Rocking a look
Comfort is key at music fests, but you can still make your style sing
Model Clair Catherine is wearing a silk ruffle romper in mint green by Aryn K, a studded belt by HTC, moccasin sandal in Morocco blue by Givenchy, a pendant necklace by Goulette, and chain link bracelet. (Styling by Patric Chauvez) (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune / June 12, 2010)
"That's because, first and foremost at a concert, comfort is key," says Julie Gilhart, fashion director and senior vice president for Barneys New York, who has attended many rock festivals over the years. "But there is a sense that one must be styled!"
Consider the Hunter rubber boots that women of all ages have tromped all over global streets — rain or shine — in the past few years. The trend was traced to the fields of the Glastonbury rock festival in Britain a few years ago, when Kate Moss wore the wellies with hot pants.
Barring a fashion-fizzling downpour, here's a top 10 of this year's freshest festival hits:
1 Rompers: Also known as adult onesies. "Rompers are really cool because you can accessorize them in so many ways," said Meghan Noel, head stylist for Glamour who is helping launch whatto
wear.com, where visitors can get instant answers to their style questions from assorted celebrity stylists. Longer, pajamalike jumpsuits reminiscent of Michelle Pfeiffer in "Scarface" are back too. "You can look like a million bucks in them," Noel said, "but go sit on the grass." Same for harem-style pants.
2 Fuller-coverage flats: Vintage-looking oxfords, cuffed sandals, and ankle and midcalf boots are choice field gear. You want something that is going to stay on and keep your feet covered. "At a rock fest, you want to wear something that's going to stay on, and you want to sort of keep your feet covered because you're going to be standing with a lot of people," said Jennifer Gelber, co-owner of Fix Boutique in Chicago.
3 Cutoffs and other denim shorts: Frayed the old-fashioned way, or manufactured as such, cutoffs sit at the top of the shorts heap. But denim shorts, and shorts in general, are back with a vengeance, Noel said.
4 Pattern-mixing: Stripes with florals, plaids on plaids, anything's fair game as long as you rock it with a sense of intention.
5 Military-inspired shirts and vests: Army green abounds for men and women, and a vest frontloaded with pockets can top a tank without bringing on the Strokes (heat ones, that is). Not convinced? Cargo pants with pockets return for men and women, in a slimmer cut than in previous summers.
6 Two- and three-finger rings: Some aren't so comfortable — "you can't really separate your fingers," Noel said, "but they're so stylish and cute. I've seen dainty ones and others that look like modified brass knuckles." Lightweight jewelry and accessories stand out at festivals because they make a statement without adding clothes or heavy makeup in the heat.
7 Fedoras and statement sunglasses: They offer function and fashion to both genders. "Love the straw fedora look," Gilhart said. "Gives off a sexy but masculine feel and keeps one cool at the same time. Also, makes it easier to find your friend in a crowd." (As do bright colors.) Bigger is better for sunglasses, a la aviators or other frames that say, "I am a star," Gilhart said. Colored Ray-Bans and Carreras shine, but cat-eyes also are making headway, Noel added.
8 Breezy jouses and vests: As the name implies, a jouse — the successor to jeggings (jean-leggings) — is a lightweight cross between a jacket and a blouse, like the chiffon styles in Nicole Richie's Winter Kate line or one from Haute Hippie. For a festival, Gelber said, "be careful with the fabrication; make sure it's going to be easily cleanable, because you're going to be sloshed on." Loose or slashed tanks — think built-in ventilation — also are being layered over bandeaus fit for public viewing.
9 Bermudas. For the guys, Noel expects yacht-meets-rock looks (yacht as in nautical, not the band), such as Bermuda shorts that fit snugly in the rear in plaids and pastels, paired with vintage T's and, well, just about any shirt.
10 Cross-body bags and fanny packs: Yes, fanny packs, Gelber said. "It keeps the shoulders and arms free and easy. If you wear it with a cute romper or a pair of shorts, it would be really cute."