Why your festival fashion should be all about pandemic revenge dressing

Written by Naomi May

All products on this page have been selected by the editorial team, however Stylist may make commission on some products purchased through affiliate links in this article

From teeny tiny dresses to big and bold boots, festival fashion is a chance to finally have some fun with getting dressed.

If there’s any time of year when you can really embrace the sartorial equivalent of jazz hands for a three-day duration with absolutely no shame, it’s during festival season.

When the sun beams down (let’s hope she keeps her hat on), you’re dancing in a field with your favourite humans and you have not a care in the world, is precisely the moment to embrace the wackiest and most wonderful of wares.

It’s no surprise that as we enter the lead-up to some of the UK’s most fun-loving festivals (All Points East, Wireless and Isle of Wight festival, I’m looking at you), searches for fashion-forward festival dressing has spiked. According to Klarna, searches for festival wear have unsurprisingly spiked by 317% ahead of the bank holiday weekend, with wellies, glitter and fancy dress among the most coveted items.

The key to dressing for a festival is to remember that there are no rules: there’s no such thing as too much, only not enough. In fact, the term used to encompass all of the fashion fun to be had as we emerge from our locked down cocoons is pandemic revenge dressing. Which, in short, means throwing caution to the wind, and dressing in joy-inducing pieces that make you feel as fun-loving and care-free as your outfit. That vintage 80s dress you’ve been holding onto for a fancy dress party? Whip it out of retirement. Those wellies you’ve had sitting in the back of your wardrobe for aeons of time? It’s time to dust them off once and for all. 

If, however, you’re still in a flurry over the festival wear to invest in now and wear forevermore, then we’ve rounded up some of the most enduringly fun, fashion-forward and fantastic pieces to buy now. Happy pandemic revenge dressing, one and all.

  • Shop Fluffy Lady Garden flares

    Shop Fluffy Lady Garden flares

    Nothing says festival quite like crochet; but these flares are proof of how right it can be. Pair with a ribbed tank top for daytime or, if you’re really feeling it, opt for the same crocheted long-sleeved top, too.

    Shop Shop Fluffy Lady Garden flares, £110


  • Ganni leopard-print cross-body bag

    Ganni leopard-print cross-body bag

    Take hands-free to a whole new level with Ganni’s cult leopard bag. Simply pop in your essentials, throw it over your shoulder and dance like nobody’s watching.

    Shop Ganni leopard-print cross-body bag at Matches Fashion, £95


  • Kai Collective Irun double sided scarf

    Kai Collective Irun double sided scarf

    Festivals are the one and only place where it pays to be as unrestricted by your clothes as possible; meaning wearing less of them, of course. Kai Collective’s scarf top is a sure-fire festival fashion win.

    Shop Kai Collective Irun double sided scarf, from £40


  • A Star Is Born embellished fringe mini dress

    A Star Is Born embellished fringe mini dress

    Sequins! Fringing! Mesh! It’s almost as though this dress was made precisely to be worn at a festival…

    Shop A Star Is Born embellished fringe mini dress at Asos, £225


  • Damson Madder organic cotton tie-dye shirt

    Damson Madder organic cotton tie-dye shirt

    If teeny tiny dresses aren’t your bag, then look to earth-first brand Damson Madder, whose tie-dye co-ords are the epitome of easy summer styling. Pair its tie-dye shirt with its matching shorts, and there you have one brilliant festival get-up.

    Shop Damson Madder organic cotton tie-dye shirt, £30


  • Arket Tretorn Terräng rubber boots

    Arket Tretorn Terräng rubber boots

    Searches for wellies are up 80% in the last week, according to Klarna, so in case you’re in the market for a new pair, you could do far worse than bagging a pair of Arket’s mini rain boots. 

    Shop Arket Tretorn Terräng rubber boots, £80


  • Blunt Metro umbrella

    Blunt Metro umbrella

    A wise word for those who are camping at festivals: take an umbrella. The moody English weather is simply not your friend, particularly not when it comes to raining on your feathery fashions and your glitter-adorned face.

    Shop Blunt Metro umbrella, £70


  • Nasty Gal dalmatian sequin cami dress

    Nasty Gal dalmatian sequin cami dress

    Festival-appropriate sequinned animal-print goodness is delivered in droves thanks to this mini, which is perfect for dancing all day.

    Shop Nasty Gal dalmatian sequin cami dress, £42


  • A Better Feeling Roscos sunglasses

    A Better Feeling Roscos sunglasses

    To hide tired peepers, invest in a pair of statement sunnies which will belie the lack of sleep beneath them.  

    Shop A Better Feeling Roscos sunglasses at Selfridges, £165


  • Maiyo Eva swimsuit

    Maiyo Eva swimsuit

    Maiyo’s handmade crochet swimsuits are ingenious: stylish swimwear for those who fancy a dip, but can also double as a bodysuit under shorts, for those who want a 2-in-1.

    Shop Maiyo Eva swimsuit, £235


  • Dr. Martens Jadon boots

    Dr. Martens Jadon boots

    If you’re a festival newbie, you perhaps won’t fully understand the virtues of Dr. Martens. The brand’s Jadon boots are its best option for chunky, festival-ready soles.

    Shop Dr. Martens Jadon boots at Schuh, £179


  • Marks & Spencer set of four rainbow champagne flutes

    Marks & Spencer set of four rainbow champagne flutes

    Don’t let your festival surroundings negate the need for style in all areas of your life: particularly not when it comes to the vessels from which you’ll be drinking. Marks & Spencer’s plastic rainbow-hued flutes are perfect.

    Shop Marks & Spencer set of four rainbow champagne flutes, £10.50


  • Cotton-On Curve halterneck top

    Cotton-On Curve halterneck top

    Teeny tiny tops are the throw-on-and-go option for festivals: simply pair with shorts, trousers or a skirt, and be on your merry way.

    Shop Cotton-On Curve halterneck top, £15


  • Asime halterneck top

    Asime halterneck top

    Asime’s patterned and achingly fun wares are perfect for making a style splash at festivals, but it’s the halterneck top that gets all of our votes.

    Shop Asime halterneck top, £55


  • Eastpak Springer Splash Lagoon bumbag

    Eastpak Springer Splash Lagoon bumbag

    Who said bumbags needed to be serious? Eastpak’s retro-inspired transparent offerings are festival fun personified.

    Shop Eastpak Springer Splash Lagoon bumbag, £17.50


  • Cro-Che Echo Beach dress

    Cro-Che Echo Beach dress

    Crochet in all forms is huge this summer, but in dresses, it’s festival fashion done oh-so very right.

    Shop Cro-Che Echo Beach dress, £175


Images: courtesy of brands.

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