Are we tired of cowboy boots yet? How about disco pants with a geometric print? Can we still support fringed shawls? What about the combination of bikini top, denim shorts and combat boots?

When it comes to festival fashion, we see pretty much the same outfits every year, with very little variation. For the most part, clothing falls into four emblem archetypes.

There's the VSCO girl of the first daughters who will never succumb to the fall of the felt choker, often wearing lace shorts and a tube top. There is the Gothic goddess who channels an indescribable aura with a dark touch, decorating herself with silver accessories over transparent or chainmail pieces. There's the bohemian desert girl who escapes to dry land to be a flower girl in a fine dress. And then there's the regular raver who prefers to immerse himself in a breathtaking reality, imitating wavy graphics and flashing lights against a matching neon backdrop.

Although expected, these characters, happy, carefree and autonomous, reflect the feeling of a music festival – a happy release from everyday life. Festival attendees choose from these carefree, musically driven alter egos, adding touches of their personality to an extravagant set where it is most justified.

But generally, festival fashion can be limiting, even banal, especially when you break it down into individual genres. For example, if you're going to Stagecoach, you won't be wearing one of the glitter-saturated jumpsuits or ties that blanket the crowds at Ultra. Instead, the Stagecoach style calls for a Western movement, a landscape sprinkled with cowboy hats that stand out like desert cacti, flannel shirts and distressed jeans.

Yet every year, regardless of location, we see certain trends favored over others. In 2023, the alternative bohemian aesthetic took over with frayed, fringed, and frayed skirts paired with piles of vintage jewelry that followed no method or form—the more mismatched, the better. Beaded chains and steel-link belts covered the waistbands of full crochet outfits, while a metallic campaign nearly doubled in support—oh, and the '70s-inspired flare seemed to tap into the already established love for balloon dresses.

A contemporary fashion that emerged from the 2023 festival season, which I predict we'll see a lot more of this year, was the juxtaposition of masculine and feminine codes within the same outfit. During the long days and hours on foot, festival-goers dressed fashionably and comfortably, in bright tops and bustiers and looser pants, like low-waisted drawstring parachute pants and flatteringly long denim shorts, finding solace in the way there.

With April just around the corner, Indio, California, is gearing up for back-to-back Coachella and Stagecoach madness. So anticipation awaits what will likely return as the fashion festival leader in 2024 and whether new styles will make their way onto the scene.

Here are the trends we hope to see this festival season, and the ones we hope will be phased out.

What to expect:

Headscarves and bracelets on bracelets

In an abyss of chaos, you want to remain protected. Delicate chiffon scarves and chunky bracelets aren't just the additions that embellished Yves Saint Laurent's spring/summer 2025 collection, they're the perfect armor for staying hidden. Think about it: in a swarm of people under the scorching sun, you need the hardware and scarf to block out outside noise and focus on the stage ahead. Plus, they translate into a loud “nice girl” declaration of “Don’t bother me.”

Belts over micro shorts and miniskirts

Even with clothes that don't require a cinched waist, like woven shorts and tight skirts, festival lovers heavily decorated their pants with belts last year amid the Y2K revival. No belt loops? No problem. Fashion works better without them. Strips of leather were piled atop chains with dangling pendants and threaded into large buckles.

Since this easy elevation method maintains its favor, especially in the TikTok fashion world, and influencers are sure to dominate the festival scene, it only makes sense to assume this mod look will return this year. The question is: will you participate?

Jorts, and lots of them

If you haven't heard, the high-cut denim shorts we used to buy that were purposefully too small are no longer “in.” These are mesh micro shorts or men's long mid-calf denim shorts, also called “jorts” – which I like to think of as a battle of extremities. In festival parlance, you choose to dress for the midday heat or protect your legs for a chilly night.

Jorts adhere to the concept of comfort, but are also a milestone in the search for androgynous fashion. Example on Miu Miu's spring/summer 2022 catwalk with printed briefs intentionally peeking out from miniskirts, women are jumping on the bandwagon of baggy pants for the love of everything loose and low-waisted. Sassy cut denim shorts had their moment, but jorts are now taking over as the perfect dance pants (as long as they're cinched in at the hips).

Canadian tuxedos

Maybe I'm just voicing this, but I'd say the return of the Canadian tuxedo is justified by the aforementioned love for '70s fashion at festivals.

Effortlessly casual yet ultra-relaxed, the denim-on-denim ensemble exudes the laid-back energy of the era, equally suited to a terra firma scene. Both Burberry and Givenchy defended this with unique new arrivals on their spring/summer 2023 runways. Gigi Hadid wore knee-length cargo jeans with an elongated jacket to match the French brand. Meanwhile, the British clothing brand fused wide-leg trousers with asymmetrical tailoring and exposed seams in its matching denim look.

Hooded Tops

Why look for shirts and headscarves separately when you can combine the two? Interest in hooded shirts has peaked with bold brands like Eckhaus Latta making waves in the 2024 ready-to-wear collections. Streetwear retailers like Atmosphere and Frequency, as well as high-fashion stores like Saint Laurent, are attracting fashion fans with this occult style that seems perfect for the gothic goddess aesthetic.

Worn out motorcycle boots

With a surge of dupes for Miu Miu's four-layer buckle boots, the presence of genuine distressed vintage shoes that one would assume belonged to a motorcycle owner is expected this festival season. Between Frye, Steve Madden and Vagabond, the fashion masses have been gobbling up biker boots all year, pairing them with every pair of pants imaginable. Think of it as a combat boot update with a distressed, distressed feel.

Utility Belts

Despite the number of TikTok fashion influencers carrying their designer bags to Coachella, it's never a good idea to bring something with equal risk and value. The desert is dirty and the parks can get muddy. You don't want to bring your expensive bags just to wear, believe me. Plus, if you're jumping up and down on a bunch of people, you don't want to be clinging to your bag the whole time.

Crossbody bags have been a festival essential for some time now, and now utility belts are gaining the same traction. The voguish accessory is an update to the functional fanny pack.

For inspiration, channel Emma Chamberlain in the gold cutout jumpsuit and burnt orange-black work belt from Coachella 2022.

What should be left behind:

See-through shirts over bikini tops

This sheer style controlled festival fashion long before it appeared on nearly every runway over the past two years. Wanting to wear as little clothing as possible is a concept that consumes the minds of music festival-goers for mobility purposes, not because it's a revolutionary look. But short ponchos, micro shorts and crochet pieces are just as flexible and provide a more updated look.

Hypnotic sets

These two matching, abstractly patterned pieces are often chosen as a way to channel the same curved frequency of electronic music. But you can form artificial structures through exaggerated shapes and textures with different clothes.

(Getty Images)

If you're planning on indulging in a musical adventure this year, remember, with all the festival fashion, there's a way to match your personality with the same free-love spirit – think Kate Moss walking through a painted Glastonbury of mud in a long-sleeve minidress and belt with an exaggerated buckle and late '90s Hunter rain boots. (Note: Is it too soon for the return of the Hunter boot?)

Although festival fashion seems to exclude any model other than the beloved four, this is not the case. You can embody the same fervor while straying from the quintessential looks with a laid-back base and a little more accessories than you're used to.

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