer is great for many reasons: sun, warmth, longer days. But besides fairer weather and vacation plans, it’s also festival season! Whether you’re into local arts festivals or music festivals featuring your favorite bands, we’ve got the fashion advice you need. What’s just as exciting as counting down the days until festival time is planning the perfect outfit. We talked to Andrea Marcinkus, program coordinator of Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing and Management at The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg for her fashion tips. We also heard from Lauren Franks, LA fashion consultant and personal stylist.

White Sundress

You know how you have to have that perfectly versatile little black dress for formal events? Well, think of the breezy white sundress as the ultimate summer festival staple. Don’t go for anything too fitted or structured; the point is for it to be comfortable and breathable in the summer heat. Go for a natural cotton fabric for ultimate comfort. “Something with plenty of movement and slip-like characteristics,” says Franks. She suggests pairing the dress with an arm full of bracelets and a great pair of ankle boots.

Crop It

Whatever it is, crop it. That’s Franks’ advice and we’re loving the short look of summer tops. Whether it’s a sweater or t-shirt, shorter is better. “Some looks to try that will keep you cool and on-trend are midriff tanks,” says Marcinkus. A flash of skin definitely adds some sex appeal to the casual look. Not into baring your midriff? Go for a light cropped jacket instead, and layer it over a t-shirt when it cools down at night. “Chloe has a great embellished cropped tee in white with silver arrows. Phillip Lim does a great cropped sweater with awesome textures,” says Franks.

Patterned Shorts

Skip last year’s studded shorts and go for patterns this summer. Look for denim shorts with a great multi-colored pattern and pair them with your favorite crop top. “Think florals, stars, stripes, dots or any patchwork combination there of,” says Franks. We like a faded floral look or a bold tribal print.

Pattern Play

Don’t waste your time trying to be too matchy matchy. “Summer music festivals always require an eclectic look, so feel free to experiment with mixing prints and patterns,” says Marcinkus. Mix it up by pairing a bold geometric top with a pair of floral denim shorts. One thing Franks cautions against is neon: “It’s for festival rookies,” she says.

Head Gear

If you can put it on your head, you can wear it to a festival.  “Anything and everything for your head.  You can't go to a festival without a crown of flowers, a floppy vintage cowboy hat, a chained headpiece, or some ears of an animal,” says Franks. These adornments bring to mine the original hippy days of music festivals. If you’re going with the popular crown of flowers option, be sure to plan ahead and go with real flowers.

To a Tee

The perfectly worn-in vintage tee is always a great option for comfortable festival fashion. Franks suggests finding the real deal: a one of a kind find from a flea market or your parents’ attic. You don’t want to show up with the same faux-vintage shirt from the mall as five other guys. “Go for the old 80s rock bands or the always popular vintage Mickey Mouse,” she suggests.

If you want something more modern and relevant, look online for funny graphic tee’s that reference an Internet meme or pop culture trend. “Irony can be fashionable,” says Marcinkus.

Denim Shirts

“Every guy should have one. Not the cowboy kind, but think two-toned or dip-dyed—something with character,” says Franks. Don’t even think about buttoning it up either. This look is best layered over top of your favorite vintage tee.

Board Shorts

Board shorts are another trend just for the guys. “Choose board shorts in all one color: black, gray, tan,” says Franks. The trick is not to be too obvious that you’re wearing a bathing suit—look for something that can pass as shorts. The braver guys will go with the shorts that hit mid-thigh, as this season’s shorts styles are getting shorter and shorter.  Franks suggests a cool Navajo print short with a vintage tee and unbuttoned denim shirt.