Dress to the music: Coachella 2012

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By Elana Katz

The spring and summer seasons are full of music and art festivals all over the country, with SXSW, Austin City Limits, Bonnarroo and Lollapalooza to name a few. But most recently, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival has rocked Indio, Calif., for two weekends in a row, packed with the finest in music, art and, most importantly, fashion.

Coachella is a three-day music and arts festival at the Empire Polo Club with five stages where artists continuously play. The event is renowned for its epic and diverse lineups, and this year is no exception with The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg as headliners. Other artists included Florence + the Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Bon Iver, Afrojack and Datsik.

It is the beauty of festivals such as Coachella that allow festival-goers to hear Avicii’s “Levels” and then Beirut’s “Elephant Gun” back to back. One moment the festival is blanketed by thick dubstep beats, and the next Indio is jamming to a classic four-piece band.

The wide variety of music underscores the versatility of festivals, making them worthwhile for music-lovers of all kinds. The value of festivals such as Coachella is obvious, but knowing what to wear simply isn’t. Festival-goers are expected to combat fickle weather, the use of porta-potties, and having to function in overcrowded areas all while looking stylish, which is no easy feat.

Festival fashions sure to have attendees feeling comfortable, yet fashion forward include denim shorts, maxi dresses, hats and ankle boots.

Denim shorts are perfect for a music festival like Coachella and, thanks to Levi’s, have become a fashion staple. Whether they are frayed at the bottom or high-waisted, denim shorts are both trendy and functional for any shape. They also give the wearer flexibility in choosing a top, which can range from a crochet tank to a crop top, since denim shorts can be worn with almost anything. Also, denim is incredibly sturdy, full of handy pockets, and easy to manage in the girl’s room, rendering it ideal for festivals.

Maxi dresses may not be the first style that comes to mind for festivals, but they are surprisingly functional, available in an array of styles and patterns, and allow for the most mobility while walking around the grounds or jamming. A fashion rule to live by: The looser something is, the more comfortable it is, deeming maxi dresses a girl’s best friend.

Hats are a music festival go-to, especially if it is set in a warmer climate. Why not shield yourself from the sun in a fashion forward way? Whichever style you prefer, fedoras are always a solid choice. Pick one up and your skin will thank you later. Don’t forget sunscreen, too!

Boots, particularly those cut at the ankle, are ideal for music festivals. They shield your feet from the unpredictable outdoor environment and are the perfect compliment to jorts or a maxi dress.

Lastly, accessorize. With tribal patterned turbans, heart shaped sunnies, floral headbands, and cross body bags, festival fashion screams “the more the merrier,” so be sure to pile it on.

For more information on festival fashion and happenings, be sure to check out Refinery 29 and Juicy Couture’s Festival Tracker for the latest information.

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