The alternative girl’s guide to festival fashion

When I told one of my online friends (cos they’re a thing, right?) that I was heading off to Glastonbury this year she said I hoped I wasn’t bringing my flower crown with me. We had a bit of a back and forth about how festival fashion has become a ‘thing’ now. Shaggy shorts. Fringes on everything. Petals around your head Jesus thorn style.

I had to agree with her that I could see how you might go against it – the fashionable thing to do is to be ahead of the possy right? So beyond boho chic, what are we looking at?

Luckily, I have come to know a very fashionable woman who cuts up the streets of Drogheda with her wardrobe choices. Apparently her jeans pile has to be seen to be believed. And she never throws away a thing. When she came with us to Glastonbury she wore genuine 90s. That she used to own. That looked so cool now – because fashion has come back around.

As Electric Picnic is just around the corner, I wanted to get her ideas on what the alternative girl will be wearing this year.

Meet Hayley Dawson, LadyNicci guest stylist and fashionista. Yes, she actually looks like this all the time.

Hayley Dawson
The gorgeous Hayley Dawson who knows more about fashion than Bardot herself


Hayley set about explaining Boho to me and told me that it’s not just about fringes and tassels and fitting into a look, it’s about doing your own thing and creating your own look.  “Boho is about doing what you want, mixing, prints, colours and textures. You can achieve this with crochet and knitwear, fringing and print. I’ve pieces I’ve loved and bought over the years and had nothing to wear with or wear to; a festival is the perfect excuse to break those pieces out –BE BRAVE.”

River Island playsuit boho chic

Shirt Dress Boho Chic

Hayley says that if you’re worried about dressing boho you can use accessories instead. “The boho trend isn’t about ‘matching’ but if you do want to feel like the look has to come together, try a denim jacket over what you’re wearing, as a bit of a cover up. I find it always pulls the whole look together.”

Green kaftan dress is from River Island swim wear range and costs €26. The white embroidered dress is MissGuided at €37 and the mustard smock dress is also MissGuided at €46.50.

Smock dress boho chic

Western Fringed Backpack

Pom Pom bag










Western Fringed bag is from MissGuided at €37. Pom Pom bag is ASOS and priced at €33.


2. For the girl who doesn’t do Boho

If you’re not into boho and feel it isn’t you or is something you want to wear, then think vintage and sporty. Hayley recommends checking out the Beyonce Sports Range at Topshop – Ivy Park for great shorts, comfy tops and hoodies and the Adidas Orginals range at ASOS. “I love the bodysuits in the Ivy Park range, but let’s face it, they’re not too practical for the portaloos. Instead, you can look at the crop tops or mesh panel crop tees. The Adidas range at ASOS is vintage and very sporty – it’ll offer comfort all during the festival. Mix with tracky pants, black skinnies or baggy ripped jeans. Of course, you can top it all off with your sporty cap and weekend festival motto – Wake Up, Smash It, Repeat!”

Sporty girl festival

Red Adidas Sweatshirt from ASOS is €64.  White crop top from Beyonce’s Ivy Park range at Tophops is £22. Black hat is from River Island at €20.


Silver dress

Tea Dress Topshop

3. Nail the 90s

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that the 90s are back with a bang. Hayley recommends nailing the look with “feminine tea dresses, plain tees, vintage logo tees, vest tops, anything with spagetti straps and finishing it all off with a choker.” She says that, “as it can get cold during festivals, particularly for Electric Picnic which is on in September, all these dresses can be layered with black tights and still look good.”

Black star print tea dress is New Look at €29.99. Silver metallic dress also from New Look on sale at €18.74. Denim dungarees are ASOS at €47.

Denim Dungarees












4. Camoflauge, Khaki and Military

Hayley has picked out two items under the military and khaki theme, but there are a ton of army inspired fashions in the shops to choose from. On our trip to Glastonbury this year I picked up an authentic military jumper in the Oxfam shop as I was feeling the cold – it was scratchy but warm and it’ll probably come with me to all festivals from now on. Hayley says: “All camo doesn’t have to be khaki, check out this bag which is practical too. The bomber jacket is in keeping with the 90s trend too. If you can pick up an army jacket, you’ll find they’re great for layering with a raincoat.”

