Sunshine, free-flowing beer, summertime jams...yes, music festival season is upon us. But unlike most carefree al-fresco events, these epic outdoor gatherings take some serious planning. One miscalculated clothing item or forgotten beauty product and you could end up spending your time in the medic's unit with cases of dehydration, sunburn, and extreme fugliness. But we've figured out just the right combo of elements to help you stay cool and looking cooler. All you have to do is follow these eight simple tips to make the most of the great (musical!) outdoors.
1. Printed dress + Belt = An easy perfect outfit—It's a fool-proof look that's got plenty of punch. Nothing keeps you cooler than variations of a thin-leather belt and a pretty, off-the-body dress.
Above, from left: Feature Floral Print Dress, $98, available at Pixie Market; Staring At The Stars Chiffon Sundress, $58, available at Urban Outfitters; American Eagle Outfitters Skinny Braided Belt, $19.50, available at American Eagle Outfitters; Rachel Pally Buckle Elastic Belt, $92, available at Dear Fieldbinder; Rachel Comey Multi-Hinge Belt, $235, availabel at Frances May; Steven Alan Parker Dress, $248, available at Steven Alan.
2. Use protection—Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Whether it's on your body, your lips, or in your makeup, products packing some major SPF are your best friend.
Above, from left: Vincent Longo SPF20 Pearl Lipstick, $23, available at Beauty.com; Clinique Almost Bronzer SPF15, $28.50, available at Lord & Taylor; J. Crew Spring Lookbook Photo; Dermologica Oil Free Matte Sunblock SPF20, $45, available at Ultra Beauty; Walgreens Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF70, $7.99, available at Walgreens.
3. Store your crap in a utilitarian vest—If a purse is too much to handle, opt for a lightweight vest with plenty of secured pockets to keep your hands free for more important things!
4. Top it off with a hat—on't forget your cranium! Hats do double duty by shielding your eyes and preventing your scalp from too much sun. Lightweight straw hats with air vents keep your head happy.
Above, clockwise from top left: American Eagle Outfitters Zig-Zag Fedora, $19.50, available at American Eagle Outfitters; Madewell Panama Hat, $42, available at Madewell Stores; Wren Spring Lookbook Photo; Topshop Curved Straw Boater Hat, $40, available at Topshop; Albertus Swanepoel Kasena Straw Fedora, $420, available at Net-A-Porter.
5. Pick some pieces with built-in ventilation—Go back to your rock roots with clothes that are truly hole-y. The best part? They'll provide a bit of breeze while you maintain your street cred.
Above, from left: Evil Twin Naked Under Leather T-Shirt, $64.25, available at ASOS; Cheap Monday Snake Cutout Tank Dress, $45, available at Shopbop; Alexander Wang Slit Back Tank, $295, available at Shopbop; Alice + Olivia Sonia Crochet Tank, $330, available at Alice + Olivia; IRO Spring Lookbook Photo.
6. Choose a bandeau—Colorful bandeaus can be layered under loose-fitting shirts, or worn by themselves in extreme, sweltering conditions.
Above, from left: American Apparel Space Scape Cotton Tube Bra, $15, available at American Apparel; Topshop Summer Lookbook Photo; Roxy Shorebreak Bandeau Top, $18.50, available at Pacsun; Undrest Knitted Bandeau Bikini Top, $120, available at Net-A-Porter; Old Navy Bandeau Top, $16.50, available at Old Navy; Lauren Moffatt Spring Lookbook Shot.
7. Go with a daring up-do—use braids, pigtails, and clips to keep your hair up and out of your face while experimenting with some of the season's coolest styles and accessories.
Above, from left: John Masters Organics Sea Salt Spray, $16.50, available at Drugstore.com; Opening Ceremony Spring Lookbook Shot; Urban Outfitters Feather Bow Bobby Pins, $14 for two, available at Urban Outfitters; Pixie Market Spring Lookbook Shot; Topshop Floppy Bow Headband, $24, available at Topshop.
8. Can't ditch the bag? Choose wisely then—Pick fanny-packs, cross-bodies satchels, backpacks, and other carry-alls that don't require you to use your hands.
Above, from left: Newport News Double Wrap Belt Bag, $29, available at Newport News; Dusen Dusen Tie-Dye Backpack, $110, available at In God We Trust; Theory Spring Lookbook Photo; Skinny and Bernie Vintage Straw Market Bag, $13, available at Etsy (lots of similar styles on Etsy and eBay); Lucky Brand Fringed Cross-Body Bag, $99, available at Lord & Taylor.