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Coachella 2012: Lessons learned

May 2, 2012

L-A: Right. So you may be aware that I attended a musical event called Coachella.

And that I may have had some unreasonable pre-event anxiety about what to wear because I knew it’d be hot and because every fashion blog and magazine in the Western World was talking about what to wear. My post-event reaction to that anxiety? BAHAHAHAHA. If I learned anything from my Coachella experience it is this:

There is nothing too ridiculous or too inappropriate for Coachella.

There. The More you Know. You can avoid the anxiety should you want to go next year (and you should. It’s worth it).

You need evidence? Well okay. We’ll start light and work our way up.

1. The Fringe

Fringe was really effing popular. I really wish I had a photo of the girl in the fringe top with the fringed moccasins and the saggy crochet bikini bottom, but alas, this is all I’ve got:


Her friend had done the same thing to her t-shirt. They weren’t the only ones. Although, this one was cuter than some. If you like it, I’ve discovered it’s from Peace Love World.

2. Costumes

A way to spot your friends? Perhaps. It’s nice to be able to spot them in a crowd. But some of those costumes had to be hot.

The Where’s Waldo outfits were okay. At least they incorporated shorts. Not pictured: those wearing giant furry mascot heads.

3. Pajamas.

With cats on them.

4. Tutus.

This was not the only one.

Pretty much how Ally would dress if she went to Coachella instead of Florida.

Bikini tops were super popular. Better still, just a bikini with a fanny pack. Or bikinis with chains hanging from them. That one was real klassy. Also, no tops. Which caused me concern for boob sunburn.

5. I can’t…even…what?

Some outfits just don’t want to be categorized.

excuse me miss, but you have muppets attached to your legs.

Not everyone was completely ridiculous. Here’s some outfits that were as practical as you can get in 110 degree heat:


this made me wish I took my mom up on the umbrella offer. Also, there’s a pony on her skirt – I like it.

There were other outfits that worked, but I didn’t photograph. Maxi dresses seemed super practical for a change. And shorts. I don’t wear shorts, so I kind of envied anyone who did. And at least two girls had on a linen striped dress that I think is from Anthropologie and I totally wanted to beat them up and steal their dress (I didn’t).

For me, the trick was to cover as much as possible (thus avoiding massive sunburn) without getting heat stroke. So what did I wear? Okay, here it is, your turn to judge my Coachella style (or lack thereof):

(Note: I am not photogenic and can’t pose for shit. I need to study Lea Michele some more).

Day 1: Joe Fresh skirt, H&M top, Hudson Bay bag, giant sunglasses, and still red TOMS. Yes. I bought TOMS. They are lightweight, cover my feet and surprisingly comfortable. I was still accessorizing at this point with rings and a necklace. Those were gone by mid-Day 1. Too effing hot. My fingers got fat and swollen as I dehydrated.

Day 2: Shopping local! Dress is Pretty Things, Shoes (TOMS) were from Biscuit) and hat was from Wildflower. Ray Bans – totally found in the field. Yes, I kept them. No, I don’t regret it. I added the cotton scarf in attempt to cover my shoulders as I started to burn on Day 1. I got compliments on the dress and other Canadians spotted my bag. (oddly, despite the look on my face, I actually asked to have that photo taken). By the end of Day 2, the TOMS were not so red and not as comfortable as I would ideally like. But I don’t think there are many shoes that hold up to 12 hours of standing in a field. My knees and back ached and I thought I might puke during Radiohead. It’s like I ran a marathon.

Day 3: nautical + floral (Joe Fresh + old H&M). I was starting to give up on life and style at this point, I was so tired. But I was still stoked to see bands and Holographic Tupac (who EXPLODED INTO STARS) was that day.  I started to wet down the scarf to keep my neck cool and discovered that things like gatorade are really quite useful. What up, electrolytes?!  My TOMS looked like a pair I’ve owned and worn everyday for three years.

oh poor shoes.

Hair: Everyday was a Lauren Conrad side braid and two knobs at the back of my head. I couldn’t deal with hair.


It was an awesome three days though. As much as they hurt, they’re like a marathon in that you finish up feeling like, “holy crap! yes! I did just survive three days of 100+ degrees AND I saw 30 bands. Some of which were super awesome and I may never have seen otherwise.” I also figured out how to do Coachella and exactly how to dress by the end of day three. So I need to go back and apply my lessons. Which will not include wearing muppet skin legwarmers.

p.s. pretty pictures I took of Coachella can be found on the Instagram (lesleyhyphenanne).

pps. I totally kind of saw Ally’s boyfriend, Eminem. Other than those on stage, no celebrity sightings.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2012 10:52 am

    Well done! I would have worn the same outfits (including scarves and the sweet lid), except for the Toms. My feet and back do NOT like them.

    • la permalink*
      May 2, 2012 11:06 am

      I was suspicious of the TOMS for comfort, but was pleasantly surprised by them in the end. I figured there wasn’t much in existence that would hold up for 12 hours in a field.

      When I do a guest post for you, I’m going to add a “what to pack” for Coachella. Because they’ve got tighter security than some airports.

      • May 2, 2012 6:35 pm

        I wear mine around the office, as office slippers. Don’t tell my co-workers, Internet!

  2. May 2, 2012 12:29 pm

    1) I can’t believe you found FREE RAY BANS!! and
    2) The muppet skin legwarmers must have been crazy hot. I mean, if you were that hot, how could she bear to wear them?

    • la permalink*
      May 2, 2012 2:02 pm

      1) I KNOW! What makes this super awesome is that I went to California saying, “I am going to buy a pair of Ray Bans on this trip”. The universe smiled on me as I headed to the nasty porta-potties.

      2) I can’t even imagine how she wore those. Maybe muppet skin breathes well?

      • la permalink*
        May 2, 2012 2:02 pm

        Although I do feel bad for whoever lost their sunglasses and apologize should they ever find this blog. I did look around to see if someone dropped a pair.

        • May 3, 2012 3:01 am

          This is perfect karma, I think. I used to have a pair of Ray Bans, the most expensive sunnies I ever owned, and I totally lost them!

          It’s the Circle of Ray Bans.

  3. May 3, 2012 3:01 am

    Wait, no, perfect karma would be me finding my amazeballs sunglasses again. But this is like 2nd place to that.

  4. April 23, 2015 7:08 am

    Someone as unfashionable as you should be allowed at coachella! There needs to be a dress code and one majour rule: DONT DRESS LIKE GRANDMA< Raid your moms closet if you have to! Seriously I saw the pics and thought this was at a feminist rally. Mind blown.

    • la permalink*
      April 23, 2015 9:24 am

      They forgot to tell me about the dress code when they sent me the wrist band. But honestly? No one wants a 35 year old woman dressing like a hobo in a flower crown. Trust. Also, I dress way better at feminist rallies (depending on the climate of course. If it’s 108 degrees with no shade, I will continue to dress like this). You do you and I’ll worry about my outfits at music festivals.

  5. April 23, 2015 1:21 pm

    I love this blog, and the responses to antagonistic commentary. Keep on doing you, you’ve been doing it pretty damn well so far.


  1. Favourite Friday: April 5 Edition | Fashionable People, Questionable Things.

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