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2024 Festival Fashion: What’s in and Why

Anyone can keep up with fashion influencers and copy their looks. However, only a deeper dive will reveal where these looks come from. This year, we’ve seen popular festival looks ranging from outrageous cowboy-core to casual shorts and a T-shirt or knitwear. We’ve also seen a decidedly large downturn in the stereotypical holographic PVC ravewear. […]

Woman standing in front of a Ferris wheel in a pink bedazzled cowboy outfit.
@elenahazina on Instagram

Anyone can keep up with fashion influencers and copy their looks. However, only a deeper dive will reveal where these looks come from.

This year, we’ve seen popular festival looks ranging from outrageous cowboy-core to casual shorts and a T-shirt or knitwear.

We’ve also seen a decidedly large downturn in the stereotypical holographic PVC ravewear. It seems festival-goers are opting for a more natural and casual approach to their outfits, engaging with rising influences like country music, thrifting, and celebrity fashion.

Coachella has come and gone, but you can still prepare for festivals near you. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s festival fashion trends.

Cowboy-core: The Resurgence of Country Music

Woman at festival in fashionable pink fit.
@elenahazina models a pink cowboycore look complete with a pink cowboy hat and bedazzled pink mesh bottoms. Credit: Instagram/@elenahazina

In 2023, there was a large increase in the popularity of country music. According to Luminate, country music was the fastest-growing genre of music in 2023, with a 23.8 percent growth compared to 2022.

At the end of 2023, Lana Del Rey jumpstarted this trend by releasing a cover of “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver. On January 31st this year, Del Rey announced that she had been hitting historic country music hubs with her producer Jack Antonoff. This is in preparation for her upcoming country album “Lasso,” which will be released in September 2024. The alternative/dream pop singer has pivoted her fans into the country scene. Consequently, its fanbase is growing with young women—and fashion enthusiasts.

In the same vein, on February 11th at the 58th Super Bowl, Beyonce announced that she was coming out with a country music album entitled “Cowboy Carter”, a character she created based on the original African American cowboys of the West.

She revealed its title on March 12th, only a few days before its full release on March 29th. In the wake of this album, Beyonce fans turned to country fashion, making it more glam to fit their styles.

Additionally, Post Malone, who has a history with country music, collaborated with Morgan Wallen to release the song “I Had Some Help” on May 8th, which has gained the hip-hop star some traction in the country music genre.

The genre’s corresponding style, dubbed “cowboycore,” consists of cowboy hats, cowboy boots, tassels, vests, flared pants, and leather garments. These traditional Western pieces usually have a twist: bedazzled or made in bright colors to make them more fashionable for festivals and other events.

Casual & Knitwear: Celebrity Looks

Woman standing in a field at a festival wearing a knit two piece outfit.
@tesskrauser’s look consists of a two-piece cream knitwear set, paired with a chunky neutral-toned belt and a baby blue handbag. Credit: Instagram/@tesskrauser

Recent photos of celebrities at public events now often feature them in athleisure or casual clothing rather than high fashion. This was evident at Coachella 2024, with most of the celebrities who weren’t performing attending in comfortable clothing.

Perhaps the most notable was singer Taylor Swift who showed in shorts, a black top, a baseball cap, and sneakers. Her boyfriend, Travis Kelce showed in a white shirt, striped linen pants, a baseball cap, bandana, and sneakers. These casual looks emphasize the relatability of celebrities while also prioritizing their safety in hot outdoor conditions.

Another example of casual festival wear is TikTok star Charli D’Amelio’s knitwear dress, which she paired with butterfly accents and platform boots. While the boots might not have been the best walking shoes, the dress helped her stay cool in high temperatures. Popular casual looks consist of knit/crocheted tops and bottoms, mesh dresses, shorts, sneakers, graphic t-shirts, baseball caps, and flannels.

DIY: The Rise of Thrifting

Woman standing in front of palm trees in a two piece button adorned outfit.
Credit: Instagram/@ageorama

According to ThreadUP, the global thrifting market rose from $138 to $211 billion from 2021 to 2023 and is expected to rise to $351 billion by 2027. This means that sustainable pieces are available at low prices for influencers and festival attendees to purchase, accessorize, and DIY. Thrifting is especially popular in the Gen Z community, with 83% of them shopping secondhand. The uprise in the popularity of thrifting is due to the newer generations’ interest in sustainability and individuality.

Many festival-goers are participating in DIY fashion by upcycling their festival pieces to make them more unique or on-trend. This is apparent in the above look from @ageorama on Instagram, who created the button-adorned shorts and top that she is wearing in the photo. These pieces showcase @ageorama’s flair and allowed her to rock a one-of-a-kind look at Coachella 2024.

Other common DIY looks include chunky oversized belts, hand-knit pieces, upcycled denim, rhinestone baby tees, and hand-distressed pieces.

Need more information on Coachella 2024? Check out Coachella 2024 Recap, Coachella 2024 Brings Popstar Culture Back, and What Has Happened to Coachella?

Want to know what’s trending in fashion? Check out Music Artist Change In The Fashion Industry, Saint or Satanic?: Religious Symbolism Resurfacing in Fashion, Garments and Genocide: The Necessity for Boycotts in Fashion

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