Different By Design

What to Wear to Summer Festivals: Styling Summer Festival Outfits

by Kim Izzo


Summer festivals are some of the most memorable events of the season. Who doesn’t love being surrounded by good music, delicious food, and a crowd that’s enjoying it just as much as you are?

Whether you plan to head out of town for a music festival or you’re involved in the local arts festival scene, finding the right summer festival outfit is a must.

If you’re not sure where to get started, we’ll get you up-to-date on the latest summer festival outfit trends. We’ve even put together some outfit ideas, so you can take inspiration to create looks that best suit you.

While trends shouldn’t completely dictate your festival outfit, they can provide a good starting point. Here are some of the 2022 summer festival outfit trends we have our eye on:

CROCHET

Crochet clothing is back in a big way this season. From bucket hats and even swimwear to tops and bags, there’s a crochet piece for everyone’s style. Crochet tops are a festival favorite because they allow for airflow in the summer heat

For the summer festival season, try our Crochet Beach Cover Up. This piece is versatile, whether you find yourself at the beach or more inland. A coverup that can double as a top with a simple bralette or bathing suit underneath can be worn with skinny jeans, shorts, skirts, or even by itself.

BOLD COLORS & PRINTS

Bright colors and prints tend to bring out high energy, which is perfect for a festival. Celebrate the onset of summer and the bold hues that are in this season with a festival outfit that allows you to play with colors you might not usually wear.

Bold colors and prints make the best statement when complemented by neutral hues that create a balanced look without overdoing it. For example, you could layer the Caftan Cover Up over a pair of white jeans. The bright, dynamic print helps create a flattering shape and adds excitement to your ensemble.

CUTOUTS

Cutout dresses and on-shoulder—or asymmetrical shoulder—tops reveal just a little bit of skin for a flirty yet sophisticated look.

The most common cutout is the side slit in dresses or skirts, like our Lace-Up Back Maxi Dress. The slits typically ride up the leg just far enough to give a peek and create some dimension without exposing too much.

Form-fitting dresses with small sections of skin showing near the waist and hips will also work in 2022.

While it’s not necessarily a cutout, one-shoulder tops are in the same realm. For one-shoulder shirts, you have options depending on your style. Some of our favorites are the One-Shoulder Satin Blouse with a beautiful combination of neutral and blue tones or the One-Shoulder Twist Sleeve Tee that hugs your curves.

We’re also seeing one-piece swimsuits and bikini tops that have asymmetrical shoulders. Wear them to the beach or substitute them for a top.

WESTERN

Western-inspired style is big for 2022 summer festivals, particularly with footwear.

You don’t have to go in full-blown cowboy boots, however, if that’s not your thing. Instead, go for the Studded High Heel Shootie, which is an ankle boot with more of an urban style while holding true to the form fit of a western boot. Pair them with your favorite jeans—whether that’s skinny, bootcut, or wide leg—and a suede top.

No western look is quite complete without fringe, though. That doesn’t mean you’re required to look like an 1800s cowboy, though. Instead, you might consider incorporating accessories like the Jet Bead Tassel Earrings or Tassel Obi Belt.

ATHLEISURE

Activewear is tight-fitting clothing normally worn for athletic activities. However, you don’t need to perform vigorous exercise to wear it. Athleticwear can be paired with more comfortable pieces to be worn more casually. Usually, this is referred to as athleisure.

For example, activewear can be layered with other pieces that you’d wear every day, like your favorite pair of street sneakers. You can also dress athleisure styles up with jewelry or different fabrics.

You can even use stretch athleisure tops as a camisole. Activewear bottoms also sometimes provide you with extra coverage over your thigh, so you can wear them over shorter shorts or mini-skirts too.

It’s possible to use swimwear the same way you use tight athleisure clothing. Swimsuit tops and bottoms often work as layers underneath crochet coverups, lightweight long-sleeve blouses, and even jeans.

How to Decide What to Wear to a Summer Festival

It’s always wise to dress in layers when going to a summer festival since the outdoor temperature can change drastically as time passes from day, to evening, to night. However, there’s a balance you need to strike in order to be as comfortable as possible. We recommend making sure each piece of clothing is as lightweight as possible.

