#OOTD: All the Best Gear to Wear to a Music Festival This Summer

You’ve snapped up your one, or two, or three-day music festival tickets, you’ve got your plane booked — or plans in place to hop on a train or take a drive — and your favorite time of the summer (or at least, my favorite time!) is quickly approaching. Now, what are you going to wear to that music festival? Allow me. If you follow me on Instagram, perhaps you’re aware that I’m a HUGE fan of music festivals and live music in general — and the more you see out there, the more you realize that some folks … really don’t know how to dress for a music festival. Sad, but true.

The key in dressing for a music festival involves nailing that tricky balance between form and function. Luckily, several of your favorite men’s style essentials for daily wear can work at a music festival, too. From a rugged denim shirt to a stylish rain jacket and some Todd Snyder x Champion shorts, the below pieces are certainly more stylish than what other festivalgoers are likely wearing — and these are the sorts of pieces that can help you explore a new festival city in the meantime, too. We’ve got comfortable sneakers in the mix, plus a casual Timex watch and of course, the sunscreen you need for the day. It all comes together in an unexpected, highly functional-yet-fashionable package that can carry you through from the afternoon side stage set to a headlining show by The Strokes. Who’s ready for a beer and some live music, ehh? Let me know what festivals you’re attending this summer — and what you’re packing — on Twitter. Thanks for reading!

Mixing a rugged henley and a classic denim shirt with the laidback comfort a festival demands.

  • The Henley: Outerknown Sojourn Henley, $58 — Every guy needs a classic short-sleeve henley. This is a major upgrade from the sea of neon tank-tops and sports jerseys that seem to be dominating festivals these days, right?
  • The Shirt: Billy Reid Denim Shirt, $195 — This rugged denim shirt from Billy Reid is crucial for polished festival style. Easy to layer on a breezy day & perfect to wear unbuttoned atop your henley if it gets too hot. Heck, I wore this very shirt to Austin City Limits and loved it!
  • The Jacket: Topo Designs Wind Jacket, $149 — Now, you might not need this stylish rain jacket from Topo Designs, but if the weather takes a turn? You’ll be glad you brought it.
  • The Shorts: Todd Snyder x Champion Warm-Up Shorts, $88 — This next move is really up to you — if it’s too breezy for these stylish Todd Snyder x Champion shorts, go with slim dark denim. If the temperature’s just right? These retro-inspired shorts provide all-day comfort and leisurely style — yet, they’re not baggy basketball shorts.
  • The Sneakers: Tread By Everlane Trainers, $98 — Timeless, minimal and sustainably crafted, these new Everlane sneakers are a super-comfortable pair to keep you on your feet all day. If rain happens to be in the forecast, pack some rugged Blundstone boots instead.
  • The Watch: Timex Archive Waterbury United Watch, $115 — Leave the expensive dive watch at home — this classic Timex watch is durable and festival-ready, understated yet subtly stylish.
  • The Sunglasses: Ombraz Armless Sunglasses, $140 — For festival conditions that can go from cloudy to sunny quicker than you can say “indie rock,” reach for these durable sunglasses from Huckberry.
  • The Grooming Essential: Salt & Stone Sunscreen Lotion, $18 — Repeat after me: I will wear this Salt & Stone sunscreen to my next festival. (Trust me: Getting sunburned on day one is no fun! It’s a summer grooming must-have).

So, that’s all the gear to wear to a music festival. What’s your take? To me, classic picks like a short-sleeve henley and a rugged denim shirt from Billy Reid are sizable upgrades over what most of the festival population might be wearing (cargo shorts and sports jersey on teens seem to come to mind! And yet, we’re not overdoing it — casual-but-cool pieces like the aforementioned Todd Snyder x Champion shorts help keep you comfortable yet put-together. The same can be said for those Everlane sneakers, geared to provide all-day performance on your feet (again, if it gets rainy or muddy, swap in a pair of Blundstone boots and be sure to grab a critical stylish rain jacket from Topo Designs.

Shop Mott & Bow Today!

Unfortunately, I can’t help you save when it comes to the price of craft beer and bites at these music festivals, but hopefully, affordable accessories like the Timex Archive Watch and your durable Ombraz Sunglasses help take away the sting a little bit. Throw some Salt & Stone sunscreen in your favorite weekender bag, then get ready to hit the road this season. The only challenge now is planning your festival schedule. Good luck out there!

