5 menswear festival necessities

Look good and have fun in these versatile must-haves

5 festival necessities

Words: Scott Dodds | Photographs: Francois Visser | Styling: Mandy Nash

When you’re a guy, your choice festival fashion can be a bit of a logistical minefield. Somehow you’ve got to find the balance of a look you find aesthetically pleasing, is comfortable enough to see you through a day of constant walking and dancing, and has a enough adaptability to allow for a range of different weather possibilities – all the while making sure you don’t look like you’re trying too hard so a guy in rugby shorts and a tank top doesn’t make fun of you.

Versatility is the key and using pieces that can be styled in a number of ways allows you to shapeshift as they day progresses, as well as offering endless opportunities for a whole season of festival forays. Whether you’re battling the elements in the bush, cutting shapes on an inner-city rooftop or free-spiritedly waltzing through a field, these are the tools you’ll need to get the best out of the next few months.

The Overshirt

The overshirt

When it comes to a button-up overshirt, the more loose the fit the better (without being silly). You can style it one of two ways: buttoned up for for a more preppy look or over a tee to add some depth to an otherwise-straightforward look. The former should be complemented with colourful shorts or loud sneakers, while the latter acts as the ideal transitional layer from day to night, and should be styled over a monochrome tee with slim-legged pants or shorts to contrast the oversized shirt.

The Windbreaker

The windbreaker

There’s always that moment, as the sun clocks off and day becomes night, as the slightly drunk become the ultimately unbearable, when the chill creeps in and you know the optimistic summer styles you’re working with just aren’t going to cut it at night. Cue the easy-wearing windbreaker, your saviour in times like this. It strikes the perfect balance where it’s warm enough to keep out a cold summer breeze but still light enough that you won’t be that sweaty dude on the dancefloor inhaling bottles of water. It’s always about balance, so I bright and brash windbreaker should be worn with a minimal look, while a simple black or beige option will work with a busier outfit.

Short Sleeves

The short sleeve

The bread and butter of most summer looks, short-sleeve shirts are fundamentally about combinations when it comes to styling. Most obvious are the benefits of staying cool in the summer sun while being both comfortable and casual. With tees, prints and patterns are best suited to adding intrigue to a simple shorts-and-sneakers look, while a plain black or white number allows you to experiment with accessories and footwear. Don’t neglect the short-sleeve button-up, a summer staple – especially with a sprightly floral pattern that’ll make you seem like the happiest Magnum PI lookalike at any festival.

The Denim Shorts

The denim shorts

You can always trust in a pair of denim shorts to deliver an element of timeless style to your summer looks while being durable enough to survive everyone’s favourite party-goer spilling their 2l bottle of brandy and Coke all over them. Keep in mind that there’s a range of colours to suit your look, and frayed cuffs add an element of grunge while the folded cuffs can bring sophistication to an otherwise raw trend. Bonus tip: pair them with a white tee and striped long socks for considered, casual fashion – bring in a denim jacket and you’ll feel far more timeless than the recycled Indie band you’re being forced to listen to.

The Accessories

The accessories

It’s so easy to forget the little things. Only as you’re cowering from the glare of the sun or patting down your pockets wondering where all your valuables have gone do you realise the error of your ways. Start with a backpack that’s comfortable and compact enough to spend hours dragging you down, while still harmoniously complementing your look and without affecting your dancefloor agility. In it you can pack any of the above just in case, but also a pair of glasses to hide how drunk/tired/asleep you are and a minimally-styled cap to beat the sun and ensure you don’t spend the next day in the medical tent with sunstroke while everyone else makes their own mistakes. 

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