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By Hein Kaiser


Spring festivals are coming: Time to rock bold, rave-inspired fashion

Festival fashion has always been about making a statement. This year, the trend continues to emphasise comfort because you must party with abandon, while embracing unique and eye-catching designs.

It’s getting colder, but at least there is something to look forward to in spring. Festivals will be back and just like in the olden days of raving, it’s the outfits that matter as much as the music, friends, and good times.

Now is the time to stock up for letting loose.

Festival fashion it’s an expressive art form, bold colours, eclectic patterns, and daring styles. It’s the sum of where we are as a people, as a single hive but with many moving parts. With festivals becoming significant cultural milestones, the fashion associated with these events has evolved, or been retrofitted to what the nineties’ rave scene sparked, merging comfort with creativity and a lot of eye candy. Not because it’s scanty, but because it takes you into another universe entirely.

Festival fashion has always been about making a statement. This year, the trend continues to emphasise comfort because you must party with abandon, while embracing unique and eye-catching designs. According to Tanya Nel of festival fashion outlet Raggle taggle Gypsy, festival goers are prioritising pieces that are both comfortable and durable. “People are spending longer hours at festivals, so there needs to be a considerable consideration in terms of comfort,” she said. Nel suggested the practical challenges of festival wear, noting that expensive or delicate items can easily get damaged in the energetic festival environment.

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Show skin with style

Layering with sheer fabrics remains a festival stock standard. “If you want to show more skin, but you’re not one hundred percent sure about it, the best way to do it is to wear something sheer and layer it with basic items like a bra or bikini top,” she said. This allows balancing modesty with boldness without sacrificing a look, so to speak.

For first-time festival goers, Nel recommended investing in a few key items that can be easily mixed and matched. “The best thing you could do is get yourself something sheer, whether it’s a pair of pants, a skirt, or a dress,” she advised. Sheer pieces can be layered with items already in your wardrobe, making them cost-effective and versatile. For men, Nel suggested opting for holographic or psychedelic printed shirts paired with comfortable shorts. Kimonos are also a popular choice, providing a stylish yet comfortable option for festival wear.

Festival fashion is inherently tied to self-expression. Nel said that festivals provide a platform and opportunity for individuals to experiment with their style without the constraints of everyday fashion norms. “Anything goes at festivals,” she said. “As long as it’s a little bit arty and different from what you’d wear to breakfast with the family, you’re good to go.”

This freedom of expression is also reflected in the bold choices many festival goers make. “People are feeling more positive about exposing more skin,” Nel noted. This trend towards body positivity is not just about fashion; it’s a reflection of a broader cultural shift towards embracing and celebrating diverse body types she said.

Accessorize to hypnotise

Accessories are important said Nel. It adds a personal touch to any outfit. She noted that while the overall fashion scene and how people dress up for festivals hasn’t changed drastically over the past few years, there has been an increase in the popularity of certain accessories. “People are tending to wear more animal prints, specifically cow print, which has come in with this whole idea of the space cowgirl or cowboy,” she said. Harnesses have also gained popularity as versatile accessories that can be paired with various outfits, she said it adds an edgy flair.

Another striking trend in festival fashion is the braless or shirtless look. It’s a statement of confidence and freedom. Going braless under sheer tops or entirely shirtless, often accessorised with body glitter or temporary tattoos to enhance the look or pasties or nipple caps worn instead of tops or under sheer garments remain a hot ticket.

Ultimately, Nel said, there are no rules. It’s simply about maximum visual impact, and that is what makes festival fashion such an incredible playground.

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