Fashion trends can often be seen making a comeback time and time again. And festival fashion is no exception. Since the 60s, we have used festivals as a time to really let ourselves loose and not care about the fashion restrictions of everyday life. This means we have seen everything on the fields from neon, to mesh, to tassels, to holographic and everything in-between. So, what festival fashion trends have we seen before?
In 2016, tie-dye clothing took the world by storm with everyone becoming obsessed with the psychedelic and colourful print. Because of this, nearly every clothing item you can think of joined in on this trend. So, it’s no surprise that it dominated festival fashion – and is still a trend that is used today.
However, it’s not the first time the tie-dye trend has been seen.
Following the hippie-lifestyle, tie-dye was first seen in festival fashion in the 1960s. The colourful items were used as a way to stand out from the bland clothing and really send a message. It is well known that the hippie brand revolves around peace and love, so tie-dyes were a non-violent way of promoting this. When musicians such as the Grateful Dead showed their support for the hippie movement, tie-dyes swarmed the music scene. And, therefore, made their way to festival fashion.
The 70s also followed this fashion trend as a lead on from the hippie take-over of the decade before. And it was also seen making a comeback in the 90s.
In keeping with the colourfulness of tie-dye, printed shirts are another popular attire at festivals. Also known as the ‘festival shirt’, these are often staples in men’s wardrobes for the festival season. The colourful, patterned shirts allow for a striking, out-there look that isn’t something you could normally wear. The fun, holiday-looking item really shows the joy of music festivals and are commonly used for group outfits.
The ‘festival shirt’ trend was also seen in the early 1970s. Although, no singular fashion trend dominated this decade, the printed shirts were in full force in the beginning years. With their bright colours and strange prints, the shirts incorporated the hippie style and perfectly blended in with the new era. As expected, with their love for bright, bold and exaggerated fashion in the first few years of the 70s, the trend was seen throughout several festivals.
Bohemian fashion – suede fringes
Bohemian fashion really rose to popularity again in recent years and has strongly influenced festival outfits. A notable example of this was during 2015 Coachella where many celebrities and festival goers sported this trend. The earthy colours, natural materials and free-flowing looks perfectly matches festival aesthetics so is a go-to style for the summer parties.
In today’s wardrobes it can be found in the form of fringe bags and boho chic trousers. However, the bohemian trend that has thrived in many decades is the suede fringes.
First seen in the 60s, the boho style was mostly associated with hippie fashion due to the natural materials and hippie-inspired prints. The trend then merged in with the 70s with their statement accessories. Many designers even created fringe dedicated collections after being inspired by Native American suede fringe.
Other returning trends from past decades
The list of returning trends is never-ending. One item the is continuously seen in festival fashion is leather. This piece of material has been used for trousers, footwear, skirts, tops, jackets – practically every clothing item. And it has definitely made its way through the decades. After first being used in festival fashion in the 70s, it popped up again during the grunge years of the 90s, and again in the 2000s.
A specific popular leather item is army boots, which was seen in the 70s, 90s, and today.
Furthermore, bell bottoms have also been a popular trend that was seen in several decades of fashion. It was first introduced during the hippie culture of the 60s and 70s and has managed to re-emerge itself in recent festivals.
Other popular, and more recent, returns are bucket hats from the 90s and headscarves from the 60s.
That trend will be making a comeback
As seen throughout this article, many popular festival trends have been seen before and always circle back around. So, why do we have such a ‘one-wear’ mentality?
It all begins with clothing brands.
Many clothing brands that are around today have festival dedicated sections on their website. Therefore, they are supporting the idea of buying a whole wardrobe specifically for this occasion. This then leads to the ‘one-wear’ mentality as we often buy extravagant items which aren’t wearable in our day-to-day lives. All of these festival-ready outfits will then be thrown away to make room for the next years fashion trends. This not only contributes to the extreme amount of waste that is piling up on landfills, but also contributes to the pollution to takes to make the new clothing.
And the problems just keep on coming.
Festival and fast fashion now seemingly go hand-in-hand which is so damaging to the environmental well-being. The non-biodegradable glitter and the micro-plastics used in cheap materials are both playing a role in harming the planet. So, what can we do to change this?
A more sustainable mindset is the way forward with festival fashion. Don’t be afraid to keep the clothes you’ve already brought and re-wear them. Do DIY and make them into something new. Repurpose them. As we’ve seen, trends will be making a comeback at some point. Is there really any point in throwing it away to just buy it again?