Show Time: Packing for a music festival in style

This weekend, I’m heading to Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco. Along with being excited to see some great music (including personal favorites like The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Haim, CHVRCHES, Local Natives, Bleachers and Lucius) I’m also excited to get out of New York City and experience all that San Fran has to offer alongside my lovely girlfriend, Liz. This, of course, presents a pretty neat opportunity to hit the road in style! And while what I’m wearing certainly won’t be a central focus of the trip, it’s always nice to be dressed appropriately for any situation, including festival-going.

While that could quickly devolve into wearing clothes more suited for a rave than being out among real people, for instance, it’s my goal to not let that happen. That’s why I’ll be bringing the following assortment of clothing on the road with me, packed into my Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag (look for a full product review on this piece in the coming weeks).

Most of the spread for the weekend.
Most of the spread for the weekend.

Chambray shirt (J. Crew)

Short-sleeve geometric popover (J. Crew — similar here)

Striped tank top (Bonobos)

Charcoal pocket T-shirt (American Apparel)

White V-neck T-shirt (Not pictured — similar here)

Dark denim (Uniqlo)

Black denim (Not pictured — American Apparel)

Khaki shorts (Banana Republic — similar here)

Braided leather belt (Target)

White sneakers (Tretorn)

Brown desert boots (Steve Madden)

Two pairs of patterned socks (Similar styles here)

Brown leather watch (Stuhrling)

Black Timex Weekender watch with patterned strap (The Knottery)

Light charcoal cardigan (Frank and Oak) — similar here

Black Harrington jacket (Not pictured – -Ben Sherman)

Now, when packing for a trip like this, I took care of the obvious first — checking the weather. The forecast in San Francisco through the weekend calls for temperatures in the high 60’s to low 70’s, with partly cloud skies — ideal weather for escaping the sometimes-crushing heat of NYC and also a nice, temperate way to spend some time outdoors. Of course, being on the water and all, I expect it’ll get chiller at night and potentially rainy (genius thinking, right??). So with all that in mind, here’s more on what I came up with.

Blue on blue on blue.
Blue on blue on blue.

Yes, the popover, chambray shirt and tank top all feature shades of blue. Like others, I have a bit of a thing for that color — but I’m breaking away from it, or trying to, at least. I plan to wear the chambray shirt with dark denim and desert boots for travel. as the desert boot is polished and yet sturdy enough to allow me to get through the airport, and around the city, in style. And the great thing about the chambray shirt is that I can definitely see myself pairing it with black denim and sneakers to head to the festival, or wearing it with khaki shorts elsewhere.

The popover serves much the same function — if it does heat up, I can turn to a short-sleeve option and pair it equally well with black or blue denim, and sneakers or desert boots in turn. The breezy tank top is yet another option to turn to if it gets warmer than expected — the stripes are bold and bright, perfect for a summer festival without straying too far into neon territory. And in case I feel like a change of shirt in between the festival and dinner, I wanted to have a couple versatile extras on hand — the charcoal pocket tee is just different enough than a regular T-shirt, and a white V-neck is simple and straightforward.

On the accessories front, a pair of patterned socks in a relatively neutral grey or black can work interchangeably with the desert boots, blue denim and any of the tops. And because my black jeans are slim enough to wear sans belt, a braided brown leather belt will work the rest of the time with my dark denim and brown leather strap watch. The brown watch is dressy enough to wear out to dinner, but clean and minimal enough to wear at a show, while the Timex Weekender with interchangeable straps creates another set of colorful, coordinated options. To top it all off, if it gets chilly or rainy (or both), I can throw on either the black Harrington jacket or the charcoal cardigan and still look polished and crisp. At least, that’s the plan anyways.

Look for a recap next week of what worked (and what didn’t work) with this packing plan!

What’s your go-to festival get-up and what’s in your bag to get there? Leave it in the comments below.

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8 thoughts on “Show Time: Packing for a music festival in style

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