Why Festival Fashion Has Peaked: The Best & Worst

The “so bad it’s good” fashion once praised at music festivals were disappointingly dizzying in 2019. From flower crowns to fanny packs, the mash-up of traditional music festival fashion and ’90s nostalgia was more of an eyesore than a visual delight.

Although festival season has just begun, events such as Coachella, Stagecoach and Glastonbury, give us a taste of the fashions to come.

Festival-GoersGlastonbury Festival, Day 2, UK - 27 Jun 2019
Festivalgoers at the Glastonbury Festival.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

While music festivals’ initial purpose was for the shows, over the years it has also been partially a runway for experimental fashions.

Our style director, Shannon Adducci, wrote earlier this year that the lack of personal style is what is missing from the “so bad it’s good” style of festival dress.

“What is most often left out of this equation is an actual sense of personal style, the kind that can make a bad outfit look interesting,” writes Adducci.

Even celebrities can’t escape the wraths of festival fashion going stale. For instance, Kendall Jenner missed the mark at Coachella this year.

kendall, jenner, coachella, 2019, bad, fashion
Kendall Jenner in Marine Serre gloves at Coachella 2019.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

“Since the dawn of Instagram (way back when in 2010), the 19-year-old festival has become a beacon for social-media-induced FOMO (“fear of missing out,” now an outdated term but an idea that continues to persist) and the look-at-me fashion that inevitably spawned from it,” Adducci continues to state.

FestivalgoersGlastonbury Festival, Day 2, UK - 27 Jun 2019
Festivalgoers at the Glastonbury Festival.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Even across the pond at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, a five-day festival in Pilton, Somerset, England, the style also seemed to miss the mark. While the U.K.-based festival seems to favor comfort over the latest trends, it still appears that 2019 was a universal fashion disaster.

Festival goersGlastonbury Festival, Day 1, UK - 26 Jun 2019
Festivalgoers at the Glastonbury Festival.
CREDIT: Shutterstock
AtmosphereStagecoach Country Music Festival, Indio, America - 01 May 2016
Festivalgoers at Stagecoach.
CREDIT: Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Fabrics and fashions that once popped at festivals now chaotically clash. And those who were able to survive the collapse only succeeded by keeping it simple.

Governor's Ball Music Festival 2019Street Style, Governor's Ball Music Festival, New York, USA - 31 May 2019
A festivalgoer at Governor’s Ball.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

Simpler outfits with one element of “pop,” like a sequined dress with minimal accessories or monochrome seemed to seal the deal on good fashion.

Street styleStreet Style, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 2, Day 3, Indio, USA - 21 Apr 2019
Street style at Coachella.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

But we can’t help but wonder: Is “so bad it’s good” fashion be able to make a comeback? Or have we turned over to favoring more simpler styles for seasons to come?

See more of the best and worst music festival fashion of 2019.

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