Coachella dress code

Lise writes:
You have such amazing style and fashion sense!! It is my first time going to Coachella this year. I’m super excited, but also lost as to what to pack. I figured you would definitely be able to help me out a little with this predicament.

Eeeeeek! Coachella! The desert, the music — it is going to be so much fun.


And if my experience last year has taught me anything it’s that Coachella is a festival. With a lot of people. Who might vomit. Right beside you. And while that may not ruin your show, it might ruin your dress so leave your most precious pieces at home.


Instead pack pieces that you’re going to be comfortable in. You’ll want to wear something short — a dress, a skirt, a pair of shorts, a t-shirt as a dress. As big as maxi skirts are right now, you’ll want to rock something a little less constricting when the mercury hits 95 (and it’s supposed to).

Bring your sunny G’s! You’ll wear shades all day long so pack a pair to spare.


Rather than bringing a giant bag that’ll be cumbersome when you’re bouncing around in a crowd, opt for a cross-body bag that’s big enough to hold your camera, wallet, water bottle, and small bottle of sunscreen.

Wear flats! It doesn’t matter what kind — boots, sandals, flip flops (don’t tell the Sartorialist I said that). Just bring a few pairs so you can rotate footwear each day.


The desert is very, very dry (shocking, I know) so bring lots of sunscreen for day and some serious moisturizer for night. I’m a fan of Riversol Revitalize Daily Moisturizing Cream.

Some festival-goers will opt for a big sun-shielding hat, but I like to get up in the middle of the action so I don’t like to wear anything that could block someone else’s view.


It can get cool at night so I’d pack a jacket in your suitcase but I’d check the weather before bringing it to the festival. I didn’t end up needing one last year (you warm up when you’re squished up in a crowd).


Instead I brought a rugged scarf with me. It’s great to sit on in between shows and it’ll keep you warm when the sun goes down.

And with that, I really should get packing. Hope this helps, Lise! Let me know how much fun you have.

P.S. I’ll be tweeting while I’m at Coachella so follow The Anthology on Twitter.

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  • Reply Angela April 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I’m going long dresses as it keeps me styling and free. Gladiator sandals or combat boots with flip flops in my over the shoulder bag so I can chuck if cumbersome. A sarong type wrap( I have yet to find) for sitting on or dancing wildy with. A big floppy hat. ( I’m only 5′ so won’t impede most peeps view) sunglasses, sunscreen en mass to share, bandaids, fold up water bottles(target item) and a happy attitude cuz it’s vacation time and Alberta weather has been the shits so I just want to soak up the vitamin d. Cheers!!!

  • Reply Kelsey Dundon April 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm


    Love it. Especially the fact that you are bringing bandaids. You’re clearly ready for an epic weekend.

    Three cheers for sunshine!

  • Reply a stylized hysteria April 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Good advice! I’ve never been to Coachella but it sounds amazing.

  • Reply heather April 11, 2011 at 12:03 am

    fabulous tips kelsey. aside from the obvious must-sees, don’t miss some of my favourites – foster the people, eliza doolittle, jenny and johnny, delta spirit, raphael saadiq, cults and the pains of being pure at heart – so you can report back!

  • Reply lisa April 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Very thorough packing advice! You even threw in skincare recommendations for the desert.

  • Reply Kelsey Dundon April 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    A Stylized Hysteria — Book your ticket for 2012!

    Heather — I wish I could have seen all of those!

    Lisa — The desert is a whole other world, lemme tall ya!

  • Reply Sound | Countdown to Coachella | The Anthology April 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    […] P.S. If you’re going to Coachella and you’re wondering what to bring, you’ll find a few of my festival packing tips riiiiiiiiiight here. […]

  • Reply Music Dude May 30, 2012 at 6:21 am

    It’s official. After reading this I no longer wish to be a part of the human race.

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