Military collage

Camoflauge bag is ASOS at €40 and khaki bomber jacket is from River Island at €65.


5. Headgear, Hair, Sunglasses and Accessories

Headgear is not just an afterthought at a festival. It should be your first thought! Hey,  if it’s raining; you need to keep that face dry and create a porch for your beer. The beautiful Hayley came prepared and had her long locks in braids at Glasontbury. “It was very Kardashian,” she says, “and who knew it would be so practical. Took my hair out and voila, crimps!” Here Hayley has selected just a few accessories that will help keep you ahead of trend.

Accessory collage

Cream Blossom Hair Clip from ASOS: €20, Western Double Buckle Belt, MissGuided, €20, Straw Hat: H&M: €12.99, Black Felt Hat, H&M €24.99, Patterned Scarf, H&M €9.99, Cat Eye Sunglasses, MissGuided: €13

6. Raincoats

“Raincoats are a must, particularly at Irish festivals,” says Hayley. “I bid on a daisy floral rainjacket this year, which has sold out fast on the high street, so it’s worth keeping an eye on eBay for wanted items.” Here Hayley has chosen a fab metallic rain jacket and a fun unicorn print. Definitely ravin’ material. 


Metallic jacket, MissGuided at €40, Unicorn Print jacket is ASOS at €21.

7. Wellies

Don’t even think about going to a festival without some sort of rubbery shoe. Hayley has picked out two pairs here. “Who needs glow sticks when your wellies light up?” she says. “These are a great conversation starter too.” The pink pair glow wellies are from ASOS, retailing at €29. It’s good to have a short pair too, which may be more practical if the weather is drier. “I had a similar pair to these,” says Hayley, on the black Gamble boots. “They go with everything, look exactly like boots and they suit the 90s grunge look too.”

wellie collage 2

Black Gamble wellies are ASOS priced at €27 and the pink glow light up wellies are also ASOS at €29.

And so there you have it, a fab run down of what the hot possy will be wearing to Electric Picnic this year and beyond. What do you think of the choices here – do any appeal to you and what’s your sense of fashion when it comes to festivals or outdoor celebrations? A thousand thank yous to Hayley for her time in pulling together these looks. Make sure to follow her on Pinterest @Haylzster and on Instagram @haylzster

Hayley Dawson Instagram

December Girl is now available on Audio. Visit Amazon or Audible or click on the cover below to download.

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20 Comments on The alternative girl’s guide to festival fashion

  1. It’s a long time since I’ve been to a festival but I used to love them back in the day. My festival style was definately boho but I love everything you’ve included in this post. I definately want to add some camo style to my wardrobe soon. Kat x

    • Ah thanks a million, that’s great to hear! yes some fab pieces here – I don’t think I’m boho – I thing the 90s dresses are my favourite. Actually I did buy a tea – dress for this year’s Glasto now that I look back on it! Hope you haven’t ruled festivals out of your future!

    • Well luckily that’s what we put into the post! And raincoats and wellies are must. Especially at UK and Irish festivals!

  2. I hadn’t been to a festival for years and then today I went to Carfest and we had a great time. I wore a similar dress to the new look star dress with my flat sandals. Lucky we had a gorgeous sunny day x

    • Ah that’s fab, I love that black dress, it’s my secret favourite! Glad you got the weather for it, makes it all the more special.

  3. What a fab post. I love some of these styles and outfits. I need some wellies big time! Maybe pink! I want to do twinning wellies with my daughter!

    • They’re pretty cool alright – I still can’t get into the 90s properly – I think it’s because I had such a bad fashion time back then!

    • Thanks a mil – I love boho too but never get to wear it – I don’t think I’m enough of a dreamer to!

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