 

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Plugged In: A Chicago Weekend at Lollapalooza 2017

Lollapalooza 2017

Taking in Lollapalooza with my MVMT Watches Aviators, plus my rock-ready Need Supply Co. denim jacket and slim Abercrombie and Fitch denim — finished off with classic Astorflex suede chukkas.

It was under special circumstances that I hopped on an unusual Thursday night plane ride out of NYC to head to Chicago — and no, I didn’t take a wrong turn after happy hour. I hit the road last weekend to head to Lollapalooza 2017 in the Windy City — a truly momentous weekend packed full of highlights, from great #menswear to an amazing Friday headlining set by The Killers (a band I’d seen back in June) and more excellent tunes than you could take in across just two days. It was my second festival in as many weekends after attending the Panorama music festival here in NYC — with Governors Ball 2017 also under my belt this summer, you night say I’ve got it down to a science when it comes to what to wear to a music festival. What exactly did I pack and who did I see? Join me on another men’s travel style post — it should come as no surprise it was an amazing weekend that seamlessly blended my two big passions! Put on your favorite Killers track, and let’s rock.

I packed up my Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender with trusty essentials, from my Astorflex suede chukka boots to my Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.

The adventure itself really began on Thursday night, as I packed up my stylish weekender bag — namely, the Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender — with menswear essentials galore. To head from a full day at the office to the airport, I dressed in a mixture of comfort and style, starting with a new pair of Abercrombie and Fitch denim from the brand’s recently revamped line. The mobility, tailored fit and pleasingly faded wash matched nicely with one of my favorite Taylor Stitch shirts, the Sashiko Shirt — the cool detailing and texture makes it a four-season essential, and it’s yet another example of what Taylor Stitch does well. The combo was finished off with even more comfort in the form of my travel-ready Astorflex suede chukkas. There might not be a more versatile pair of three-season shoes than these classic suede chukkas, which can go from the office to the plane easily.

A stylish casual watch from Nautica and my reliable Huckberry Explorer’s Cap rounded out my travel style essentials. And the next time you hit the road, don’t forget to pack men’s grooming essentials — a few pieces from the Oars + Alps Athlete’s Grooming Kit (as seen on this site’s Style Pick of the Week series) helped me keep my skin in top form. What’s more, I even managed to prep for the festival on the music front — I plugged in my surprisingly stylish LSTN Sound Co. headphones from the essential Bespoke Post Vibes Box, and I was ready to go. The bottom line is this: When dealing with a day at work and an evening of travel, dress for comfort, style and mobility (like I did!).

Lollapalooza 2017

Easygoing essentials for a day of music and a day in the sun — particularly a fan of my classic SeaVees Army Issue Sneakers, and they teamed nicely with my tough, versatile Timex x Todd Snyder Military Watch.

My Thursday night arrival had me tired but wired (tired and wired?) going into an amazing, bright and sunny Friday full of live music. To take on Chicago’s heat, I kept things simple and stylish with a slim short-sleeve shirt from Old Navy, plus my laidback and comfortable Bridge and Burn Stringer Dune Shorts — two warm-weather style essentials fit for any trip.  And just as with Panorma, I found my SeaVees sneakers to be effective, comfortable and broken-in enough to fill that crucial music festival style void. And that blend of style comfort from my SeaVees sneakers proved quite effective for bouncing around Lollapalooza’s many, many stages. That meant staying on time was quite critical — as I’ve found on many a music-themed trip, my Timex x Todd Snyder Military Watch on a cotton NATO strap (similar style here) was a durable and stylish pick. I topped it all off with stylish men’s sunglasses — namely, a new favorite pair of sunglasses from Component out of Miami. And what exactly did the day have in store? Plenty — to say the least.

There aren’t many festivals where you’ve got the chance to see everyone from Brooklyn indie rockers Slothrust to classic modern indie pop duo Tegan and Sara to upstart British singer Bishop Briggs within a matter of hours, but Lollapalooza absolutely delivered in that regard — I  can’t say enough about the experience. A vibe-filled, sharp set from Phantogram paved the way for an exciting, anticipation-filled evening — a long-awaited show by The Killers tends to heighten the excitement of a music festival even moreso. Having just seen this remarkable band back in June, I thought I was ready — yet nothing can really compare to the power, energy and joy brought to the stage by Mr. Brandon Flowers and company. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s really nothing that can measure up to seeing songs you’ve known for half your life being played out in person. When delivered by one of my heroes, Brandon Flowers, it was all the more special. (Editor’s note: Mr. Flowers inspired my love for denim jackets and black moto jackets, surely). 

