Category Archives: festivals

Festival Fashion 101

New Look denim dressGlastonbury may be over for another year, but the British festival circuit is only just getting started. This month Latitude, Port Elliot and Secret Garden Party all take place, which means there are still plenty of festival fashion looks to experiment with. I wish I could attend all three, but for now I’ll have to settle for wearing my festival threads to the park instead.

I’ll always preach comfort and practicality over fashion trends (I’m looking at you, wedge-heeled wellies) so I’ve teamed up with New Look to offer some festival fashion pointers to any readers attending their first festival this summer.

Floral New Look kimonoTop Tips

 My number one piece of festival fashion advice is to never take what you can’t replace. As much as I love vintage, I rarely take any to festivals as I know I’d be devastated if it got damaged or lost.

♥ Capturing the festival vibe. Kimonos are everywhere right now and they couldn’t be better suited to a festival, acting as bother a lightweight layer when the sun goes down, and a throw-back to the 60s (if you want to see how festival fashion has evolved since then, New Look have just the thing.)

♥ Accessories are your friends. Taking a rucksack can seriously limit the number of outfits you’re able to pack, so hats, face paint, glitter and colourful jewellery are a great way to enhance and alter any outfit.

 Channel flower power. For Glastonbury I made floral headpieces for all my friends. Perhaps it is a massive cliché to wear flowers in your hair at a festival, but it’s also very pretty. Want to make your own? Read my floral crown DIY post.

 Make sure you take a small across body bag or backpack with you. You don’t want to be burdened carrying round a heavy bag all day, but you’ll need somewhere to stash your cash, phone, camera, sunscreen and hand sanitiser.

 A word on playsuits. Yes, they do look great with wellies and a pair of your favourite sunglasses, but have you ever tried getting out of one while inside a hot, dirty port-a-loo? Enough said… Skirts and dresses, like this gorgeous denim number, are far more festival-friendly.

What’s your favourite festival tip (fashion or otherwise)? Let me know in the comments!

Denim dress with 1/2 sleeves (now on sale) – c/o New Look / Floral kimono – c/o New Look / Chelsea boots – c/o Topshop, Cabot Circus / Black handbag – clothes swap

New Look festival outfitBright pink hydrangiasNew Look Denim dress and Chelsea bootsBaylyage hair and denim dressFloral kimono and pink hydrangiasSt Weburghs sign

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The Little Things #3 – The Glastonbury Edition

Glastonbury festival 2014Welcome to the Glastonbury edition of The Little Things, a semi-regular series that aims to highlight all the good stuff that’s been happening in my life lately. Festivals can be a surprisingly marmite topic and although I’m always very glad for a shower and fresh sheets at the end of it, I love a good festival.

I think this was my 7th or 8th Glastonbury and it was very different, as it was the first time in years that I wasn’t working there. I didn’t take my DLSR to the festival (who needs the extra weight and worry of it getting stolen?) but I did pack my teeny tiny Mini Diana. Here’s what I got up to…

Blogging about: How to make a floral crown, my favourite new vintage dress (that I wouldn’t take to a festival) and some fool-proof festival hairstyle ideas.
Listening to: Dolly Parton, M.I.A, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, Lana del Ray, MGMT, Haim and The Black Keys, to name but a few. A playlist of these acts helped me get through my first day back in the office post-festival.
Watching: London Grammar. Despite being a little underwhelmed with the main headliners, there were so many incredible acts to see this year. London Grammar closed the John Peel stage on Sunday night and were chills-down-your-spine fantastic.
Buying: New wellington boots – mine gave up the will to live by day three of the festival. Damp feet are no fun so for £20 I bought a replacement pair. Alas this meant not buying any vintage dresses, boo!
Doing: The Dolly Parton flashmob dance – ok so it wasn’t quite the 50,000 strong flashmob I’d imagined, but my friends and I fun dancing to Jolene never the less.
Eating: Pies, nachos and stone baked pizza in the Green Fields. With all the walking required to get from one side of the festival to the other, carbohydrates were a necessity.
Wearing: A vintage paisley pleated skirt from Grandma Ship-Shape, floral print dresses and lots if glitter, which I accidentally fell asleep while wearing – oops!
Shooting: Using my Mini Diana lomo camera. It’s only the second roll of film I’ve shot so I’m still getting to grips with the (limited) focusing options and the fact it seems to veer to the right.
Enjoying: Visiting one of the WaterAid She Pee stations. The toilets are always one of the worst things about attending any festival, so being able to pee standing up (TMI?) was a revelation. It made my festival experience a lot more pleasant and I’d seriously recommend giving it a try at your next festival.
Looking forward to: next year already!

Did you go to Glastonbury this year (or watch it from the comfort of your sofa)? Let me know your favourite act.

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Fool-proof Festival Hair Ideas

Festival hairstyle tutorialWhat to do with your mane at a festival seems to be an age-old dilemma that rolls around every summer. For me, french plaits used to the the way forward – I used to sleep in them and everything – but after several years of attending festivals my style has evolved somewhat.

If you’re heading to a festival this summer, here are four easy ways to wear your hair that will hide grease and look stylish at the same time…

Festival hair essentials:

Hair grips
Hairbands (plural – bring one and you’ll inevitably loose it in your tent or lend it to another festival goer)
Dry shampoo
Square headscarf
Exciting headpiece

Festival hair tutorial floral crownDay One: The floral crown

Wash your hair (and enjoy that final shower for a few days) the morning you set off, and blow-dry in your usual style. Make the most of it while it’s clean by wearing it loose with a floral crown or headpiece. Want to make your own? Check out my floral crown DIY here.

