Search Results for: label/bonnaroo

Little Bits of Luxury: Sunglasses

If I tallied up all I spent on sunglasses from Target, street vendors, and clearance sales I could probably buy a few pairs of designer shades. I could never justify spending more than $25 for a pair of sunglasses if they were just going to break or get lost before the summer was through. However, as I got older I learned that caring for items, no matter their pricetag, made them last longer and look better.

Truck stop sunglasses on me, and on the original owner

A few years ago on the way down to a music festival, Karl bought a pair of silver mirrored aviators from a truck stop for $5.99. While he looked great in them, I eventually snagged them for my own. Never before had I found a pair of sunglasses to look so right on me or fit my personal style so well. After years and years of black and tortoise plastic frames, I felt at home in an oversized metal aviator. But as it happens with most cheapy sunglasses, these HG frames started chipping, the mirror finish cracked, and in a couple months of TLC they looked as though they had several years under their belt protecting the eyes of a biker babe.

RB3026 in gold/green, gold/amber, and black/black

Perusing sunglasses at the mall, I came upon the oversized 62mm Ray-Ban aviators, RB3026. Almost the exact same size and shape as the truck stop pair, but far better made. And lighter weight. And more comfortable on the nose and around the ears. Though 35x more expensive. I splurged… and it was one of the best splurges I ever made. I still wear and love those sunglasses, and since then have found two pairs in other finishes via eBay for far less. Karl and I share sunglasses, and we both baby them by keeping them in their case, cleaning them with a chamois, and not letting them bake or freeze in the car. Though I babied the truck stop shades in a similar manner, cheap construction and materials still had them falling apart too soon.

Choosing a classic style means I won’t feel the need to get new sunglasses when trends change; in fact I have made these sunglasses part of my signature look and could see myself wearing them for many years to come. And by needing fewer pairs, I will likely save a bundle in the long run!

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Dreaming of Bonnaroo…

We decided to not go to Bonnaroo again this year. We’ll be attending other festivals, but Bonnaroo still holds a special place in our hearts because it was the first we ever attended. Also for those who have attended Bonnaroo, you can agree it’s a life-changing experience. The heat, the lack of creature comforts, the crowds, the mud, the dust, the sun, the crazy variety of humans, the new music and art and experiences and friends. Did I mention the heat?

So while I sit in my cubicle this Friday, I shall dream of Bonnaroo…

I’ve learned a lot in the past year or two about festival preparedness.

  • Last year I took one of these chairs from Alite with us to Forecastle and it was perfection – when packed up it’s not much bigger than a large waterbottle.
  • Speaking of water bottle, I recently got one of these bottles from Bobble and it is utterly genius – built in cap but even better a built in filter! I love the pink color, and love how the strap from the cap to the bottle can also be a loop to keep the bottle attached to my bag.
  • Finally, last Bonnaroo I attended I was sans camera and phone because they both lost their charge. Since then I have bought a Soladec which could charge my electronics even while walking around Centeroo!

I’ve also learned a lot in regard to fashion.

  • I’m a loyal fan of Ray-Ban aviators, and have a couple pairs now. They’re lightweight, stay in place, provide plenty of coverage and are classic cool. I’d love some with the green mirrored lenses for festival season, they’d be a fun accent to my festie outfits.
  • I’m loving my bamboo scarves from Nepali by TDM Design; the bamboo isn’t too hot in the summer and a scarf like this one would work as a headwrap to fight the blazing sun, around the neck to protect from the rays (and dampened for the cooling factor), tied over the face for dust, and worn as a shawl when the sun goes down and there’s a bit of a breeze. They’re so light it wouldn’t be much of an issue to stuff in my bag.
  • Speaking of bag, while I’m a fan of a backpack at festivals, since going VIP I’ve found I need to carry less stuff. A waist pack (if I call it than instead of a fanny pack does it make it cool?) would be great for late night when I don’t need to cart around sunscreen, chairs, and the kitchen sink.
  • And I have learned that for me, the best festie shoes are boots. A pair of slouchy black short boots like these from Frye would look cute with cotton sundresses as well as distressed denim shorts.

