ACL Fest: Practical fashion pro-tips from experienced fest-goers

We all dream of Instagramming like a top-shelf Coachella cutie, but looking fresh while standing in a field all day isn’t easy. For this month’s Sound Style feature, we hit up three native Austinites who are playing Austin City Limits Festival for fashion inspiration. The artists, sultry R&B singer, Mélat, dreamy pop artist Taylor Baker from the Wild Now and rapper Zeale, who will be performing with Missio, each showed us a look, based on an Austin City Limits Festival muse.

(photos by Laura Skelding for American-Statesman)

Read more about how they made their style choices and developed their looks. 

A few important ACL Fest guidelines might affect how you plan your look and pack your bag next week. For security reasons, many local venues have started restricting bag sizes for large music events over the past year, and ACL Fest is following suit. The official ACL Fest do’s and don’ts list says your bag should be roughly 1,000 cubic inches or 10 by 10 by 10 inches. They say drawstring bags work well. Also, Team Austin360’s favorite accessory of yesteryear, the umbrella — useful for staying dry and blocking sun — has been banned, so consider investing in a lightweight rain poncho and heavy-duty sunscreen for your face. This year, there also will be a full body pat-down and a metal detector at security, worth considering when you accessorize.

PHOTOS: ACL Fest fashion pro-tips

We also hit up an assortment of experienced fest-goers for style pro-tips to help you rock that Austin City Limits look right.

Courtesy of Stephanie Bergara

Stephanie Bergara (audience development/music tourism program coordinator at the city of Austin Music Office and lead singer of Bidi Bidi Banda):

• Think long and hard about your choice of shoes. If it’s uncomfortable five minutes after leaving the house, it’s definitely going to be uncomfortable five hours later.

• Fall festival season calls for a long flowy scarf, either for protecting your airways from dust or keeping you warm with that evening chill. Either way, keep it light and stylish.

• Don’t over-accessorize! The more you bring with you, the more you lug home at the end of the night. (And bag size is restricted anyway.)

• Check the weather. You don’t want to be the guy who has to walk home barefoot after losing a flip flop in the mud, or the girl who is cute but freezing in that romper she bought over the summer.

• Looking for a fun and easy way for your friends to find you at the fest? Bust out those bright colors, wear your oversized sunglasses, your bright lipstick, belly chain — yes! Flower crown — yes! It’s festival season, baby. Time to show off your best and brightest.

Courtesy of Amanda Garcia Davenport.

Amanda Garcia Davenport (lifelong Austin music patron, Giant Noise PR): For me, comfort is key. Sneakers or boots are a must because I hate the feeling of dirty toes, along with shades and/or hat to keep the sun out of my eyes, and I always always bring my own little folding fan. They are easy to tuck away in a pocket or bag, help keep you cool in a crowd and, since we’re talking about fashion, are the perfect accessory. I bought some at dollar stores and had friends gift them (to me) after their travels. (Honestly I try to keep two on me at all times even outside of festivals because TEXAS, and I feel bad fanning myself while whoever I’m with sweats.)

Courtesy of Yadira Brown

Yadira Brown (singer in Keeper, who open for ACL Fest artist Muna at their official ACL Late Night Show Oct. 12 at the Parish): I’m a sweater, so keeping my hair up is vital, as is wearing comfortable, breathable fabrics. In my bag: a handkerchief for blotting sweat and protecting from dust, personal water bottle to refill and stay hydrated with all day, and some cash for Juiceland when the energy levels get low.

Courtesy of Georgia Bramhall

Georgia Bramhall (owner, Honeycomb Hair Boutique): Oil blotting papers (are good to have), although I just blot with paper towels or something. If you wear makeup, use a primer first and then long-wear makeup. MAC Pro Longwear is kind of my go-to. Doing some kind of hairstyle like partly pinned up or braids or some kind of combo of the two is better because you don’t have to fuss with your hair and the constant fight to get it out of your face. Hats are always great, too!

Courtesy of Laurel Kinney

Laurel Kinney (style consultant, Laurel Kinney Personal Styling): I’m overly practical when it comes to dressing for festivals. I always recommend some kind of cool bandanna (or bandanna-sized scarf) because it can serve many purposes, be worn in multiple ways and is never out of style. Keep all of your accessories practical! Sunglasses, hats, bandanna, and you won’t ever feel too costume-y at the end of the night, even in your craziest festival outfit. And bring a (small) backpack!


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