The first time I attended Coachella, I was a senior in college. I slept in a tent, ate an unhealthy number of Luna bars, and didn't do a great job outfit-planning. After a very long hiatus, I'm finally headed back. But, though my return will be a bit more civilized (I'm staying in a hotel and plan to eat real meals), I'm still trying to figure out exactly what to wear during my days in the desert. As someone who struggles to imagine outfits ahead of time, I'm attempting to amass a packing list of must-try festival trends a few weeks ahead of time in an attempt to avoid the panic that arises when I'm twelve hours out from a flight and my suitcase is inevitably empty.
My approach may seem obvious: wear things that are comfortable but also look good. Ok, now that we have that down, let's get a bit more granular. When I use the phrase "look good," I'm talking specifically about pieces that won't get wrinkly, scuffed, or sweaty when I spend the entire day outdoors in them. Breezy dresses, denim cuttoffs, and of course a sneaker or two make my list. But, six years after my Coachella debut, I'm also craving items that feel a bit more grown up. I can't deny my affection for bucket hats, but to make them feel more polished, I have an eye out for tailored pieces to wear them with. Below, find the pieces I'm planning to break out this festival season, and hopefully pick up a few things for your own outdoor adventures too.
1. Vintage-Inspired Dress
Lately, I've been drawn to romantic, victorian and vintage-inspired styles and Doen does them especially well. A midi length is comfortable and easy, but details like ruching and high-volume sleeves make the style feel special.
Kate Prairie Dress
2. Dad Shirt
A simple loose fitting button-down is the key to surviving the scorching temperatures in style. It's likely I'll style my top of choice with denim shorts, but could also envision throwing it on over a simple slip dress.
3. Bucket Hat
Sun protection is important when the plan is to spend all day outdoors — enter the bucket hat. I've tried out wide-brim straw styles, but I love that a simple cloth bucket hat stays put while also offering full protection.
Isa Bucket Hat
Shiloh Tie Dye-Effect Cotton Bucket Hat
4. Sport Sandals
I always pack a pair of sneakers when I know that I'll be on my feet all day, but this year I'm also bringing along a pair of sporty sandals too. Yes, my toes may get a bit dusty, but they're a cool alternative to closed-toed styles, especially since I plan to spend a bit of time poolside in Palm Springs before heading to the festival grounds.
Velcro Platform Sandals
Athletic Platform Sandals
Though I know tie dye may seem an intimidating foray for some, I'm here to reassure you that the splashy style can look sophisticated, I swear (and Prada has the designs to prove it). While I'm partial to cool multi-color denim, you can try a sweeping, summery dress for a bit more polish.
Leah Midi Dress