This weekend, I know I will be checking out the live stream of Bonnaroo, and stalking Instagram to see all the photos my friends will be sharing.

Ah well… only a month until FORECASTLE!!!

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Ask Allie: Music Festival Fashion with Boots

I can’t imagine wearing boots to a music festival! I saw your post on Inforoo saying you wear them but it seems so hot I plan to wear some TOMS what’s the benefit of boots?

I know you’ve been to music festivals before, what do you recommend for shoes?

I’ve been to Bonnaroo several times, attended the Virgin FreeFest and Forecastle and have worn a variety of shoes. Sandals, flip flops, Chucks, even Crocs (I know, I know!). However for the past couple of years my go-to shoes for music festivals are boots. Yes, even in the dreadful heat of summer in Tennessee, I wear boots.

Why Boots Rock for Music Festivals:

  • They are Sun Protection. You can’t imagine how many people get the tops of their feet burned at fests. It’s the part you forget, the part that gets dirty and the sunscreen rubs off, the part (other than the top of your head) that gets the most sun as you walk from stage to stage.
  • They are Injury Prevention. I know someone who had the scary spiky grass of Bonnaroo pierce her flip flop and spike the bottom of her foot. I’ve had many a person step on my feet as they are wiggling to get closer to a stage, and my sister hobbled through one Bonnaroo because an unfolded E-Z Up tent fell on her foot. Mosh pits, hot cups of coffee, setting up camp accidents… boots keep your feet protected so you can enjoy the festival.
  • They are Cooler Than You Think. I wear a pair of DUO Boots I bought eons ago, they’re calf-height, very low heel, leather but have a shearling lining. They keep my legs warm in winter and surprisingly cool in summer. I wear with cotton or wool socks to add cushioning and breathability.
  • They Support Your Feet. TOMS are cute and may be comfy when walking around town, but they don’t have arch support or cushioning that can be quite nice after 12 hours of standing and walking on hard ground, rocky terrain, and concrete. Trust me. A boot can also be made even more comfy with insoles; I buy a new pair of insoles made for work boots prior to each music festival.
  • They Can Take a Beating. I spray my boots with waterproofing spray before I go and don’t even blink when I have to tromp through mud, dust, or worse. Most boots look better with some wear; when I get home I clean them, give them a good polishing, take out the insoles and have them ready for weekends and casual affairs.

Be they a pair of tall boots with a babydoll dress, lace-up granny boots with a peasant skirt, some Docs with denim cutoffs, or Western-inspired booties with a boho-inspired dress, a low-heeled boot can offer comfort, protection, and miles of style at a music festival. Don’t sacrifice your comfort for fashion when there’s alternatives that can give you the best of both worlds!

Do note that the sample ensembles feature some important things for festivals – sunhats with decent sized brims (no fedoras or beanies), large sunglasses, and bags that can be worn while you dance and rock out.  Your accessories are just as important as your shoes to ensure you have a fabulous time this summer at the music festival/s of your choice.

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Legit Music Festival Fashion Advice

Oh April, the time of year where every fashion blog and website claims to be an expert on what to wear and take to a music festival yet fails miserably. As soon as I see a romper or designer picnic blanket recommended I know that author has never attended a music festival, nor likely an outdoor concert.

Now I don’t claim to be some sort of expert and hey, you may be double-jointed and find wearing a romper and peeing in a steaming hot porta-potty easy, but here’s my tips for attending a music festival:

1. Read the FAQ. Before you start packing, see what you’re allowed to pack and what the festival organizers suggest. Many do not allow umbrellas, even the small travel type. Quite a few do not allow detachable lens cameras, glo-sticks, or chairs of any height . The festival planners will be able to let you know if there’s access to drinking water, shade, lockers, charging stations, and more.

