Coachella Style: What I wore then and what I would wear now

I’m not going to lie. Seeing Beyonce slay her Coachella performance and knowing that I could have also seen Cardi B live, left me with a teensy bit of FOMO. But I quickly snapped back into reality once I remembered my experience from last year (read about it here). These days I’m all about watching performances through people’s Instagram stories. It’s like I’m there but just way more comfortable.

I will admit, one of the most alluring parts of Coachella (for me anyway) is the ability to dress like it’s summer when it’s still very much winter (or “spring”) on the east coast. So in honor of today being #throwbackthursday and a year (-1 day) since I first stepped onto Coachella grounds, I thought I would review my outfits from last year. Mostly, I’ll explain my mistakes so you don’t have to make the same ones. Then, I’ll talk about what I would pack/wear now if I was heading to Coachella tomorrow.

A review of my Coachella outfits from last year

(From Left to Right)

Look #1: This is what I wore before heading to Coachella on day one. Tip: Don’t wear anything too tight (my denim shorts) or shoes that slide off as you walk (my slide sandals). It’s important to be able to breathe in your clothes, and not have to worry about dragging your shoes around.

Look #2: (Still day one). I changed into my gray shorts with a stretchy waist band and my Vans slip-on sneakers. I would wear my Vans for the rest of my trip. // I would definitely wear this outfit now. Tip: Wear comfortable shoes that are also easy to clean. There’s a lot of walking around in dusty, dirty, and sometimes, muddy grounds.

Look #3: That sparkly sheer pink top was cute at first. Until I realized how easy it was to get snagged. Needless to say, it didn’t last me past this trip. I probably won’t buy another sheer top like it again. // The only part of the outfit I would repeat now would be the pigtails I wore and the bottom half of my outfit. Tip: Save money and don’t buy trendy clothes just to wear for the festival.

Look #4: This was my outfit from the last day (navy dress with the shoulder cutouts). Because I’m always cold, the shoulder cutouts left me wishing they were covered. // I’ve decided that packing any kind of dress is not going to allow me to maximize my outfit options. You really can’t mix and match a dress with other pieces to make an entirely new outfit. // I would wear this now, but I wouldn’t pack a dress for Coachella again. Tip: Pack mixable pieces instead of ones that can only be worn once.

Now that I have one Coachella experience under my belt, I can confidently say that I know exactly what to pack and what to wear for Coachella. Here are nine pieces I picked out that are 1) so simple that you may already have them in your closet, 2) wearable outside of Coachella or any music festival and, 3) versatile enough for maximizing outfit options.

Simple pieces I would pack for Coachella now

    1. White tee: Reformation. Whether you like it cropped or not, you can’t deny the versatility and ease of a classic white tee. You can easily layer a denim jacket or a hoodie over it when it gets cold. And, you probably own one (or more) already.
    2. Tee in a bright color and/or with cute details: Reformation. This mellow yellow shade mixed with white stands out just enough. The bow at the center and the ruffle sleeve keeps it from being boring. It can be worn now, all of summer, and even during spring. It also comes in blush and black.
    3. Tank top with a subtle print: Reformation. This also comes in mint with a floral print, and a black and white gingham print. I like how the pink is muted enough to be layered with almost anything. The tiny floral print and button details make this such a special piece. I can see myself layering this with a denim jacket, a cardigan, and anything really.
    4. Longer denim short: Rag & Bone/JEAN. I really like how these shorts look roomy but not baggy. Style without sacrificing comfort is always a win in my book. And since they have a longer inseam than most denim shorts, they can be worn all of summer. Not just on beach days. They can also be worn with any of the three tops I just talked about.
    5. Denim Skirt: AGOLDE. It also comes in a black denim wash. Let’s face it, it’s easier to pee in skirts. And, when it’s boiling hot outside, you can really appreciate the breeze wherever you can get it. A denim skirt is a summer/fall classic. It also goes well with all three tops I mentioned.

    6. Brown booties: Vince. Instead of canvas slip ons, I would have opted for booties instead. There’s much more foot coverage and adds more style without compromising comfort. My canvas slip on sneakers got so dirty afterwards that they were beyond repair. Suede boots make it easier to brush off the dirt. Just make sure to treat them with a protectant spray beforehand.
    7. Hoodie: Reformation. This green hoodie is so cozy. The green color will blend right in with the desert. Chances are you already have a hoodie that you can take with you. You can easily tie this around your waist until it’s cold enough in the evening to pull over your outfit. Trust me, it gets cold in the desert.
    8. Denim Jacket: Reformation. For warmth or for when you want your denim jacket to be a part of your outfit. This is a classic piece that works all year round (depending on how you layer it).
    9. Belt bag/Fanny Pack: Clare V. I can’t say I’ve always been on board with the fanny pack. But, I totally get it now.  It won’t awkwardly swing or fall off your body when you’re dancing or running to the next stage. Whether you wear it across your chest or as a belt, it’s super secure and stays on your body. I would definitely get it in a neutral color so that it can go with every outfit. Perfect for festivals, concerts, and tourist activities. Officially adding this to my wishlist ✅


Are you a fan of music festivals? What would you wear to one? Would you opt for simpler pieces or trendy ones?

Thanks for stopping by.

See you in my next post!

Sophie 🙂

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