5 Festival Essentials

The apparel every dude needs for festival season

Words: Paul Sanctuary | Photographs: Ian Engelbrecht | Stylist: Mira Leibowitz

There’s more to festival fashion than kooky onesies and spirit-animal hats. Space is an issue. You obviously can’t pack your GHD, and then you also want stuff that’s hard wearing, versatile and can take you from day to night in a cinch. This is why we asked Superbalist stylist Mira Leibowitz to come up with five festival essentials that every dude should own. 


Ripped and torn denim has always been a festival favourite, and we’ve been seeing this treatment since the first hippie got his 501s caught on a barbwire fence at Woodstock 69. Another big trend is the double-denim look and, if you’ve been paying attention to Yeezy, you would’ve seen that matching the washes of your denim, previously dubbed the Canadian Tuxedo, is now the American Dream.

The man: A practical guy who understands that denim can stand up to the toughest of treatment and is too busy partying to be precious about his clothing. 

Mira says: When wearing matching double denim keep it simple with the rest of your outfit – you don’t want to do too much.

Wear with: Boots made for walking.



Print is not dead! It's a far cry from the wide-collared tropical shirt your dad liked to wear on the weekends but the concept's still the same, and your flirt shirt is what you slip on when the work week has ended and you need to get noticed. Despite its party-starting status, this is still a shirt that’s formal enough to get you through a job interview (you’re a creative, right?), but still chill enough to sip beers in. Keep the balance right by wearing it with proper shoes and not slip slops. Cover up your feet, man! Protect your ankles! Save us from having to see your hairy toes slide around on the dance floor.

The man: A peacock with panache and a penchant for pairing print on print. 

Mira says: How many buttons you decide to do up, or leave undone, has got to do with your personality. My personal preference is when guys start the party with their shirt done all the way up and then keep unbuttoning as the day progresses, until they’re partying bare-chested.

Wear with: Matching short-shorts if you have the confidence. 


Take the comfort of boardshorts, add the sophistication of chinos and you have a much more grown up version of short pants. Unless you’re working as a grip on set, you really don’t need 17 pockets – wear a backpack if you need to carry some things – and board shorts are strictly for swimming so smarten up, wear a belt, look great and be awesome.

The man: The type of guy who understands that just because he's wearing shorts doesn't mean he can't dress stylish. 

Mira says: This guy has got an extra layer on top for in case it gets cold, which is light and loose enough to tie around his waist when it heats up, and sneakers that can take a beating. Vans are most definitely having a moment and are something of an unofficial festival sneaker right now.

Wear with: Layers and your trusty beaters.


The 90s trend is back in a big way and it’s not just the sports brand logos we’ve seen showing up on the chests of T-shirts and sweaters – the Trefoil, the Swoosh, the Pouncing Cat – but the band shirt is back in a big way, too. Now not everyone has the thrifting skills to source an original Bruce Springsteen 1986 tour shirt (the one with the Boss’s denim-clad butt), fret not, there are heavy metal shirts for days. As long as you’re fine with the colour black and don’t work as a Sunday School teacher, with a bit of digging you’re bound to find something that shouts, “Hey, ho, let's go!”

The man: Superfans, black metal acolytes or someone who can appreciate irony in the case of all those vintage Justin Bieber T-shirts.

Mira says: You have to at least know some of the band’s tracks if you’re going to wear their shirt. So do your homework.

Wear with: Walk shorts that have the ability to become swim shorts when wet and then dry quickly enough to become walk shorts again.



Mac, backpack, cap... Mira's dropping bars, son! Put your twos up and cava the combo! This is the perfect festival getup as the cap will keep the sun out your eyes, the mac is a lightweight layer that will keep you dry when there’s drizzle, and the backpack allows you to slim down your silhouette by keeping your water, warm top, wallet, camera, sunscreen, wet wipes and other paraphernalia strapped to your back instead of stuffed into a pocket.

The man: A dude who not only looks sharp but thinks smart too.

Mira says: This guy is ready for whatever happens. Girls like that in a guy and will gravitate towards him because he’s got a hat if your hair game’s bad, a jacket if you’re cold and a backpack that hopefully has whatever else you might need in your life. Like backstage passes to meet the band, maybe?

Wear with: You can skip this part, everything’s obviously already been taken care of.

Model: Josh at Ice
Hair and Makeup: Roxanne Sayers