Sometimes the sun shines at festivals. Other times, it pours with rain. It’s no surprise deciding what to wear to a festival can be tricky, especially when you typically have to carry your clothes, along with a heavy tent and everything else you need to get through a weekend of fun in a field.

As festival season warms up, we look at what you should be wearing. While you should always think somewhat practically, we’ve got festival outfit ideas that’ll keep you looking stylish – whatever the weather.

Before we start, though, put those wellies and a rain mac somewhere you’ll remember. You’ll need them. They might not be the most stylish items around, but they’ll be lifesavers by the time you reach the second day. Festival style icons – like Alexa Chung, Kate Moss, Douglas Booth or Jared Leto – may make it look like effortless, but don’t forget they’ve probably got the luxury of a mud-free backstage area to retreat to and freshen up.

Going to events like Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, or somewhere abroad such as Hideout or Tomorrowland can be a bit of an endurance test. That’s why what you wear to a festival has got to be part of your survival kit. The clothes should be able to battle the elements if needed, and still look the part. Oh, and you might have to be prepared for them to be occasionally sloshed with beer and splattered with mud. 

But having fun should be your top priority – the clothes we’ve suggested give you one less thing to think about and will help you look, and feel, great for the whole festival.

What should men wear to a festival?

A layered approach to stylish menswear:

The British summertime is unreliable. When you’re packing for a festival here, layers will be your best friend. Not only is layering a practical choice, it’s stylish. We suggest a patterned t-shirt which’ll take centre stage for most of the day. 

Great options include this Bewley & Ritch tropical print tee. It’s confident and contemporary. If you’d rather a shirt, this short-sleeved option from Bellfield is sure to inject a bit of personality into your look. After all, what better time to wear a loud shirt than at a festival? If you don’t get it too muddy, you could wear it undone and over a plain white tee another day. Versatile fashion doesn’t have to be boring. 

Shorts are a great bet to complete your outfit, as they avoid any of the fuss of tucking your jeans into wellies. When you’re trying to balance on mud, you’ll be thankful. These tailored chino shorts from Luke 1977 are perfect, and are just another example of the brand’s great ethos to put a fashionable twist on menswear – without overdesigning. The result: a modern twist on masculine style. The complete look is ready-to-wear festival style.

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to warmer climates for a festival, there’s nothing wrong with wearing swimming shorts. You could get away with it at UK festivals, just try and avoid the temptation to swim in the mud after a few drinks. We love the pop of colour from this Luke 1977 pair.

It’s unlikely you’ll be lucky enough to get away with swimwear for the duration of the festival, though. To keep warm when the weather changes, layer up with a casual bomber jacket. Versatile enough to be worn over most shirts or t-shirts, this suede Bellfield bomber jacket will update your look for the evenings. Effortless style has never been so easy – which is lucky when it’s likely you’ll be battling the elements. 

What should women wear to a festival?

Our grown-up take on women’s festival style:

What springs to mind when women’s festival fashion is mentioned? Glitter, fringing, short shorts and flower headbands? Think again. It’s time what women could wear to a festival grew up. Our suggestions embrace sophisticated style with a playful edge. This type of festival fashion isn’t about throwaway clothes; it’s about clothes that’ll become a permanent part of your summer wardrobe.

First up, we love this animal print shirt dress from Religion. The brand encourages innovative, individual style – which is something we admire at Monks Clothing. The dress has got plenty of attitude, and will ensure your look stands out in a crowd of colourful, sometimes over-the-top, festival outfits. Plus, you’ll be thankful you opted for something lightweight, loose and practical when others are trying to wiggle out of an extravagant leotard in the queue for the dreaded festival toilets.

Staple festival fashion – like this ICHI cream summer dress – can always be squished into your backpack. The lace detailing around the shoulders and hemline is subtle and feminine. Teamed with wellies and a denim jacket, you’ll have a relaxed look for the day that’s comfortable, without compromising on style. Denim-style dresses are another easy on-trend option – we love the slouchy pockets and flattering A-line shape of this Bellfield dress.

Other easy-going outfit options include playsuits and jumpsuits. A complete look in one, they’re what you’ll reach for towards the end of the festival when you’re getting a bit worn out, but still want to look stylish. This ICHI jumpsuit is ideal, with vest-style top and drawstring waist.

For a more glamorous look, why not take your little black dress on a trip? A trusted wardrobe staple, it can easily take on the challenge with you – yet still make it look like festival life is a breeze. This ICHI black dress is a to-go choice. The contemporary twisted neckline allows the fabric to hang in a flattering way. Throw on some jewellery and you’ll have an understated look, as if you’ve just walked out of the backstage area.

Deciding what to wear to a festival isn’t easy. But you only need a few good looks, as you can’t carry much more. With a bit of planning, you’ll be grateful when you know what to put on before scrambling out of your tent in the morning. Keep up-to-date with all our solutions to fashion dilemmas by checking out our fashion guides. From first dates to daily workwear, we’re here to help you. With Monks Clothing, you’re in safe – and stylish – hands, whatever the occasion.