As a novice Coachella-goer, my primary concern while mentally preparing myself for the fest was twofold: 1) How will I survive the extreme desert temperatures? and 2) What will I wear to help me achieve the former? Ever since the Indio event's heydey in the early aughts, it's transformed into a veritable circus of street style stars, and most would agree that, these days, it's more about the fashion than the music. Consequently, trends surfaced that, for better or worse, have become associated with the three-day musical extravaganza.
So when it came time to packing my suitcase (pictured above, $360; steamlineluggage.com), I tried to find a happy medium between what's now been dubbed "festival style" by the fashion crowd, and pieces from my New York wardrobe that are decidedly more downtown than desert dancer. Between that mild identity crisis and finding items that would function well in the climate (which can reach over 100 degrees during the day and drop to as low as 40 at night), I had my hands pretty full. Without further ado, here's what I came up with—broken down by day and occasion (my own version of Cher's closet, if you will):
(Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser, $10; Maya Brenner Asymmetrical Mini Letter Necklace, $240; Botkier Flatiron Crossbody, $198; Tularosa Dame Top, $158; DL1961 Ivy Fringe Shorts, $178; Superga Cotu Classic Sneakers, $65)
For Day One, I'm opting for pieces that the quintessential festival attendee wears on the regular, i.e. fringe shorts and a peasant top. DL1961’s swishy bottoms offer a subtle take on the '70s trend, while Tularosa's gauzy fabric promises to conceal my sure-to-be copious amounts of sweat (later to be wiped away thanks to this handy Kiehl's cleanser). A poppy bag adds a punch of color and lace-up sneaks keep the look casual. I prefer not to wear a lot of jewelry while traveling in fear of losing it, so I intend to wear this Maya Brenner necklace throughout the weekend and never take it off.
After presumably getting my footing around the desert, my plan for the second day is to kick it up a decibel with a slightly dressier outfit. This Lover + Friends romper hits at just the right length on the thigh, and the lace detailing around the leg holes make it seem fancier. These Le Specs frames cover enough of my face to ensure that I won't get burned, and this tinted Burt's Bees lip balm with built-in SPF promises the same for my lips. Arguably the most crucial item here is the Mighty Purse, which features a hidden built-in battery to give my phone extra juice on-the-go.
(Shoshanna Rainbow Fringe Peasant Dress, $285; Frends Taylor Headphones in Tahitian Pearl & Gold Bundle, $265; Marysia Broadway Bikini, $266; Westward Leaning Voyager 13, $195; Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray, $36)
I'm going to make like a celebrity and do an outfit change this afternoon, but only because my schedule includes attending a pool party, and it would be a shame not to wear a suit. The scallop design on this two-piece by Marysia flatters almost any figure, and just in case I don't have time to go back to my hotel room and change, this Shoshanna dress-slash-cover-up can swing both ways. Westward Leaning sunnies will shield my eyes from the rays while simultaneously making me look like a cool alien, as will these Frends headphones with their pretty Tahitian pearl detailing. It goes without saying, but spray-on sunscreen is a necessity in any outdoor situation, and this Clarins one is chock full of SPF.
For the third day of the fest, I'll likely be tired of dressing up, and this easy-to-wear LDD by 3x1 looks good with almost anything and doesn't require much thought to throw on and go. I'm planning on slipping on these flat espadrilles too, because I can't be bothered (why anyone wears heels to any music festival is beyond me). This Elizabeth and James bucket bag functions as a two-in-one and can be worn over-the-shoulder or as a backpack, which technically disqualifies it from the no-backpack rule and renders it perfect for an impromptu dance party.
Time for another celeb outfit change, because my plan for the last night consists of dancing well into the evening and praying for a hologram of sorts. Because of this, I'm choosing to wear all-white (to better reflect the neon lights with), sans these awesome BucketFeet slip-ons. Each sneaker from the line is designed by a different artist—this one is actually the brainwork of the brand's co-founder, Aaron Firestein. Classic fold-up Ray-Bans will come in handy during the late afternoon, and this American Eagle denim jacket will be my savior when the temperatures inevitably drop after dusk.