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The Music Festival Packing Essentials You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without, According To Shopbop’s Fashion Director

By Kelsey Stewart

Summer may not be here just yet, but music festival season is already in full swing. From Lollapalooza in Chicago, to Firefly in Dover, Del., the year is lined up with back-to-back concerts. And though yes, festivals are a way to celebrate artists and enjoy your favorite bands live, it's also an opportunity for fashion lovers to try out some outfits they might not normally wear in their day-to-day. But though it's a great chance to experiment, knowing what to bring to help you survive the weather, long hours, and crowds can be tricky. Thankfully, Shopbop put together a handy spring break packing guide with a few suggestions, and Caroline Maguire, Shopbop's Fashion Director, shared a few of her own music festival packing essentials with The Zoe Report, too.

Though you probably won't leave with just one outfit in your suitcase (because what's the fun in that?), it's important to have a go-to you can rely on to keep you comfortable and cool. For Maguire, it's a simple one: "Statement sneakers, cut-off denim shorts, [and a] knotted up graphic tee," she tells TZR in an email. Once you have that decided, you can add onto those essentials with a few pieces that'll let you easily mix and match while helping you survive the heat. What exactly does that entail? Read on for a complete list.

A Printed Dress

Outdoor festivals typically come with high temperatures and lots of sunlight, which means you need a few pieces that will help you survive those elements. According to Maguire, there are two pieces that will do the trick. "Cool statement sunnies to shield the strong rays and an easy printed dress — [the] perfect outfit combination to have in your luggage to throw on!"

Gio Dress


Valencia & Vine

This mini gives the leopard trend a summery bright twist.

Lou Lou Mini Dress


Faithfull The Brand

A floral mini gives the perfect touch of feminine, while remaining easy and relaxed.

'90s Short Slip Dress



The '90s are making its way back into our closets this year, and the slip dress is one piece that is showing a popular comeback. Pack this lightweight mini floral slip with you to beat the heat.

Statement Sunnies

Protect your eyes from the glaring sun with a pair of sunnies, as Maguire suggests. Throw a statement pair (or two) in your bag to have with you at all times of the day.

Sporty Shield Sunglasses



Sporty sunglasses can also be cute, as demonstrated by this pair by Prada. Coordinate these sunnies with a bright tee or dress for a bold festival look.

Alternative Fit Eden Sunglasses


Karen Walker

Add a hint of sparkle to your attire with these brown glitter sunnies, while also shielding your face.

Willis Navigator Shield Sunglasses



Swap out your typical black aviator shades for a fun rose gold pair.

A Denim Jacket

Yes, it's hot during the day at music festivals — but what about when the sun goes down and the temperatures dip? "The perfect denim jacket that you can throw on with any outfit" is a great transitional piece to pack in your suitcase, according to Maguire.

Cropped Oversized Trucker Jacket




This piece by R13 takes a fun approach on the traditional denim jacket with a raw hem.

Ex-Boyfriend Trucker Jacket



If you lean toward a lighter wash, this Levi's denim jacket is for you. Throw it over a chic printed dress when the sun goes down.

Oversized Denim Jacket


Rag & Bone/ JEAN

Show off a summer-approved, all-white ensemble with this white denim jacket paired with white cut-off shorts.

A Graphic Tee

Knotted graphic tees are an essential element in Maguire's go-to festival outfit formula. Make a statement with yours and try out a festive band tee, printed tie-dye, or a summery graphic.

Gauzy Cotton High Low Muscle Tank



What's more appropriate for a music festival than a band tee? This Blondie muscle tee will also give your shoulders some fresh air — just remember to pack on the sunscreen.

Tie Dye Rainbow Boy Tee



Wear this tie-dye tee by R13 not only to the festival, but all summer long while the trend is at its peak.

Aloha Classic Tee



Bring the palm trees and sunshine along with you for the weekend with this graphic tee.

A Duffle Bag

If you're an over-packer (understandable, options are important), but don't want to lug around a bulky suitcase for the weekend, take notes from Shopbop's spring break packing guide and grab a sleek duffle bag.

Leather Tool Kit Bag



Simon Miller

You may never have considered a leather duffle bag, but this material makes for a chic option.

Novel Mid Volume Duffel Bag


Herschel Supply Co.

Have a head to toe denim look you're planning on wear? Throw this faded denim/indigo denim duffle bag into the mix.

Collette Large Convertible Duffel Bag




Bring the color out for the weekend with this bright rainbow LeSportsac tote.

Cut-Off Denim Shorts

Cut-off denim shorts are part of Maguire's go-to music festival outfit formula, and with all the options out there, they make for an easy way to add some pizzazz to your outfit while keeping cool.

Bite Zip Shorts


Denim x Alexander Wang

A zipper in the back is an unexpected detail on a classic pair on denim shorts.

Wedgie Shorts Update



The wedgie jean from Levi's is a popular style from the brand, so surely the short version won't disappoint.

Original Denim Shorts



White shorts are a summer staple, and this vanilla option from Rolla's will go perfectly with any outfit for the weekend.

Statement Sneakers

You have to be choosy when it comes to your footwear thanks to the amount of space they take up in a suitcase. Maguire's suggestion? "Sneakers!" she says. "You want to be comfy and cool — so opt for a pair of standout statement sneakers. [They're] easy to throw on with denim or a casual dress."

Superstar Sneakers


Golden Goose

Make a statement by incorporating these tie-dye sneakers into your outfits.

Thunder Sophia Webster Sneakers



The "dad" sneaker doesn't seem to be going away for the summer, and this option gives the trend a colorful makeover.

Rawlins III Joggers



If you're worried about getting your white sneakers dirty throughout the weekend, opt for a darker pair to stay on the safe side.

Cowboy Boots

Can't live with just one pair of shoes? As Shopbop's spring break packing guide suggests, a pair of cowboy boots are a great option to bring along. Given their recent popularity, they'll be right on trend; plus, they're a great way to protect your feet from the large crowds.

Tall Half Cowboy Boots w/ Harness




If you're worried about a boot in the heat of summer, try out a half cowboy boot option — your calves will thank you.

High Texas Boots



A western boot is an investment piece that will carry you through every season of the year. For the festival, pair this tall boot with a cut-off denim short and tee.

Western Boots


Toga Pulla

Consider a short western boot for the weekend, such as this Toga Pulla option. The black and white will pair with any bright hue or print you have on your packing list for the festival.