That's Not My Age, festival_9742

Last time I went to a festival, I swore it was the last time. But then I got invited to talk at Port Eliot, or Posh Eliot, as the locals call it. Funny, isn’t it how festivals have become part of the summer season, like weddings, Wimbledon and Ascot. There may not be fascinators but there is a festival dress code: Hunter wellies, floppy hats, glittery makeup (though that worked for governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney).  I can barely bring myself to type the words Festival and Chic. Take my advice and wear what you’d usually wear on a summer weekend. And yes, I know my shirt’s hanging out but this was two and a half days in and counting. I’d had one shower, been living in a field and wearing the flip-flops I usually reserve for the swimming baths. And it wasn’t that bad…

That's Not My Age_style9766
That’s not my tent

I was seriously impressed by a couple of people I saw in white jeans and jumpsuits; and took this as a kind of decadent, Festival Rebellion. Much easier when you’re glamping and in possession of a wristband for the exclusive loos. But I stuck to clothes that I wouldn’t lose any sleep over if they got covered in cow shit or stolen from the tent. Toothpick jeans from J.Crew, about four-years-old, worn perenially and still going strong (black denim, available HERE). The recently pierced ear is feeling much better and I’m wearing my lovely lightning bolt earring (available HERE). Astley Clarke has a range of single stud earrings HERE. Most of the time the Reptile Feet were not on display, I was wearing skate shoes. The perfect thing to pop on and off when to-ing and fro-ing from a tent; like slippers for the countryside. And it’s always good to add a decorative flourish/leave the mosquitoes as little flesh as possible to nibble on, with a skinny Rockins scarf.

Festival goers DO NOT FORGET:

Sun screen: I have sensitive skin and always use Avene; it’s the best (available HERE).

Face wipes or what I like to call a ‘shower in a tent.’ I always buy Simple, cheap as you like.

Perfume to spray liberally. Vicci Bentley gave me a small sample bottle of Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino Acqua to try and it’s absolutely lovely, the smell of summer. And orange blossom is the perfect way to mask eau de festival.

Toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues, snacks, a water bottle, flip-flops and insect repellent.

Here are some clothes. I’ve included clogs and boots with heels because this stuff is not just for festivals. Oh and I’m still wearing my ‘artist’s’ wristband; first time I’ve been called an artist so might as well make the most of it (saddo):

22 thoughts on “Avoid Festival Chic and wear your own clothes

  1. I,ve never been to a festival…..but you look as cool as always Alyson! So jealous. My son worked security at a big fest a couple of years back. It rained lots. And lots. And lots. Toilets flooded, tents washed away, knee deep in you name it. We were in a restaurant with mates when I got a 10 pm “come rescue me ” call. At 6 am next morning we found him head to foot in s**t , barely recognisable and totally barefoot, chatting with a bunch of Hells Angels he had befriended. I got a brief lecture from them on the need to provide appropriate festival footwear for my lad! Style points noted!

  2. Love your column and sensible advice. Mark Carney never looked that fun loving when he was here running the Bank of Canada…It must be the British influence!!

  3. You look relaxed Alyson and ready for some fun. Result. I regularly have to rough it on holiday as we go on a bike and there is no room for anything. I take easy dry clothing and yes, things do get worn for several days – even nix! Toiletries are whittled down to about 5 items. Its liberating. Comfy shoes are a must – keep your feet happy and the rest is a breeze. Enjoy!

  4. Posh Eliot looks like the kind of festival even I might think isn’t one of Dante’s circles of hell. As a music loving youth I tried to go to festivals. I was the only one hysterical with emotion not because my boyfriend had gone off with a festival nymph type or a reaction to dodgy narcotics or even generalised teenage angst but because I SO hated the camping and the porta-loos and the sticky knickers sensation all the time. Still love the music but have resigned myself to seeing bands or writers or anything one at a time – unless there is a hotel I can stay in close by……….

  5. You look great , Alyson ! Love your blog , and your book, looking forward to the next one. I have never been to a festival.
    One thing I noticed from your photos, remember how Joey ( Friends ) had a hand twin, I think you are my foot twin !!

  6. No, Alyson, I have my feet on display 6 months of the year because I live in a hot climate. But not flip-flops any more, my poor old bones now need more support and am always on the lookout for something both comfy and not too granny-like. I’m not a granny yet, anyway !

  7. I have never been to a festival and not really camped. Went to some out door concerts in the seventies and the perils of portaloos have had a non-positive lasting effect. Your hair looks incredibly beautiful and I wish I had narrow feet as I would love to wear light sandals. Hence, unusual for an Aussie, I never wear thongs (flip flops) even to the beach and prefer an old fashioned sandshoe (plimsoll?)

  8. New to your blog and love it! I’m with you, hate how ‘festival chic’ is a thing now. When I see pictures from festivals it often looks so studied and self conscious. You look great and did it your way! Don’t think I could take the tent and toilets for more than one day!

  9. You look lovely and fashionable as always, but special mention must go to your hair. I thought you had gone back to dyeing it, but this looks au naturel? Whatever the case may be, it’s stunning!

  10. My festival days are over. These days I’ll go out on the deck and blast Michel Polnareff at 11 while drinking a few Kir Royales–my private festival.

    I do like your outfit though. It’s pragmatic but looks great!

  11. I love your blog and it was lovely meeting you at Port Eliot, really enjoyed our short chat. It was a bit daunting seen all the feathers and glitter of some of the festival goers but like you I’d rather feel chic in my clothes without worrying about it and just enjoy the vibe…

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