Rock the festival style right: What to wear and where to get it

by DGO Web Administrator

This week Style Fetish focuses on festival style: tips, influences and where to locally score the clothes and accoutrements to help make this festival season your most stylish and comfortable yet.

Origins of festival styleFestival style today still draws on the looks of the 1960s when large pop, rock and folk festivals started, as well as cultural music trends since. The retro 1960s bohemian look of natural fabrics in exotic imported prints, loose, flowy cuts, romantic Victorian lace and crochet, tie dyes and psychedelic patterns and some free-love style public semi-nakedness still remain as traditional festival looks.

Fashion follows fun and function

Festivals can be a grueling sort of fun so function needs to be as important as style. Festivarians in the western mountains need to dress versatile: comfortable, both cool and warm, and be protected from sun and rain so as to can concentrate on music, dancing, playing, camping and maintaining a manageable buzz for 60 hours straight. At a festival it is fun to show off your style and look a little wild, but also be mentally prepared to forgo fashion completely and cheerfully as you wear everything you brought simultaneously so you could dance outside in the snow if need-be, hypothermia-free.

Bring the festival fashion basics:Sun hat


Sarong or large fabric piece

Ground tarp.

Spread or rug to use atop the tarp.

Layers of clothing, easy to add and remove.

Rain jacket and warm jacket.

A variety of shoes, sandals and boots.

Animas Trading, Rose Duds, Sideshow: Shop locally for the best for festWe got tips from a few shopkeepers in Durango on what they stock for men and women that work well and look amazing for festival season 2016.

The styles available at Animas Trading Company look like original festival fashion: retro ’60s boho chic at its best. Festival functionality as well as style is available here, too: lip balms and water bottles, sunglasses holders and sarongs, belt packs, backpacks and totes, and a vast array of tapestries and spreads for sitting.

Animas Trading Company owner Cathy Wakeman suggests bringing and dressing in layers, starting in the cool mornings with leggings or tights under a dress or skirt and having the essential long sleeved shirt to protect against the sun. Manager Willa Vaughn advises wearing a wet sarong to stay cool.

Animas Trading Company (1015 Main Ave., Durango) has festival clothing for men, too: loads of tie dye tees, cool Thai cotton shorts, pants and shirts, and different styles of sun hats.

A line of plush, costume-y animal hats and hoodies for fantastical festival fun can also be had at Animas.

Rose Duds consignment shop (801B Main Ave., Durango) has second-hand designer, contemporary and trend-wise garments, jewelry and accessories. Owner Rhita Batiste and employee Charlotte Speake give us good advice to “defiantly be yourself. Be comfortable and outrageous at the same time and never hold back on your true fashion sense.”

Style Fetish agrees. Festivals are creative and celebratory environments in which to take a style risk and be more baring or daring than you would in a “normal” place.

Sideshow Emporium is another good spot for interesting and useful festival wear, if I do say so myself. Sideshow carries a variety of classic vintage to contemporary second-hand garments and accessories for men and women of all styles.

Here are a few vintage-centric items from Sideshow stock that I recommend specifically for summer mountain festivals.

Man, you look goodAn excellent natural fiber for hot men in sweaty environments is linen. It has a charmingly rumpled quality and no material is better for instant-wicking and quick-dry of moisture while sweating or getting rained on.

The guayabera shirt has been a hot weather classic style since the 50s, a tiny bit fancy with embroidery with four handy pockets makes it unique. Wear with a straw fedora and Wayfarer sunglasses.

A vintage Pendleton wool shirt or light jacket are sound choices for layering in the evening chill. Wool dries fast, is somewhat temperature-regulating and provides a lightweight-yet-warm layer. Vintage ’70s disco-era polyester shirts are a wildly-printed choice to keep warm at night as well, layered over a long-sleeved tee.

Ladies choiceFestival-ready styles at Sideshow include crop-tops and halter-tops from the ’60s through the ’80s to wear with high-waisted shorts, and sundresses ranging from loose and lounge-y modern shapes in stretch jersey, to fit and flare pin-up-girl silhouettes, to earth mama ’70s maxi-dresses.

There are long-sleeved ladies snap shirts and silk shirts for sun protection and shawls, scarves and hats, too. Sideshow’s festive knee- and thigh-high socks are an easy warm layer with minis or shorts.

Heather Narwid owns Sideshow Emporium, a vintage and modern clothing store for men and women. Sideshow is located in Durango at 208 County Road 250 (at 32nd Street)and is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. Ask her anything at [email protected].


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