It’s always fun to see what’s going on in the world of clothing, especially while at an international festival. We know our trends over here in Canada, and in fact have an entire micro-industry centered around festival fashion. People here go all out, and whether it’s sporting something in the costume realm just for laughs or getting done up sleek in feather leather stylings, it’s more common to wear something to stand out rather than it is to blend into the crowd. In North America, festival fashion as a whole is pretty prevalent for both men and women.
At Outlook Festival this is not quite the case. Upon arrival at Outlook Festival, I was greeted by a sea of ill-fitting high waisted jean shorts and loose multi-coloured genie pants. For the most part, women didn’t really seem to worry much about their appearance. They seemed much more concerned with partying super hard, a sentiment I can kind of get behind. I know high waisted mom shorts have been in vogue for a while, which isn’t a problem for me if the fit is nice. However, with the loose diaper-esque fit that was happening at Outlook Festival, I began to wonder how the youth of today was getting laid. I know facing the port-o-potties is a bad time, but were the port-o-potties so horrific that girls were just going for it in their jorts? It couldn’t be. No, it was just a trend gone bad. Very, very bad. This style really put the fear in me, since whatever the UK’s look du jour, becomes Canada’s look du jour in two to three years.
As for men, most seemed to be “regular guys”. Sporting shorts, tank tops and fisherman hats, function seemed to be the main goal. Nothing wrong with that per se, but if we all just stuck to function, there would never be anything fun to look at! I mean, it was great that I wasn’t forced to look at dude after dude in his girlfriend’s galaxy tights (come on guys, every girl knows the rule – if you wear tights you have to cover your bum! Not wear a belly top with it so we can see the details of your package in all it’s shrunken glory.) But, I am a sucker for a guy in a funny festival outfit, it has to be said.
Amidst the horrific abundance of seemingly pooped in pants, there were some peacocks amongst the pigeons. Some diamonds, shining extra bright, embracing costume culture and looking damn sexy. These men and women were fun to look at, and extra fun to chat with.
Super Awesome Bathing Suit Tops
These were the first stylin’ babes I ran into. One thing about the British ladies, they all seemed to have the best bathing suit tops! Fresh off a boat party these girls were invoking their nautical style. Good work ladies! You soothed my initial horror at the sloppy drunk people walking around looking like the day after a rank second-rate community college kegger. Before I saw these girls I was honestly becoming worried there was a dick making roofy-colodas on the premises, because everyone was so sloppy wasted.
It’s safe to say the fisherman hat is back in full force, at least for dudes. Everywhere I looked I could always see at least one guy in the crowd wearing one of these. Although it’s also pretty safe to assume most of the guys sporting this look have absolutely no memory of Scary Spice, babydoll dresses, flannel, or the subsequent grainy disposable camera prints that gave embarrassing proof to one’s support of such things, there was the odd man that definitely saved his hats from glory days gone by. I personally am holding out for a day when synthetic rave overalls are not only accepted, but revered.
Fanny Packs and Being Cute
Here we have a fine young lady exhibiting the UK lady’s love for the fanny pack – she just does it way better than most of them! We loved her look! She understands the idea of jean shorts that fit! Even her makeup was supreme. When compared to the girls stumbling around excessively drunk, with hickeys on their necks and loose assed fake jean shorts that were actually printed cotton, strapped down by a fanny pack so they didn’t slide right off their tiny bodies … well … she’s a breath of fresh air.
Immaculate Braids and Cute Dresses
The girls at Outlook Festival have top notch hair braid game, as displayed by our new friend Claire. All over the place, girls had Khaleesi/Katniss-elaborate braids on display – very impressive! Claire is awesome, because not only was her hair the cutest, but her dress was too! I didn’t see many girls in dresses to be honest, so Claire stood our like the cool girl she is. We want to visit her and her crew Rubber-Dub Sound System in England so we can be equally as impressed by their musical taste. It’s hard to see, but there are actually multiple braids on the go there, useful for not looking like a fat mess when you wake up in a hot tent.
