Face the music: A guide to avoiding fashion faux pas at music festivals
Easier than you think
Ah, festival fashion. Quite possibly the most vilified of fashion categories, and rightfully so. We're all for freedom of self-expression and throwing inhibition to the wind, but there's something about mud, music and bud (allegedly) that brings out the unfashionable worst — by which we mean basic and/or bigoted — in folk. Below, we've compiled a list of the five festival fashion tropes we desperately need to move on from; spread the message, and together, we can change the world!
1. CULTURAL APPROPRIATION
Holy cow, where do we begin? This could truly be a whole list on its own. Just don't do it, because:
a) appreciating one aspect of a culture's traditional/ceremonial dress doesn't excuse the routine devaluation of all its other aspects.
b) minority boys and girls are often subject to fetishisation and negative stereotyping. Meanwhile, if you belong to a majority, you're probably not, and that's just unfair.
c) if we lived in an ideal, equal world, we could all share cultural ideas and identities freely. But we don't, and we ought to be sensitive about it; you need to understand that, even if you're a good ally with the best of intentions, inequity is a far bigger issue than you.
d) your right to freedom of expression doesn't make your dismissal of valid concerns any less unpleasant.
2. HEART-SHAPED SUNGLASSES
Unfortunately, because of their prominence on the poster of Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film adaptation of Lolita, heart-shaped sunnies have become pegged to a brand of infantile, "my uncle thinks I'm sexy" girliness that's... very un-2019. Given that the past couple of years have been rightfully defined by female outrage, why not go with literally any other sort, e.g. a confrontational, middle finger-shaped pair (which totally exist, hallelujah)?
3. FLOWER CROWNS
We'd wager that the bulk of individuals who wear these can barely keep their trendy house cacti alive, making their contrived 'fertility god/goddess' vibe inadvertently ironic.
4. THIGH-HIGH BOOTS
Unless you're wading into a mangrove swamp to assess habitat health, you’re trying too hard. Plus, now your thighs and calves are the swamp. Yuck.
5. BAND TEES
There's nothing wrong with band tees themselves, but a surprising number of people seem to enjoy wearing the — usually unofficial — merch of bands they don't even listen to. It's the poser-y dress equivalent of declaring French fluency, then proceeding to garble as incoherently as The Muppets' Swedish Chef or Joey in Friends. We're baffled, just baffled.