From classic cuts like “Mr. Brightside,” “Read My Mind” and the roaring “For Reasons Unknown” to all-new cuts “The Man” and fan favorites like “When You Were Young,” this is a band that delivers on nearly everything that a fan could ask for. That included a soaring cover of fellow rockers Muse, plus a menacing (and yet wonderful) cover of the Joy Division classic “Shadowplay.” This is, simply put, an incredible band. I mean that sincerely, and it’s nothing short of an absolute joy to witness live. And as it were, I positively can’t wait for The Killers North American tour behind the band’s forthcoming new album, “Wonderful Wonderful” — what a run that should be. It was worth the trip in and of itself, and that’s no joke. Incredibly, I wasn’t quite fully tired out from Friday night — and Saturday promised even more tunes and even more #menswear.

Crisp and effective, rock-n-roll style featuring slim Abercrombie and Fitch Langdon denim and my classic Astorflex suede chukkas.

Although Saturday dawned hot and sunny once again, I went with sharp and simple style — perhaps inspired in part by the style of Brandon Flowers, who frequently favors all-black get-ups. For me, that meant injecting some color and texture on the footwear front with my Astorflex suede chukkas and topping it off with another pair of slim Abercrombie and Fitch Langdon denim in a slightly faded black wash. Perfect for a festival — particularly when teamed with my Knickerbocker Mfg. Co. Pocke Tube Tee. For taking on the day and seeing the vibe-filled, standout rock of The xx later, an all-black uniform certainly felt right — my trusty Timex for J. Crew field watch helped add some texture and visual interest to the look, too.  Once again, I just had to get ready for the day with the stylish and high-quality LSTN Sound Co. headphones from my Bespoke Post Vibes Box.

Saturday itself brought out a terrific mix of live acts, too. Canadian rockers Alvvays — a band that’s been on my list for more than two years now — brought a shimmery, sunny mix of indie rock to the Bud Light Stage in the afternoon. Later in the evening, personal favorites The Head and the Heart delivered just as rousing a performance as they did at Govenors Ball 2017 and on a winter road trip I took to Baltimore to see them play.  And throughout the day, Lollapalooza delivered just as solid of a mix of artists as one might expect — from L.A. rockers Warpaint to the joyous dance grooves of pop duo Sylvan Esso and the unique rhythm and quirky vibes of British rockers alt-J (another favorite of mine). The experience and atmosphere was truly jam-packed and lively — it was as busy a two days as I’ve had at a music festival, particularly navigating multiple stages and trying to stay on time. Again, dressing for a music festival in style proved absolutely critical, and I hope my gear was up to the test. As it were, my all-black get-up fit right in during a powerful, transcendent Saturday night headlining set by British rockers The xx —  another personal favorite and another band that made the entire trip worth it.

 

Travel-ready gear for the flight back — my Need Supply Co. denim jacket and my new Bridge and Burn Basic Tee got the job done on my top half, while my Kit Culture stretch twill pants were suitably travel-ready.

All too soon, it was time to hit the road back to Chicago — my schedule precluded me from staying another day to take in the powerful rock and spectacular live show that is Arcade Fire, but I left Chicago with nothing but happy memories from an incredible weekend of amazing music. And with a stylish weekender bag and men’s grooming essentials from Oars + Alps in tow, I made sure to dress for the road accordingly. I started out once again with my versatile Astorflex suede chukkas  — they’re as comfortable and sustainable a pair of classic chukka boots as you’ll find. They were a sharp complement to my Kit Culture stretch twill pants, a tailored set of chinos that feels like an easy-to-wear pair of sweatpants. When topped off with my Need Supply Co. Denim Jacket in 96 — a retro-inspired, versatile denim jacket — I was more than ready to deal with blasting airport air conditioning. Between the light wash and the quality construction, the denim jacket was a cool topper to a new Bridge and Burn Basic Tee — think an ultra-soft blended T-shirt built with made-in-America craftsmanship. The next time you hit the road, reach for breezy basics, a well-made denim jacket and go-anywhere pieces like suede chukkas. 

