FLANNELS THINKS: A MOMENT FOR THE FESTIVAL OUTFIT

FLANNELS THINKS: A MOMENT FOR THE FESTIVAL OUTFIT

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FLANNELS THINKS:

A MOMENT FOR THE FESTIVAL OUTFIT

From Glastonbury to Coachella, Moss to Miller, we chart the making of festival fashion and the looks that’ll go down in history.

WORDS: HANNAH DUNN

Kate Moss in a shimmering gold mini dress. Sienna Miller – at the height of her boho era – all chunky belts, bangles and Uggs. Alexa Chung, in a waxed Barbour. Beyoncé in denim cut-offs and trilby hat. And Rihanna, doing Rihanna, in an ultra-loud faux fur coat. Google ‘iconic festival outfits’ and you’ll be rewarded with images of crochet, glitter, low-slung belts and fringing. Lots of denim. Lots of wellies. Lots of personality.

Festivals have become synonymous with ultra-fun, out-there outfits that are a much-needed departure from our day-to-day looks. A place where the normal rules of dressing go out the window. Where party dresses are paired with waterproofs and waistcoats with muddy wellies. A place where people feel free to be themselves. It’s bred the ultimate high-low aesthetic, where form and function are of equal importance.

From Glastonbury to Coachella, Moss to Miller, and the eras we’d rather forget, we chart the making of festival fashion and the looks that’ll go down in history…

We have a lot to credit Woodstock for. A one-time phenomenon that has etched itself into our collective minds - and our festival wardrobes. A reaction to the political turmoil in America, it was a moment to break free, to be with like-minded people in a safe space. Long before we were freeing the nipple on Instagram, the Woodstock set were painting their bodies with flowers in the ultimate act of self-expression. The looks? It was 1969. Think denim cut-offs, waistcoats, fringing and headbands and floppy hats. Aka, festival style that still reigns supreme.

During the ‘70s, festivals became a moment of rebellion and reform once again. But the free-loving spirit of the ‘60s gave way to the anti-establishment punks of the ‘70s and the festival attire? It matched. Bare feet were replaced with chunky Dr Martens. Inspired by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s iconic boutique, SEX, leather jackets were decked out with safety pins and metal studs. Both still firm fixtures of today’s festivals.

But the period that will go down in festival-dressing history, that conceived ‘festival dressing’ as the phenomenon we know today? That would be the Noughties. Thanks in no small part to its icons: Sienna Miller and Kate Moss.

In 2004, Sienna Miller stepped onto Worthy Farm in a tiered black mini dress, chunky coin belt and Ugg boots, and changed the festival outfit game forever. She was quickly papped and plastered across magazines, creating a new buzz around festival fashion. It’s a formula she’s stayed true to over the years, with floppy hats, chunky boots, black mins, embellished jackets and billowing dresses revisited on the reg. And, in 2024, boho is making its comeback, with Chloe's creative director Chemena Kamali shaping its return. 

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A year later, Kate Moss brought a whole wardrobe of festival looks that would forever go down in Glastonbury’s history books. Arm in arm with Pete Doherty, she traipsed through mud in a shimmering gold mini dress; tiny hot pants and an impeccably tailored waistcoat; studded jackets and trilby hats – all accompanied by a pair of filthy Hunter wellies. It was a turning point in festival dressing: wellies were no longer the reserve of the country set and Moss was to become synonymous with festival style forever more.

Moss and Miller might get the credit but look back to Woodstock and you see those same pieces - waistcoats, fringing and denim - in full force. It’s a formula that’s been referenced ever since.

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Fast forward a decade and Alexa Chung is front and centre in metallic mini dresses, high-gloss leathers and micro wellies. Her festival stalwart over the coming years? A trusty Barbour jacket. The better weather years have seen her switch her wellies for fresh, white high-tops and her denim cut-offs for a nightie-inspired maxi dresses but the Barbour? It’s remained throughout.

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In more recent times? There’s been the questionable flower crown Coachella era, of course. The out-there looks of Burning Man, where space boots, goggles and Mad Max-inspired face masks are commonplace. And in the wake of covid and a series of cancelled events, festival dressing is trying to find its feet again. In recent years, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber et al chose to shun the out-there ensembles they became renowned for at Coachella in favour of laidback, under-the-radar looks that could have been thrown on to nip to the shop for a pint of milk. The response? Well, it was tepid. Festivals should be fun and free and full of self-expression, the people (on TikTok) cried. It seems our obsession with a celebrity festival look isn’t waning.

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With this in mind. All eyes are on Glastonbury. A festival renowned for its statement-making style, for its aptitude for mud and its attendees’ unwavering desire to not let this get in their way of a good look.

So, what festival outfits should you be wearing in 2024? Fuelled by Taylor Swift's many eras, cowboy boots and glitter are expected to feature heavily. On the opposite end of the spectrum, football mania is taking over the fashion world. Coined by TikToker Brandon Huntly in December 21, blokecore has dominated street style over the past few years, but thanks to a certain football tournament it's set to dominate many of the festivals over the coming months. Think football-inspired shirts, adidas Sambas and sports shorts. And if the weather takes a turn? Just switch your sneakers for chunky boots. 

As for one of festival dressing's biggest stalwarts, the denim shorts? They've been reworked for SS24, now coming in longer, Bermuda-style cut. It's in jorts we trust. 

But the most important part of festival dressing? Having fun. Feeling free. And honestly, not giving a f**k what anyone else thinks.

THE FESTIVAL STYLE EDIT

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