While images of Kate Moss swaying through Glastonbury clad in a pair of Hunter wellingtons and denim shorts have become synonomous with festival attire and staple pieces for every female festival goer, the same can not be said for the male festival fan. Fashion experts advise the female festival goer to drape her hair in floral head-bands, don floaty beach dresses and invest in cool fringed jackets ( whether this advise is wrong or right), while their male counterparts are consistently forgotten about. At this year’s Coachella a large chunk of males in attendance simply chose to go topless altogether and to only wear a pair of shorts, showing off their tattooed torso’s.Maybe this was because of the sweltering sun stinging their skin, but another likely reason is that the majority of men are still quite clueless as to what festival attire consists of. Free-spiritedness and a sense of “anything goes” are of course to be encouraged at festival events but a little nudge in the right direction when it comes to the style stakes is not to be scoffed at. That’s why I have compiled a definitive guide for male festival goers looking to demonstrate their fashion credentials whether you are an Indiependence first-timer or a firm Electric Picnic follower.
The importance of the humble t-shirt is something that can never be overlooked. It is the starting point of any outfit whether you choose a printed logo pattern, a colourful Crew shirt or a white-washed design. High-street stores River Island and Topman supply a range of t-shirts, while the reliable Penneys may be more ideal for those of you who are on a budget but who are still seeking to make an impression. From preppy American sophomore-style t-shirts to Hawaiian palm-tree prints you are sure to avoid the need to go topless! Yet if you still fancy showing off those toned tattooed arms of yours a crisp clean vest top is also a staple piece in any rucksack.
Next to the t-shirt in terms of importance are shorts. Yes, jeans and chinos are of course acceptable to wear to a music festival, but then again they are items of clothing which are acceptable every day of the week. While it may seem like it, festivals aren’t on every day of the week, so why not try something different for the two or three days that are in it? And with Ireland being Ireland it is more of a novelty to wear a pair of shorts than over-alls to a festival. Shorts complement a range of foot wear from wellingtons to Vans and like their partner in crime the t-shirt, they are highly accessible and affordable. Also, like the t-shirt, shorts come in various designs from kooky prints to the more conservative, nautical colours of navy and beige. With practicality being our main aim and the words “weather permitting” constantly plaguing our minds, a darker pair of shorts are a sensible option when trying to conceal rough-and-tumble mud and grass stains.
Having briefly mentioned Vans and wellingtons, these are just a small section of festival footwear available to men out there. Converse are an obvious choice for style and comfort seekers, with the vast majority of males already owning a pair, avoiding the expense of another purchase. Bright trainers and quirky high-tops are perfect for long gig-filled days where you are on your feet or walking from stage to stage, but if you want something fail-safe for trudging through the muddy surroundings, wellingtons are your best option. You don’t have to splurge on a pair of designer Hunter’s or Burburry boots either, like most items of clothing, high-street stores supply versions which are just as stylish and most importantly durable for those unpredictable weather conditions.
Just as women adore picking out a pair of sunglasses or a kitsch kimono to flatter their festival attire, males can never underestimate the significance of accessories in constructing a well put together outfit. A baseball cap is great as it can be worn in a range of styles and is ideal for those not searching for anything too “out-there”, while bandanas and beanies help complete a grunge look. Leather jackets and the addition of extra flannel shirts for wrapping around the waist allow for a layered look, while simple jewellery such as cotton bracelets and necklaces add personality to an ensemble.