With all that travel in the books, I was glad to make it home last night — and it was all the better to get back to Brooklyn knowing I’d had such an amazing, fulfilling trip. Hopping on a flight to a music festival can feel like a long journey at times, but the trip was more than worth it — heck, seeing some of my heroes on the stage on Friday night made the trip in and of itself. I’m also lucky I was able to pack up just the right gear for the weekend — if I can continue to make the trip in years to come, I’ll be looking at a longer trek than just a subway ride … and I know it’ll certainly pay off.

Did you manage to make the trek to Lollapalooza? What did you bring along with you? 

Lastly — thanks for reading!

-Beau

See You at the Show: Attending Panorama 2017 In Style

The perfect setting for a selfie in the background, perhaps? Going with a mixture of laidback style and classic #menswear essentials — including my Original Penguin Utility Shirt, Flint and Tinder denim and Component sunglasses — for a great day of live music on Friday.

If you’re a regular reader of The Style Guide, you might have an inkling that I love live music — anytime, anywhere. So when I heard earlier this year that Panorama 2017 was coming back to the Big Apple — and just a quick subway ride away at that — I jumped on tickets in a hurry. These weekends always seem to go by too fast — having attended Governors Ball 2017 earlier this summer, I know that all too well. Indeed, it’s tough to believe that once again, another excellent Panorama music festival has come and gone. I’m so fortunate to be able to attend this excellent NYC music showcase — for the second year in a row, I had a tremendous time  (to say the least!).  It was with anticipation, excitment and essential summer style in mind that I hit the road — well, the subway — to head to a hot and breezy weekend of music at Randall’s Island. If you follow me on Instagram, you might be well-acquainted with my love of live music and craft beer — and this weekend had requisite helpings of both. Plug in and join me, won’t you?

The key when dressing for a music festival revolves around nailing that tricky balance between comfort, style and easygoing looks. When plenty of festival-goers throw on cargo shorts and sports jersey — at least here in NYC — it can be easy to fall into a style trap. Yet, I’m here to urge you not to do that! And I certainly tried my best to keep my style in line in terms of great fit and comfort in the heat. As it were, I also had to prep accordingly by listening to my favorite tunes — as you’ll see below, my stylish and well-made LSTN Sound Co. headphones from the Bespoke Post Vibes Box were the ideal accessory.

Panorama 2017

A mix of useful essentials — like my Original Penguin Garment-Dyed Utility Shirt — and tried-and-true favorites, like my Timex x Todd Snyder Military Watch 2.0 and classic Astorflex chukkas.

That process started with my Original Penguin Garment Dye Utility Shirt, the perfect blend of style and well, utility (I used it to store small items in the chest pocket). The Burnt Olive color is a unique shade that works well in both spring and summer — and heck, fall and winter — and it teamed nicely with faded Flint and Tinder All-American Washed Jeans. Not a full-on light wash  and not a pair of classic dark blue denim, these American-made jeans feature a pleasingly faded wash and a tapered cut that’s not too tight — crucial when dealing with the sweltering NYC sun. I also teamed them with another multi-season pick, my casual and classic Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boots.  The sustainably made chukka boots fit the bill in terms of a comfortable and easy-to-wear summer style essential. To finish the look and stay relatively cool in the heat, I rolled my slim light wash denim and slipped on some stylish no-show socks, complemented by my tough, versatile Timex x Todd Snyder Military Watch 2.0. Once again, to get prepped for a day of listening to live music, I had to reach for my Bespoke Post Vibes Box and plug in with my LSTN Sound Co. headphones.

Needless to say, my gear proved quite helpful at navigating Panorama’s mix of beer stands, gourmet food offerings and stages. Crucially, I snagged a good spot near the main stage to see one of my favorite acts of late — passionate Baltimore-based synth rockers Future Islands. On a monumental tour behind their latest album, the excellent and emotionally charged “The Far Field,” it was a treat to see the power and raw emotion of that record brought to life by energetic frontman Sam Herring. If you get the chance, I’d urge you to see them — and you can check out more of my music-related adventures on my “other” Twitter account over here. Of course, playing right before mid-2000s hitmakers MGMT is a tough act for anyone, but Future Islands more than prepped the crowd for a high-energy MGMT set. Excellent acts were scattered throughout the day, including crowd-pleasing folk crooner Vance Joy and the evening’s two closing acts, Solange and Frank Ocean. To be able to see such variety of music within one day — and on a series of stages just a quick walk apart — is a huge benefit of a well-curated festival like Panorama. It had me just as excited for day two — time to press on!

