At the risk of being that arsehole who rubs the salt into the wounds of the unfortunate (or the arsehole who considers themselves fortunate over others..) I am going to Glastonbury Festival tomorrow. I mention this because when considering what I would wear I just wanted to find some source of inspiration that didn't require leafing through images of women in floral headbands and fringe tops. Any online retailer becomes cluttered this time of year with 'Festival Chic' features which are incredibly monotonous and actually not at all inspiring. All I wanted to find were some pictures of women looking awesome in a totally unique way. For me dressing for a festival isn't about being aspirational. Instead, here are a few things I consider. A big, obvious one is comfort. You have to veto from your packing any of those items that you regret wearing 'in real life'. A skirt that hitches up every time you walk? A jumper that brings out the worst in your sweat glands? An outfit that makes you feel like a third-wheel when you're completely alone. None of these things are allowed and that is final. Once you have figured out which of your clothes are the party-poopers then you can start deciding which great pieces to take. These are clothes that are like that friend you can always rely on for a good night. Even if everyone else bails the two of you can go out, drink fantastic cocktails and dance the night away as a pair. The clothes you want to take to a festival are the fabric equivalent of that friend. In essence, they make you feel like Carrie Bradshaw but better and more you.
The other thing to consider is this; "if you can't wear it to Glastonbury, then you can't wear it anywhere." This of course applies to all festivals. Those were the words of wisdom my friend Gigi texted to me earlier. One of the most joyous pleasures a festival can bring is the chance to don a wig and wear that outfit that you wanted to wear to the pub last Friday but ended up chickening out of because it was 'too loud'. Gigi's mantra was justification for her persuading me to wear my beautifully vulgar snakeskin-on-snakeskin-on-snakeskin ensemble of hot pink items which all happen to match. Alas the skirt is too sweaty to dance in and therefore fails my 'festival comfort test' but it is indeed an outfit that feels too scary for 'real life' and therefore would otherwise translate really bloody well to a slightly muddy field. If I was to wear it out back in Manchester my friends would cock their heads, a look of confusion spreading across their faces. But wear snakeskin on snakeskin to Glastonbury and suddenly you're wearing your admission ticket to the Fun Party. Snakeskin on snakeskin at a festival says 'I came. And I came to dance.' It says 'We wanna be free. We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. We wanna get loaded. And we wanna have a good time. That's what we're gonna do. We're gonna have a good time."
And so for all of these reasons I will be wearing the ridiculous snakeskin boots that arrived from eBay just in time. There will also be anoraks. There will be the ever-faithful bumbag (hands-free is the only way to dance.) There will be the blue mechanic jumpsuit that will cause me problems in the portaloos but rewards in the longrun. There will be my comfy black stretchy pants with the tasselled hems which somehow simultaneously say 'comfort' and 'glamorous divorcee on Miami Beach' when I wear them with the matching tasselled top with the pineapple and palm pattern. These are all things I already own and that make me happy. No big festival shopping sprees (unless the £8 snakeskin boots count?) and definitely no dictating. It's your festival and you can wear what you want to.