As the summer reaches its height, so begins one of the fashion world’s favourite past times; festival style watching. ‘Festival chic’, is now a term synonymous with Oxygen, Electric Picnic, Glastonbury and Sonar.  But wasn’t it only a few short years ago that music festivals were grungy affairs where packing wellies, a hoodie and your toothbrush was more than sufficient!?   

If only it was that easy now. Choppers set down the elite crowd to VIP areas where tents are considered torture and a Wigwam, complete with double bed, is the only way to go. Gone is the necessity to join the endless queue of hungry, disillusioned punters for a soggy breakfast roll the morning after the night before. Instead, one can sit happily in the Brown Thomas sponsored tent and enjoy a good Full-Irish, on a plate, no less.

The competition in the fashion stakes rivals the numerous ladies day competitions in place countrywide throughout the summer. Maxi dresses and mini skirts, boho boots and gladiator sandals, vintage, designer and high street-you name it, most people are sporting it in one form or another.

But festival chic can be a difficult look to nail. You can’t look too ‘done’, which often involves an enormous amount of effort. Think about the no make-up, make-up look-lets be honest it takes forever! It’s the same concept; lots of carefully chosen layers and elements come together to create a look that projects effortless style. Think of Sienna Miller at Glastonbury last year. Everything was groomed except for her hair. Or Kate Moss, who now turns up at every festival looking like Anita Pallenberg in her heyday. Your untidiness must be carefully considered!

Being seen while being comfortable is now the motto for festivalgoers everywhere; and really, anything goes. While a tent and muddy field may not exactly make you feel like a glamour-puss there’s no reason why you can’t mix fashion and function to breeze your way through the festival season in style. Unlike Sienna and co. you won’t be travelling to the event in a private helicopter, so pack light. Here are some essentials you shouldn’t leave home without.

Hunter_wellingtons_wwwwell4uie_2 Wellingtons:
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is a festival wouldn’t be a festival without a hefty dose of mud. If you want to keep your feet dry throughout your weekend the only way to do it in style is with the Hunter Wellie. Kate Moss wouldn’t be seen dead without hers and neither should you!

Shortsfrench_connection_2 Shorts:
Not only are shorts a practical solution to bouncing up and down amongst 30,000 other people to the Sex Pistols classic tracks they also look good on everybody once you go for the right length and style. Longer styles with a front pleat look super-flattering if you don’t have supermodel pins, if you’re lucky enough to have Gisele’s legs the shorter the better. (Note: rain dries quicker on skin than fabric!)

Satchel_miss_selfridge Satchel:
There’s nothing worse than managing to grab a place near the front of the crowds to see your favourite band only to have your dance moves hindered by a swinging bag. A bag with a long strap to sling across your body looks fab over jeans or a dress and it allows you to store all your essentials in its pockets.

Wayfarers_asos Shades:
A massive pair of sunglasses to protect eyes from the sun an disguise the fact that you got no sleep last night, or the night before. Rayban sunnies are the celebrity choice with Sienna, Kelly and pals sporting this season’s must have.

If you are lucky enough to have secured a ticket, enjoy it. Festivals are the place where the ultra cool shine and who doesn’t want to be part of that? For one weekend, girls and guys alike can ditch the office attire and let their hair down-say goodbye to the suit unless of couse it’s a jumpsuit which is so on trend!

People can leave their worries behind, check their sensible streak at the door an let loose. This is reflected in their choice of clothing. Pushing the boundaries, becoming that person they don’t have time to be at home and wearing the styles that just aren’t practical when you have a life to lead. It’s the weekend where practicality goes out the window and wedges seem like a good idea despite the threat of puddles. So, instead of looking sideways at the people who have gone ‘all out’-join them! Embrace the sillyness and get stuck in. The more rules you break, the more boxes you tick. Festival Chic is about abundance and fun, not top-to-toe perfection. So go for it-you can’t get it wrong, and even if you do, someone will appreciate it…