This weekend is going to be an EPIC one for me – it’s Lollapalooza weekend in Chicago! Every year one of my best friends (and his lovely girlfriend) comes to stay with us, and we indulge in three days of music festival fun.  Lollapalooza is big, fun, diverse, and an event to be experienced. I am a hippie at heart who loves live music and outdoor festivities. This is my SEASON. It isn’t for everyone but it’s definitely for me!


Around this time of year I notice many blogs and websites posting festival fashion guides, and I can always tell which are actually written by folks who go to these things and which aren’t. More often than not it’s about a slideshow of overpriced boho chic fashion items, rather than items that are actually helpful and necessary. So as I prepare for another awesome live music experience, allow me to share my personal tips on the fashion, beauty, and general life necessities for you if you’re going to an outdoor musical experience like Lolla, or Coachella, or Reading, Rock the Bells or Bonnaroo. Each concert and festival might have different rules, so it’s wisest to visit your concert’s website to see what their particular rules and regulations might allow (for example, thanks to the Lollapalooza FAQ I know that my beautiful metal water bottle won’t be acceptable – only clear plastic is allowed). Check your FAQ first, and go prepared!

Anyway! My top 5 list of beauty and fashion necessities are as follows:

1. Sun protection.

Don’t mess around with that summer sun! The temperatures will be soaring and the sun will be beating down on you for HOURS. Festivals are the time to overdo it on the sunscreen. As Dr. Brooke Jackson let me know – skin cancer and sun damage do not discriminate. Slather on that broad spectrum protection and don’t be afraid to go for a high SPF. Lately I’ve been using and loving the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen in SPF 50. It smells good and has a light, silky application that feels more like lotion than sunscreen – it’ll probably come with me in the bag for Lollapalooza. I also love a good spray on sunscreen and the Banana Boat sport spray sunscreens all work really well. However spray sunscreens in cans don’t always travel well, as I recently learned thanks to a spill on my brand new white jeggings during Essence Fest. Word to the wise.

For face sun protection lately I’ve been loving the trend of makeup primers with sun protection, and tinted moisturizers with sun protection. Some of my latest favorites? Clarins Day Screen Tint, Nuance by Salma Hayek makes an amazing SPF 20 makeup primer, and  LaRoche-Posay Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Primer with Sunscreen is INCREDIBLE. Just a dab makes your makeup last and protects you from the sun. It’s anti-aging sun protecting makeup improving greatness in a tube.

2. Sunglasses.

Everyone’s got their own favorite brand – I’ve been rocking a stunning pair of Lumete sunglasses recently, but sometimes I switch it up for this $5 pair I scored on – honestly, for a music festival experience you want to go, be free, and not be afraid of losing or breaking your fanciest clothing items. If you’ve got a fly pair of cheap sunglasses this is the time to bust them out.


I can’t overstress how important it is to STAY HYDRATED at an outdoor music festival. Every concert I go to, there’s that one person who has to be carried out on a stretcher or who’s throwing up helplessly because they drank too much alcohol, got too much sun, and got dehydrated to the point of needing medical attention. DON’T LET THAT BE YOU. Most concerts will allow you to bring a water bottle in, or a Camelbak pack. Bring a container for water, and drink as much as you can. Be smart and treat your body right if you want to have fun all day and into the night.

4. Closed toe shoes

Here’s where I take issue with many of the fest guides I’ve been reading – there’s a whole lot of bad festival fashion advice going around. Some people might try to tell you to rock cute sandals or flip flops to a concert like Lollapalooza. I’m telling you DON’T DO THAT. Because in a crowd like THIS, you’ll want your toes to be as protected as possible.


Trust me, you’ll be happy you wore high top sneakers instead of cute flats that will kill your feet later, or flip flops that will wind up breaking. And when you see people walking around barefoot and notice abandoned flip flops around the fest grounds, you’ll be proud of your wisdom and foresight.

And no, don’t rock those cute wedge sneakers. Festival grounds can be rough and tumble places. They aren’t places for cute heels or wedges of any height. Last year, I saw a girl with a twisted ankle because she wore these cute platform sandals. Bad idea, hon.

5. Makeup that LASTS.

When it comes to festival makeup, you want maximum staying power. Think lip stain, eyeshadow primer, foundation primer, and bold eyeliner. There are brands that truly specialize in makeup that will stay put no matter what, and both Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever are about that LIFE. For further tips and tricks, check out my interview with New Orleans based MUA Maria Barreda – she knows how to make makeup last all day long and broke it down for me in this post!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Festival Fashion

What are my festival fashion do’s and don’ts? You want to rock comfortable, easy, accommodating clothing – items you can dance in and be happy to wear all day and all night. It may be really really hot. It may get windy, depending on your festival’s weather. It might even rain – and that’s never fun but it happens and diehard concert goers know the importance of being prepared for any eventuality. You want to be cute, but you also need to be practical. Here are my fest fashion do’s and don’ts.

Don’t wear a romper if you’re a frequent bathroom-goer. Trust me, you want to get in and out of a portapotty as quickly and easily as possible.

Don’t wear a super long maxi skirt or dress, they’ll get dirty and possibly stepped on and you’ll be mad but have nobody to blame but yourself. Speaking from experience. Also, see previous tip on portapotties. They are disgusting. Trust. You don’t want your pretty maxi skirt in there.

Don’t wear shapewear or tight, restrictive, uncomfortable clothing.

Do wear something breathable, light, comfy and FUN. The better to boogie with!

Don’t wear heels, wedges, or shoes that suck to walk or stand in for long periods

Do go bold, bright, unusual. Rocker chic FTW!

Do wear a color that won’t sweatstain easily. Dark sweaty armpit stains on your shirt are the WORST.

Do express yourself through what you wear

DO bring waterproof bags for your cell phone and camera if need be

Do bring a poncho that fits in your pocket. Hopefully you won’t need it, but you might

Do bring Band Aids, hand sanitizer, and Neosporin. Blisters and random injuries aren’t fun but they are commonplace.

DO prepare to have an AMAZING TIME and see your favorite musicians, LIVE!


I can’t WAIT!! Lollapalooza here I come!

Are you going to Lollapalooza? Are you a music fest fan like I am? Did I miss any tips? LMK! I’ll be back with your post-Lolla report next week, bellas and fellas! Can’t wait to share my reviews and what I wore with you!

Happy weekend!


Jasmine says:
August 2, 2012, 3:18 pm
Thank you! After reading the umpteenth festival fashion guide that suggested wearing flat sandals or booties with 3" heels, I'd given up on decent advice until I read your post. I'm going to look like a dork wearing pink trekkers from Land's End on my feet but at least I will be dancing.
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August 4, 2012, 5:14 am
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pets says:
August 4, 2012, 10:57 am
Great post - could use this for our Panorama fans :) Have a great time!
Vi.Be says:
August 6, 2012, 8:36 pm
That was some great advice. I hope you having/had fun.
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