We’ve previously shared our guides to the best summer music festivals of 2021, including classical and opera; pop and hip hop; and chamber music. Now that you’ve got your tickets, what are you going to wear to stand out in the crowd? Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has curated a list of 7 chic outfits to wear to all of the best summer music festivals in 2021, including dresses, boots, sunglasses and more.
the best, most chic outfits to wear to summer music festivals in 2021
After last year’s cancellations, we don’t want to get our hopes up, but it really does look like it’s going to be a good summer. The sun is out, the masks are off, and we can’t wait to make up for lost time. If you remember, we brought you several pieces about the glorious range of music festivals that are happening – at last! – over the next few months. From coast to coast, and all over the world, audience members can finally look forward to seeing their favorite artists live and in person once more. There’s only one problem – figuring out what to wear.
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After a year inside, we can hardly remember how to dress to see friends or go to the office. What about for a big event? And of course, festivals have different requirements than a simple evening out – your outfit needs to be able to take you from morning to evening, staying both cute and comfortable the whole time. And of course, no two festivals are exactly the same. While shorts and crop tops may be the all-time uniform for your average popular music event, a classical music festival is going to have a different dress code.
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With all this in mind, here are seven outfits that we suggest for suiting up at this summer’s biggest events. We like to call them “music festival chic.” But at the end of the day, remember: what matters most is wearing something that you’ll be able to feel good and have fun in, whatever that may be.
7 chic outfits to wear to the best summer music festivals of 2021
1. Crop Top, Denim Shorts, and Sneakers
This has always been the classic music festival look and that hasn’t changed in 2021. If you’re attending a festival like Coachella or Gov Ball, shorts, sneakers and a crop top will help you fit right in. You do not need to stretch too far outside your comfort zone. Put on the Lana Cotton Bra ($195) from A.L.C., and then pair it with their recommendation – and ours – a pair of high-waisted shorts. We love Levi’s Original Women’s Shorts ($69.50), which have just enough high rise, and a vintage-inspired fit.
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And of course, the single most important part of any festival outfit: comfortable shoes. You’re going to be standing all day long, and comfort is more important than style – although there’s no reason you can’t multitask. Nike’s Spring Festival Sneakers ($111) were made for this moment, and will help you have the best weekend of your life. Put the essentials in Vans’ Got This Mini Backpack ($28) and you’ll be ready to dance.
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2. Take Two
Here’s a second option, for completing your casual festival look. The Arched Knit Cut-Out Bra Top ($188). As Cosmopolitan says, cut outs are a style to watch for this summer, and with tops like this one you’ll look like you did your homework.
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Feel free to add some fun festival accessories, like this Re-Nylon Bucket Hat ($495) from Prada. Festivals keep you out in the sun for many hours, and hats like this one will offer you some protection.
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Another trend to watch for – glitter. And who’s surprised? After a year inside, we all want to shine. Glitter and sequins make for the perfect look, because they’ll help you stand out – the secret goal of every festival outfit. As far as sequins are concerned, we love the Molly Top ($250), which comes in three colors and will set you apart from the crowd.
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You can pair it with shorts or a skirt of your choice. And if you’re going to go with glitter, you may as well commit to the vision. Finish your outfit with these Keds X Kate Spade Triple Glitter Sneakers ($90), and maybe even Skinnydip’s Ana Glitter Bum Bag (£7.90). You will sparkle from head to toe.
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4. Be Brave
If you’re looking for more casual Coachella inspiration, the Festival Dresses section of ASOS has a few options that will help you set the right mood. Their Metallic T-Shirt Dress ($18) would be fun to pair with anything we suggested.
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Or if you’re feeling bold, you could even try out their Mesh Dress ($24), which is about as on-trend for 2021 as it gets. Ultimately, music festival chic is all about self-expression. How can you both look like yourself, and like the person you wish you were, at the same time? These outfits will help you find that happy medium.
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5. Leather, Boots, and Band Tee
What if you’re attending a concert with a little more edge? Consider these high-waisted leather shorts ($537) from Vince, which you can pair with an oversize band t-shirt for the group you’re seeing.
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Maybe, rather than sneakers, you’d like to wear Doc Martens Jadon Smooth Leather Platform Boots ($180), which will keep you comfortable as you mosh and move around. And don’t forget to throw your phone and wallet in this Belt Bag ($108) from Coach, which will keep your hands free all night.
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6. Midi Dress and Sneakers
If you’re looking for a look that’s a bit more ethereal – or let’s say, you’re going to a more ethereal kind of concert – you might think about wearing a dress. Long, flowy skirts radiate a different energy than shorts and a t-shirt, and that might be what you’re looking for. If you pre-order this Plaid Belle Midi Dress ($395), it will arrive in time for all July, August, and September festivals, and these customChuck Taylor All Stars ($80) will keep you casual and comfortable.
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7. Something Fancy
Of course, while the iconic sneakers-and-crop-top look may be appropriate for a pop festival, it’s not going to work if you’re attending a Classical Music Festival, or an Opera Festival. You’re going to need something a little bit more special. Though Glyndebourne, one of the most prestigious opera festivals in the world, does not require formal dress, they do encourage it – and so do we! Part of the fun of these festivals is dressing the part. It is no different for Opera than it is for Rock. The Gina Smocked Flare Dress ($695) is available for pre-order, and will give you a look that is summery and full of flair. You can pair it with the shoes of your choice, and maybe add a shawl for warmth. After a year of having nowhere to go, we can’t wait for the opportunity to dress as our best selves.
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what to wear to the best summer music festivals of 2021
From dresses and boots to hats and sunglasses, that’s our take on the best chic outfits to wear to the top summer music festivals in 2021. Which ones will we see you at this summer, dear reader? And what are you gonna wear?
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Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.