Festival hair idea side ponytailDay Two: The side pony

Your hair has survived its first day of festival fun-times and one night of sleeping on a makeshift travel pillow, so now is the time to sweep it into a side ponytail. Spritz your roots with some dry shampoo, massage in and brush out, bringing your hair to one side and fastening with a hairband. Use a couple of hair grips to keep hair in place.

Festival hair tutorial heidi braidsDay Three: The Heidi braids

My favourite festival style – this one is practical and pretty in equal measure. The plaits will disguise greasy roots and this style also keeps hair off your neck, which is ideal in hot weather or sweaty dance tents. Part your hair down the middle, plait each side and wrap across the crown of your head, using hair grips to pin in place.

It doesn’t matter if the plaits are a little messy – this just adds to the carefree look. If the sun is shining while you’re wearing this style, don’t forget to apply sun protection along your parting – sunburn is the last thing you want while sleeping in a ridiculously hot tent for four days!

Festival hair idea vintage headscarfDay Four: The vintage headscarf

I tend to wear headscarfs in this style when my hair just doesn’t want to behave, or when I really should have washed it the night before but got distracted watching Game of Thrones… Chances are your hair will be in a similar state by day four, so consider a square vintage headscarf your new best friend. Unless you have a fringe, you won’t even need dry shampoo.

Simply brush your hair into a low ponytail, double back on itself and secure against the back of your head with hair grips before adding the scarf. Fold it into a triangle with the longest edge at the base of your neck and tie at the top of your head, tucking the fabric under the knot so your whole head is covered.

What’s your festival hairstyle of choice?

Check out my festival beauty essentials post for a list of practical essentials to get you through Glastonbury/Bestival/Download.

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Festival Floral Crown DIY

Floral crown DIY tutorialWith Glastonbury Festival just a couple of weeks away and countless other UK festivals not far behind, it’s time to start preparing. One festival essential for me is a floral hair garland or crown. It’s fun and frivolous (perfect for a festival) but is one of those accessories I never feel quite right wearing at other times of the year.

I’ve wanted to try making my own for years so at the weekend I finally got my supplies and began crafting. If you want to make your own, here’s my floral crown DIY.

DIY floral crown suppliesYou will need:

Garden wire
Florist tape
Artificial flowers

I found a selection of artificial flowers in local pound shops, so these places are well worth looking in, to save a few pennies!

Wire hoop for floral crown1) Take the wire and make a hoop around your head. Don’t make the hoop too tight otherwise when you add flowers and tape to it, the extra bulk will make it smaller. Leave 2-3cm of excess wire so that you can wrap the ends around one another to form a hoop. This will be the base of your crown.

Florist tape wrapped around hoop2) Wrap a layer of florist tape around the wire. This conceals the base, helps add a little structure and covers the wrapped ends – stopping the crown getting caught in your hair or scratching your scalp.

Secruing flowers to floral crown3) Pull the flowers off their stems. With larger flowers, such as roses, you can wrap the stems around the hoop and mould to fit around your head. For smaller flowers, cut 10cm lengths of wire and use your pliers to bend one end of the wire in on itself. Thread this through the hole in the centre of the flower and this will stop the flower from falling off the crown.

Adding flowers to the crown4) Now for the fun but – arranging your flowers onto the base. If you want to, you could sketch out your ideas on paper first, but I prefer to just pick a selection of flowers in varying sizes and colours. To secure the flowers in place, simply take the garden wire that you threaded through and wrap it tightly around the base.

Second layer of florist tape5) Repeat this process until all your flowers have been attached. To finish, and another layer of florist tape to cover any unsightly wires. Your festival floral crown is now complete!

Flower crown DIYWarning: this is seriously addictive, crafty fun – I’ve already made another three! Will you be giving this DIY a go this summer?

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Style Spotting at St Pauls Carnival

St Pauls Carnival City Road

St Pauls Carnival is a huge event for Bristol that takes place every summer, bringing one day of African and Caribbean music, dancing and a large dose of cider to the streets of St Pauls and the surrounding areas. On Saturday the streets filled up with Bristolians eager to soak up the festival spirit after the carnival took a break last year.

Somehow, despite this country’s penchant for wet weather, this annual street party always seems to be a hot, sunny affair and with good weather brings the opportunity to dress like we’re in Rio, rather than the South West. Adults and children taking part in the parade danced past the crowds in a whirl of satin, sequins and feathers, but the crowds were equally colourful in their choice of outfits.

Body con jersy dresses, strappless maxis, pleated chiffon midi skirts, tropical prints and cropped tops showing off waists that had been honed and tanned for the occasion all made an appearance this year, as did flowers – pinned to ponytails or taking the form of dainty garlands (a bit like this one) sold alongside wannabe vuvuzalas and neon ‘wiggly worms’ on sticks.

I loved seeing the city soaked in colour and couldn’t resist taking my DSLR along to the parade to capture some of the costumes in action. Perhaps next year I’ll go as a cancan dancer…

Can can dancers at St Pauls CarnivalFloral hair bands at St Pauls CarnivalSt Pauls Carnival costumesSt Pauls Carnival parade kidsRed white and blue costumes at St Pauls Carnival