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I Don’t Hate Coachella “Street” Style

There. I SAID IT.

04.14.17

Coachella gets a lot of shit for its street style. Sometimes I’m the one giving shit, but I don’t hate all of it. It’s about context. First and foremost, let’s remove some of the festival’s street-style stigma by being really open about the fact that there are no streets! It’s technically on a polo field in the middle of a desert. It’s a literal oasis. Plus, there are palm trees. Palm trees everywhere! I don’t know about you, but palm trees always make me want wear more mesh than usual, put a garden on my head, take my pants off and party.

(MESH SUNBURNS ARE THE WORST, THOUGH!!!)

We’re always talking about how you gotta do what you love, wear what makes you happy and be your truest self. Why shouldn’t Coachella field style (new name) fall into that bracket?

A pause to play devil’s advocate: the opposing argument to my rhetorical question above is that when everyone dresses the same, or similar — when everyone has a crown of flowers on their head plus circle glasses, denim cutoffs, flash tats and ankle boots, then yeah, it can look a little contrived. Or unoriginal.

But here I am, arguing right back: If you think of Coachella as one giant, themed event — swap out “festival look” for “Great Gatsby,” “Britney Spears’ Greatest Sartorial Hits” or “Under the Sea” (my personal favorite prom theme), and everyone dressed accordingly, would we say the same thing? Would we get so mad? Coachella field style is certainly superfluous; if it’s hot enough to wear shorts, it’s too hot to wear suede — but it’s a costume. It’s a costume, and Coachella is a party.

Let the people wear their sunflower bras, I say, so long as everyone stays hydrated and wears sunscreen.

…I think I can feel your eye twitching. Won’t you join me, then, on a scroll-through journey that seeks to break the style hostility with a bit of contextual explanation?

That question was not rhetorical! Let’s go!

Photos via Getty Images. 

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  • Adrianna

    For me it’s not the cliche clothes or costume, but published images are always the same iteration of a slender 20-something year old woman.

  • I quite like looking through the Coachella style. I agree with you about it being a party just like if it were great Gatsby themed.

    Zekalin.com

  • Hellbetty666

    I feel like Coachella is its own thing and for me to judge it would be disrespectful (I’m English). I also love looking at the outfits every year.

    That being said, British people need to learn that Coachella takes place somewhere hot and dry. Crochet maxidresses and wedge sandals are going to cause you massive turmoil in a soggy field in Wales in August. Let’s embrace British festival field style instead (boots, shorts, kagoule).

  • Rheanonn Perez

    my friend asked me to help her shop for some looks for coachella that didn’t look like everyone else’s, not as bohemian. when we went shopping she mostly pulled suede pieces LOLBWL (laugh out loud … but with love haha)

    when u go into fast fashion stores in early spring it’s obvious they merchandise a whole section dedicated to coachella. bloggers & youtubers make posts/videos about coachella/music festival outfits. out of all of the music festivals, coachella definitely has its own costume, as u say. whether they or going or not, it’s easy for young girls to get into the boho/free-spirit/”we’re camping/dancing in a desert” spirit lol!

    frheak.net

  • OMG your birthday is the day after mine. Are you turning 28 also? Or is that like a way personal question from an internet stranger?

    • Amelia Diamond

      29!

    • liv

      And my birthday is the day after and I’m turning 28!!

  • Kasey

    Does dressing like this for a music festival defeat the purpose of what a music festival actually is? I personally love the way these girls dress but at what point is it that they do it for the image instead of doing it for themselves?

    kaityandkasey.com

  • Tamar

    Under the Sea prom was a great O.C. episode!

  • David

    Is Man Repeller meant to be just for girls?

  • Keeyaa Chaurey

    there’s nothing wrong with coachella street style, but white girls in bindis is never a good look

    • Olivia AP

      True, but I agree that the rest of these looks are pretty great for the weather.
      Tbh, I think people just hate flower crowns

  • Emma

    the suede boots in the first picture i DO LIKE! very nice

  • Lottie Harper

    I hate being that person, but why is there no discussion of cultural appropriation? Teen Vogue is on top of everything these days.

  • Lil

    Just came back from Coachella Weekend 1. Definitely agree with this article. Coachella was so fun and definitely felt like, “the place,” to be free and whimsical with how you look and feel.

    But as much as I love dressing up to the 9’s, I stuck to simple outfits of tanks&shorts and the comfiest Chelsea boots I could find.
    This was because I was in a drunken stupor the entire time while dancing non stop in 90 degree weather…

  • Sarah O’Dea

    They all do look lovely but they also mostly look like Victoria Secret models! In no way attainable but I loved Rihanna’s sparkly Gucci bodysuit!

  • Summer Fulp

    In november you gotta check out the style of Tyler, the creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw that’s held at exposition park in LA. Not contrived at all in my opinion!

  • ShyangShyang Hsu

    Actually I hate it , but too afraid to say it lol
    Not a bad look though