Panorama NYC

Taking on the heat with my breezy Original Penguin Scout Shorts, classic SeaVees sneakers and a well-made Taylor Stitch shirt.

Saturday unsurprisingly promised a hot, humid and yet overcast day of excellent live music, tasty craft beer and again, gourmet bites & great #menswear. In all, that’s my kind of day. With the promise of laidback, eclectic sets on the way fro Alt-j and Tame Impala , plus an emotionally charged set by powerful Brooklyn rocker Mitski, I dressed to beat the heat in style. That meant once again reaching for Original Penguin gear — my Stretch Cotton Garment-Dye Scout Shorts featured a tailored cut, breathable fabric and excellent mobility for hopping from stage to stage. For long hours on my feet, I stepped into a dependable pair of classic SeaVees sneakers — always an excellent pick in terms of easygoing, subtle style. I’d urge you to pick up a pair  of SeaVees for your next festival, and perhaps team it with a rugged Taylor Stitch shirt, as I did. The number you see above is the well-made Taylor Stitch Jack Shirt in Indigo Star. To keep the sun off my face, I threw on a charcoal Huckberry Explorer’s Cap for suitably easygoing style and protection from the sun.

And the entire combo helped me move around the festival with ease — that gave me plenty of time to take in Mitski’s set. Having seen her play in front of 300 people on Valentine’s Day 2016 and nearly 2,000 people this past spring at Brooklyn Steel, it was an absolute treat to  see her take a large festival atmosphere and boil it down into power and emotion. And I was just as pleased with the excellent vibes and quirky sound that Alt-j brought to the Pavilion Stage. Truly, they didn’t disappoint with their most recent release, the edgy, well-crafted “Relaxer,” and it was neat to see them translate that record into a live show — along with modern indie radio hits like “Left Hand Free” and “Breezeblocks,” plus subtly beautiful tracks like “Something Good” and “Dissolve Me.”


Tame Impala also proved a huge highlight of the day. I was captured by the band’s absolutely killer light show back in 2015 on a Sunday evening at Governors Ball, and the Aussie group delivered yet again with a blazing headline set to close out the evening. It was the perfect way to round out two days of fun, unique and tremendous live music — count me a huge fan of Panorama, and know that I’ll be back next year if they deliver again on a great lineup and a great experience!

Easygoing, breezy essentials for a Sunday of rest and relaxation in Brooklyn — I can’t recommend my Huckberry Explorer’s Cap or Grayers Feeder Stripe Polo enough!

The weekend wasn’t over yet, though — I had more than enough time to rest, relax and hit up sunny Prospect Park and my favorite coffee/menswear shop, Upstate Stock. For a breezy Sunday, I prepped accordingly — that process started with my comfortable and modern Grayers Feeder Stripe Polo, an easy-to-wear piece that fits well and feels great. I complemented that shirt with a pair of modern, tailored Volcom slim chinos in a crisp navy color. Comfortable, well-fitting slim chinos that can go anywhere — from exploring a park to hitting up a coffee shop — are a must when hopping around Brooklyn, and these didn’t disappoint.


Lest we forget about sneakers, I teamed my chinos up with my easygoing, retro-inspired Abercrombie and Fitch x Tretorn Sneakers and the refined-yet-casual Electric California Carroway Leather Watch (a timepiece you might remember from this #OOTD on how to wear a T-shirt this summer). At any rate, the breezy Brooklyn weather also gave me the chance to break out my trusty Huckberry Explorer’s Cap, this one in a deep shade of green that played nicely off the blues of the chinos and the polo. Seriously, if you want a stylish, vintage-inspired ballcap that’s also made in America, the Huckberry Explorer’s Cap is the way to go — particularly for keeping the sun off your face following a long weekend out and about at a music festival.

It was with a great weekend of live music playing in my head that I took in a restful, relaxing Sunday (filled with some requisite work on The Style Guide, of course). I’m always thankful and grateful any time I get to combine my passions into one weekend. Between breaking out some excellent menswear, enjoying delicious craft beer and rocking out to stellar bands like Future Islands, I absolutely can’t get enough of Panorama — it makes me feel fortunate to live in NYC, to say the least! There are more music and men’s style adventures coming up soon — and if you continue reading this blog, there might be more travel style content coming sooner than you think! For now, you can follow along with our #OOTD series tomorrow.

As always … thanks for reading!

-Beau