Festival fashion through the eras

2020 has been a strange year but now it’s come to an end, we are hoping that this year will bring back festivals. Not only do we need some social interaction but we also need an escape from our strange ‘normal’ quarantined day-to-day lives. We want to dress up in our festival gear, wear our muddy wellies and an oversized ‘waterproof’ mac. Festivals are a way of expressing our best selves and being able to get away with unorthodox outfits.

So why not start the year by throwing it back a few decades and looking back at what festival goers used to wear. Here are a few of our favourite pieces that have been picked out from our volunteers at Wastesaver that represent the trends through the era’s.

60s & 70s – The Hippie era

The music festival scene dated as far back to the 60s and 70s, with the Isle of Wight being the first music festival that was hosted in the UK in 1968, and then Glastonbury Festival in 1970. This was the era that precipitously changed the revolution of music and assisted with the inaugurate cliché of festival fashion, the very famous hippie trend that we still seek to wear now.

These clothes had flower power prints, psychedelic colours, tie-dye style, flared pants (that became the rage in the 70s), peace signs, paisley prints, John Lennon style sunglasses, suede fringing and embroidered details.

80s – The bold era

This was the era that brought a memorable and unforgettable festival called Live Aid, which was a concert that raised millions towards famine relief for Ethiopia.  The line up included Elton John, Queen, Madonna, Sade, Sting, Bryan Adams, David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Tina Turner and many more huge acts.

It was an era that marked bold statements in particular Madonna’s delivery of her striking style, which included mini skirts, lots of lace, fish net everything, signature headscarf, shoulder pads, beads, pearls and stacked gold chains. Also prevalent in the 80s, leather and denim or bold print jackets, men’s tank tops and stone washed edgy rock-style denim jeans was the norm.

90s –Grunge era

The 90s brought the first ever T in the park in 1994 and Creamfields Festival in 1998 and countless other festivals across the UK. The grunge look had taken over and every look required flawless head to toe styling. This era was about plaid patterns, ultra baggy trousers or jeans, dungarees, crop tops, bucket hats and bumbags.

2000s – Boho-chic era

By the 2000s, festivals were the thing and Glastonbury had become one of the biggest festivals in the world. We had the first Download festival in 2003 and the first Latitude Festival in 2006. The 60s and 70s hippie style had come to be the expression of bohemianism (but with more glam) with the unconventional ways, loose fitting clothes and florals.

The boho style is all about the natural fabrics like delicate linen, chiffon and cotton, leather, sheepskin, fur and suede. Oversized clothing was very popular, with kaftan dresses and tunic blouses served with scarves and belts to shape your look. Lots of embroidery, floral, crochet and patchwork patterns and don’t forget the suede fringing stolen from the hippie era.

Today – OTT era

In the 21st century today the music festival scene has become a social experience and the popularity in the UK keeps on growing. Festival goers take the opportunity to express themselves and wear absolutely anything that goes. Festivals are the perfect place to articulate our creative minds whether this includes sequins, bodysuits, co-ords, neon and metallic colours, cycling shorts and headdresses.

Check out our Depop and ASOS Marketplace for some of these items – link below.



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