2. Expect a lot of Sun. Even if the festival is in a grove of trees, expect to be doused with a ton of sun. Bring a floppy hat, large sunglasses, a bandanna you can dip in water to cool off or tie around your neck to protect it, wear sunscreen and bring more. I like the spray sunscreen because it doesn’t have to be rubbed in and you can spray as you walk to the next stage performance. The higher the better – I can wear SPF 50 for an entire festie weekend and still go home with a tan. Seriously, nothing ruins a festival experience faster than a raging sunburn.

The sun not only can exhaust you, but it can also quickly exhaust your electronics. Keep your phone out of the sun and bring a charger for a long hot festie day will sap your battery. Don’t expect to find an outlet; plan ahead with a pre-charged battery backup or bring a solar charger. Do note that many festivals have poor cell reception, so have a Plan B if your original idea for organizing with friends involve texts.

3. Prepare to Walk. You can easily walk a half mile from your campsite to see a performance, and walk five miles in just a couple hours around the festival grounds. Not only that, the ground will be bumpy, can have sharp grass or rocks, very well will be muddy or dusty. Wear shoes that are comfortable for long spans of time. I wear old boots with new insoles, but a pair of desert boots, sneakers with arch support, athletic sandals or a canvas slip-on with a good insole will also do well. Bring a second pair of shoes in case your first pair gets wet or ruined, and bring socks (you may find them dorky looking but may be glad to have them Day 2 after Day 1 gave you blisters or sunburn).

4. Pack to Dance. And to walk, and drink beer or water, to chat, to eat an arepa while racing across the grounds to catch up with your friends, to use a porta potty. Use a bag that can handle all that without cramping your style. Fanny packs are back and great for day fests or places that don’t need a lot of equipment to be comfortable for long spans of time. For longer festivals far from camp, consider a small backpack or a crossbody that doesn’t dig into your shoulders when completely full.

5. Leave Designer at Home. A stranger may accidently step on your Karen Walker sunnies and your Design Within Reach throw blanket may get lost in a muddy mosh pit. A festival is a place where people dance and mosh and run and do it all while on little sleep and often lots of alcohol or drugs. Protect your much-loved items and leave them home; a festival is a perfect place for a chic DIY tie-dye bedsheet and truck stop sunglasses.

6. Stay Hydrated. Bring a water container – be it a Camelbak backpack with bladder or a reusable bottle, make sure whatever you have can hold at LEAST 22 ounces and you refill it often. Dehydration can happen quickly when you’re in the sun, heat, drinking, and dancing. Protect yourself, and keep the fun times going with regular water replenishment.

7. Prepare for Porta Potties. No rompers, no overalls, no jumpsuits unless you don’t mind stripping naked in a hot overflowing porta potty with a broken lock. Sundresses are awesome; slip a pair of bike shorts underneath to prevent chafing and to provide modesty when sitting on the ground. I like looser beat up denim shorts that look better with the dirt of the day and don’t stick to sweaty skin.

Along with that, tuck some toilet paper and maybe some Clorox wipes in your bag so if you encounter a grody or unstocked porta potty, you’re set.  I put a little of each in Ziploc baggies; if my friend is holding my bag while I go in, I just grab a bit of each and tuck in my bra strap so my hands are free.

8. Have fun! The fashion mags and sites will lead you to believe that a visit to Coachella or Bonnaroo is the sartorial moment of the year. Yes, some may treat it as such, but the rest of us dress to enjoy the real purpose of the festival – the music. Go ahead and wear fun jewelry or a boho-inspired tunic or a cut up band tee shirt, but dress in a way that doesn’t require you to check your reflection every hour, lets you run and dance and lie in the grass and sit in the dirt. I promise you, the majority of the people at the festival won’t care what you’re wearing, they’ll care more about how you’re feeling and enjoying the event!

For more about music festivals, feel free to visit my previous posts:

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