Coachella’s Best (And Worst) Threads

We started at the very packed, youth-filled Alt-J. Amateur move, folks.
]1 We started at the very packed, Youth-filled Alt-J set. Amateur move, folks. Don’t ever follow the Youth.

In the weeks approaching my third-ever Coachella experience, I spent a lot of time not thinking about the music. I thought about clothing. Ever since I made the decision to get more use out of my wackadoo wardrobe, I’ve been determined to wear the crazy stuff whenever I can. You know that part of your closet, right? It’s those things purchased years ago that have steadily collected dust and guilt. These are the clothes that you love so much and yet, never actually put to use for some reason. No more!

Case in point: I have a Buffalo Exchange dress I purchased for $7 in ohhhhh probably 2009. Broken-zipper pre-installed. It also had styrofoam boob cup holders. Yes, STYROFOAM. The manufacturer graciously glued a thin piece of fabric to the cups lest you chaff your breasts. I bought this dress knowing it was a fixer-upper. And it sat in my closet. Bought a zipper once. It wasn’t long enough. So it hung there. Waving hello every time I passed over it for something functional.

Until this year. I said, “I WILL WEAR MY COOL CLOTHES,” while thinking “Good grief, these things need some risk and TLC.” Because HEY, if you never fix something, you can never RUIN it. So I got that dang ole zipper fixed. And I used my favorite pair of don’t-stab-yourself fabric scissors to gleefully RIP those styrofoam cups right out of the bodice.

Lo, this story has a generally happy ending but I did one thing wrong. When the time came to wash the dress, I did. And then it went for a “tumbled dry”. People, I over-dried it. Which means… it shrank. Not too much! But it took a correctly sized dress and made a teensy bit more… form-fitting. So here we are. This dress was going with me on the Coachella trip no matter what.

The rest of my packing was a quick practice in “see which non-fancy dresses you have that are clean.” Load up on sandals, some sun screen, jewelry… DONEZO.

photo (5)

So then we go to Coachella the way the professionals do–later in the day, ready to see where the tide takes us. For the Day 1 ensemble I went for mega-comfort. It was just me and my Rachel Pally Reggie maxi dress. I also wore some hella old green suede sandals with gold button-things (from Urban Outfitters back-in-the-day, kinda like these but t-strap) and a necklace from Nasty Gal. Day 2 was my fixer-upper dress paired with lovely Indian bangles from my friend Erika, and some dangly wood earrings I got in Prague. Day 3 started with a striped tube dress with a big ole cowl neck and open back, but once the dust storm made itself known, that dress transformed into a wind and dust-fighting machine. I added a hastily purchased Ross jacket, some skeleton tye-dye leggings I got at the best Joshua Tree National Park shop, and sun glasses all. night. long. It was fun to wear everything and I felt pretty darn good about my choices.

But enough about me. You can here for the good and the bad of other people’s threads. And so here’s the best of the best. The things people wore that made me stop, stare, and frantically scribble notes to myself as to never forget their awesomeness. And then there’s bad stuf. The things I never ever want to see again. Ever. If you’re going to Weekend 2 Coachella and one of these things is packed, you will not be dressed like an original, beautiful snowflake.

YAY Looks

  • I saw plenty of fringe. There was a terrible amount of fringe-on-fringe (which is a crime). Fringe booties, purses, vests, bathing suit tops…. yaaawn. Then we walked behind a woman wearing a cream minishirt with three-layers of fringe. OH GOD, YES. It was basically this Forever 21 chiffon fringe skirt but looked well-made and rather luxe.
  • To the sir wearing a long-ish (faux?) fur coat without a shirt and red basketball shorts: bold move, thank you.
  • Two of my favorite styles at Coachella were patterns. Not just in a single dose, but twice the whimsy. Yes, this shoutout goes to the man wearing a light blue geometric print button up with matching shorts. And to the woman wearing a Richard Scary-esque illustrated pattern with animals/nature on white. She sported this superb pattern on a turtle tank and mini skirt.
  • And finally, my favorite combination of the whole dang trip. To the sir wearing camo pants and a baby blue Laura Ashley print button up. THANK YOU FOR THIS. I laughed, I cried, I took a creepy picture of your back.
camo dude

NAY Looks

  • Lana del Ray-style fake flower headband, headdresses, headgear, and head wraps. Is it me or do the fake flowers make it totally depressing? Now if I had seen a real flower headdress, then fine, ok. Otherwise, it’s very, very common and boring.
  • It pains me to list this, but neon. I understand the desire to match neon with neon but that isn’t like, something that is very pleasant to look at all day. Especially considering that there was very little that people were actually wearing. So neon “Ray Bans” and neon bathing suit top and neon kicks. UGH, no, really.
  • Butt shorts. You know the kind. Two jiggly half-moons delicately hanging out for all to poke, think about poking, or accidentally poke. You can’t sit down without getting your butt on something. And I cannot imagine how uncomfortable it must be to have tight shorty shorts on in that heat. Can you say swamp butt? Double whammy of doom: pair booty shorts with a high waist. It looks like you’re toothpaste being squished out of the tube.
  • Once again, I surprise myself with the discovery of a strong dislike of glow sticks. They’re about as good lookin’ as sequins stapled to a pair of Ugg boots. Your glow stick necklace is an eye sore. So is that one around your wrist. And the one attached to your purse, and belt… and ankle.
  • Most get-off-my-lawn complaint: visible bra straps, bare bellies. Maybe I’m showing my age a touch, but how hard can it be to find something without blatent bra straps? And all those tight, taunt belly shirts. I sniff my nose with a slight foot stamp and harumph. Youth.
  • Honorable mention: 60s style crochet tops. They’re pretty unoffensive in general and that daisy pattern is precious. However if you wear one to Coachella, I promise you’ll be one of 5,000 ladies sporting this look. Promise.

Coyote Hole

My sister and I stayed in this lovely dessert bungalow. If you ever need a place to stay in Joshua Tree, I recommend the Coyote Hole Holiday House. If you think it looks like a house you may never want to leave, you are not mistaken.

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