Ideally, you’ll want items you can take on and off as you like and tie around your waist or store in a small handbag. That way, you can add and remove clothing as you see fit with minimal effort.

WEATHER

Mid-to-late summer often brings on temperatures of 90 degrees or even higher. If you’re out in the sun all day, chances are you’ll be wearing sunblock. However, you can also add a sheer long sleeve shirt or a sheer coverup. Sheer coverups and lightweight, long sleeve shirts can wick away excess moisture. This can help keep you cool and will provide extra protection from midday sun rays.

You can also roll the sleeves up during the day to provide more airflow and create a more casual look, then roll them down in the evening. Long sleeve shirts are ideal for nighttime when the temperatures drop.

It helps to have a jacket on hand too, and it doesn’t get more iconic than denim, which will match any festival outfit you have. The fitted style of WHBM jean jackets allows you to create a sophisticated and sexy style that will boost your confidence as you dance the night away.

DESTINATION

The festival destination, or site of where the event will occur, also plays a part in what you’d wear. For instance, a beach party might require a little less coverage. In this case, you could simply wear a swimsuit with a coverup.

If you find yourself inland, you’ll likely want to wear something breathable that also covers more skin to protect you from the beaming sun. A romper or shorts and T-shirt are classic, effortless summer festival outfits. You also can’t go wrong with a flowy midi or maxi dress for a music festival.

For a high-end art festival, the attire might be a little bit more upscale. In this case, you might wear a semi-formal midi dress.

Some festivals call for more casual dresses. Keep in mind that local fairs have a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and other rides, which may require something with a little bit less fabric. In this case, you’d probably wear jeans and a fitted top.

Wherever you’re headed, thinking ahead can ensure you’re best prepared to have a good time.

DAY TO NIGHT

You already know that the weather may change, and that’s a good reason to layer your clothes. There are many layering choices that can help you transition from day to night.

For instance, you can keep a pair of loose-fitting pants on hand. Put them in a tote bag if you’re going to be out all day and past sundown. Then, slip them on at night.

Another easy way to transition your summer festival outfit from day to night is to have alternative accessories that you can swap out. Take off the wide-brim hat and bring out the scarf or go from beaded jewelry to modern, simplistic metals.

YOUR OWN STYLE

If you research 2022 fashion trends, you might notice that short tops and short skirts are in. They apparently have replaced the maxi dresses of past festivals. In other words, festival attire as a whole has become less “bohemian.”

However, your personal style matters. You can still rock a midi or maxi dress if that’s what you feel most confident wearing. The same is true about the type of pants you wear. If you look at yourself in the mirror and you like what you see, that’s what matters. Use current fashion as a guideline when coming up with summer festival outfit ideas, but don’t forget yourself in the process.

What to Wear to Summer Festivals: The Essentials

There are a few key pieces that are essential for any summer festival outfit:

  • Sunglasses: Don’t forget your sunglasses and hat to shade you from the sun. Another way to protect you from sun rays includes wearing scarves and wraps.
  • The right shoes: For walking on the beach, make sure you have flat sandals like our Studded Slide. You may also need a different shoe for your nights out, such as a wedged heel or Studded Espadrille.
  • A jacket: Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of the elements, bring a jacket. Long-sleeve layers also work.

What Not to Wear to Summer Festivals

There’s no wrong or right way to enjoy summer festivals, but if you want to have the best time possible, here are some summer festival clothing don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Avoid wearing new shoes. Breaking in new shoes at a festival could be a disaster if you’re prone to blisters.
  • Find a happy medium between comfort and style. You may want to wear something that hugs your figure just right, but tight clothing can also be constricting and hot. You want to wear something you’ll be comfortable in for a long period of time.
  • If you bring a bag with you on the festival grounds, beware of the risk of theft or mugging. You may want to keep your handbags, totes, and belt bags back at your room or at home and only bring what you need.

Get Festival Ready with WHBM

Inspired to find the best festival summer outfits? Browse the latest pieces from our summer collection and our summer lookbook to see how we pair some of these elements together to create styles you’ll be excited to wear all season long.

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