THE Festive Crazy Shirt
A festive crazy shirt that fits well is something every man should have. It says “I like to party, and I’m in the spirit of things” without being as outlandish as say, the galaxy tights that were mentioned earlier. This is great, because we can’t see any squished and shrunken pee-nan, yucky nether region hair, or traces of plumber’s crack. Unfortunately these unsightly side effects are usually a part of the daily grind when guys are strutting around in funny outfits at festivals. Our crazy shirt friend shows us there is a way to indeed walk the line between straight boring and the over the top absolute bizzaro looks of Burning Man. All it takes is a nice fitting, festive, crazy shirt.
Boss Ass Bitch
I loved this girl. She looked amazing. She had such poise and stoicism. Although I loved the way she looked, a lot of her aura was her attitude of being a boss lady. Her bathing suit top is clearly rad. Her make up was perfect. And her scarf is ripe with rasta colours, which was perfect for a reggae and dub boat party (Scotch Bonnet Records specifically), where we spotted her.
Really Good Tattoos
I quickly realized at Outlook Festival that heavily tattooed people are really North American. Of course it exists in other countries in Euroland too, but per capita I’m thinking we have more people with ink. I actually thought this guy was American because of all of his tattoos. The work was really well done, and the drawings were pretty epic. It wouldn’t shock me if this guy inspired a few new tattoos on some ink free virgin types.
Straight Outta London
As serendipity would have it, I found these two rude gyals when I was touching up my lipstick. I was in absolute awe that these two could pull this off at a festival. Their makeup, hair and outfits looked like they just emerged from their flats in London to the fort in Punta Christo. Of course I found out later that they’re makeup artists, which makes perfect sense. Bonus points for reppin’ All You Need is Bass!
This girl was so cute, and she’s showing us love specs, one of my favourite things about Outlook. This fine young lady insisted I try her glasses. I had no idea what to expect, but as I put them on, any point of light turned to rainbow heart holograms! It was amazing! Everyone had them, which was fantastic, because in the dead of night I met the Love Spec kingpin, who explained to me all about their charity. With every purchase of Love Specs, money is donated to an orphanage in Malawi. I think it’s pretty incredible that Outlook Festival supports the sale of Love Specs at their festival. This whole exchange gave me the warm and fuzzies. Big up yaselves!! PS – You should get some Love Specs RIGHT NOW!
Love Specs Kingpin Rolls all the Looks Into one
There were a few things young ladies were doing that I highly coveted. They would spread a small amount of glitter on the sides of their eyes, and it looked really cute. The other fun party move, is they did away with the whole glowstick thing (thank God) and would wear necklaces made of lights. Some of them were even flowers. Cute! I just imagined myself on the playa at night (Burning Man for those of you that don’t know) rocking the most adorable outfit centered around one of these light chains. Chatting with the guy repping the Love Specs, I saw that I was not the only one coveting these looks. He did the most awesome thing and combined it all into one! He was definitely the most festive guy I met at Outlook. On top of all that, he was also sporting a marching band jacket and a bunny t-shirt. This guy was the best!
Despite not having every person in costume garb, Outlook Festival still has its share of colourful characters roaming around, just not to the extent we might be used to. In fact, one ball busting photographer pointed out that with all the good music, English people don’t have time to worry about their outfits. Excision was distinctly brought into the conversation – a low blow really. I like to think that our verve for dress-up isn’t from our lack of musical stimuli, but in fact homage to the good times at our adult playground. We like dressing up, because it’s fun and awesome! The nice thing about Outlook Festival, is that it’s a relatively unbroken festival fashion frontier. With a small amount of effort, you can set yourself apart from the herd pretty easily. Outlook is the best! You should all get tickets for 2015 ASAP and check it out. Here’s the video from 2014 to add some more persuasion: