festivals: 5 tips for staying chic & (relatively) clean

Well everyone, I just got back from the Sasquatch music festival last week, and let me tell you, everyone should go to a music festival. It was an unbelievably amazing weekend spent with friends and good music and sunshine and good ol’ Canadian whiskey… and no showers. 5 days of not showering is a pretty gnarly experience. But I lived and learned and these are the tips I have to share with you, to be festival chic no matter how dirty you are!

1.        Layer. 

This is the most important tip! If you’re going to a music festival all day, chances are the weather will change. The Gorge is renowned for its indecisive weather, so it was crucial to bring layers. The basic layer was shorts and a loose tank top for comfort, with a ¾ sleeve plaid flannel shirt over top, then a much warmer full-sleeve plaid flannel shirt (yeah I rocked the double plaid, so what? I’m Canadian.) and a big cardigan to throw overtop if it got really cold. Last layer: a scarf and/or a toque, or a “beanie”, as they call it in America (weird).

2.        Dry shampoo, baby wipes, & oxy pads 
are your best friend

After a few days of heat, sunscreen, dust, dirt and god knows what else, you’re starting to feel pretty gross. Dry shampoo your hair for at least a pretend feeling of clean, wipe your face with some oxy pads, and give yourself a good ol’ baby wipe shower. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel!

3.        Know your different hairstyles. 

For example, the progression could go something like this: 

First day: Hair down.
Second day: Tie back the upper half to get it off your face. Braid small pieces by your face and pull those back if you wish.
Third day: Starting to get weird. Dry shampoo it and tie it up into a messy side fishtail or side braid.
Fourth day: Past the point of no return. At this point, I didn’t want it anywhere near my face, so I pulled it up into a high ponytail with a headband.
Fifth day: it is now probably dirty enough that you could secure it into a topknot without any product whatsoever. A sock bun or a Heidi braid would be a great solution to get it up and away from your face. Then, just pray you have a shower coming your way!

4.        Test your shoes first. 

Music festivals, Sasquatch especially, include a LOT of walking. From your campsite to other campsites, from your campsite to the venue, from venue to venue, for food, for bathroom breaks. Test out your shoes before you go and make damn sure they’re going to hold up to it. I bought a knockoff pair of Toms from Spring and they lasted wonderfully all weekend. However, my friends knockoff Keds and Birkenstocks didn’t last so well, and she was left with blisters after the second day. When in doubt, bring band-aids and moleskine!

5.        Don’t bring your best clothing. 

Festivals are dirtttty! Junk food, sitting on the grass, wind, garbage, outhouses, camping, drunk people everywhere. Don’t bring your favourite or most delicate pieces of clothing. In other words, no matter how fashionable it is, leave behind your $300 dry-clean-only sheer blouse.

You can still look chic and fashionable while being practical (and properly dressed for the weather). Take your basics and add in some pattern, some basic accessories, and a cute hairdo, and you’ll be the belle of the ball!

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