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Bonnaroo Style Survival Guide: A Week’s Worth of Festival Fashion in One Weekend

You have been waiting for this all year — you and your best friend even got matching hipster haircuts for that faithful moment when you see Lucius, and now the clock is ticking, your money is slim and you have no idea what to wear! Never fear, my thrifty friends, I am here to save you from your style woes and help you spend as little as possible in the process — by sharing these looks I created with my crafty little hands and duds from my favorite neighborhood Goodwill.

But before I get into fashion — real talk. It’s going to be 100 degrees this weekend, so while you are dreaming of being an angelic, flower-crown adorned, pretty princess you are most likely going to end up being a sweaty, dirty, smelly bikini-clad mess, wandering around looking for air-conditioning and praying to the beauty gods that your waterproof mascara keeps you pretty. So with that in mind — I’ve focused on creating outfits that actually make sense in 100 degree weather. More tips on how to beat the heat below — but let’s get down to business with these outfit inspirations.


Look #1: The Classic Flower Child

This look requires about $5-$10, some minor sewing ability, and a Sharpie. First of all, the top: You can head on over to 365daysofthrift.wordpress.com for a super simple tutorial on how to make this easy, breezy top out of a vintage sheet or pillowcase! Then, onto the shorts: I found these adorable denim shorts at Goodwill and adorned them with drawn on roses and cut out fabric flowers — you can find all sorts of great vintage florals at your local Goodwill — and then just cut out the flowers and hand sew them on. If you are not exactly crafty — head on over to my Etsy shop at etsy.com/shop/monarchclothing to find ready-to-wear pieces you will love. Sharpie denim is a fantastic idea — you can even bring some cut-offs and a Sharpie with you and collect memories all weekend on your shorts! There is often a fake flower section at Goodwill — and with a glue-gun or a needle and thread and some of that leftover sheet fabric, you can easily create an adorable little crown.  🙂  Tutorial coming right up on 365daysofthrift.wordpress.com.


Look #2: The Electro Music Nuevo Hippie

This look is dedicated to my rave kid days. Although I read up later that a romper is a terrible idea at Bonnaroo (because you don’t want to pull it all the way down every time you step into a porta potty — ew) I couldn’t resist with this wild and comfy cotton number that I picked up a few weeks back. This look is super comfy, and this thrifted rainbow bikini top is a Bonnaroo essential. The hat is the most fun way I can imagine to keep the sun off of your face (hats are very essential for sun-shielding at Bonnaroo) and the scarf can be dunked on water to keep you cool.


Look #3: The Classic Canadian Tuxedo with a Touch of Retro Disco Charm

You have probably noticed by now that one of the building blocks of every outfit is swimwear. I’ll just repeat what I said earlier … 100 degrees folks, 100 degrees. I Iove this outfit because it shows of this incredible retro one-piece I found a while back (you can find pretty spectacular swimwear at Goodwill). It is topped off with some high-waisted-mom-jeans-turned-shorts and this amazing western denim top. I will take this opportunity to mention the boots. I found these beautiful babies at Goodwill Outlet (where they sell by the pound) for literally $1. Boots are essential for Bonnaroo because you are going to be walking everywhere and your feet are going to get super dirty. They also need to be protected, from all the creepy stuff in the porta potty and when you are dancing your butt off in those huge crowds. Goodwill is actually a perfect (ital) place to find Bonnaroo boots, because you can find incredible boots that already have a bit of wear and tear, so you won’t be trashing them with your music festival adventures.


Look #4: The Easy, Breezy Tank Dress

I happened to find this little cutie at Goodwill in leopard print, but you can find them in many colors. This dress is loose and simple and a perfect style option for your weekend festivities


Look #5: The Magic Scarf

One of my favorite things to find at Goodwill are all of the amazing vintage scarves. If you wanted to pack light and stay cool, you could pretty much wardrobe your entire weekend with a bikini top, a high-waisted skirt or cut-off shorts and three scarves — one for your head, one for a top and two in case you want to create a super cute scarf vest. I show four ways to wear your vintage scarf here, but the ways in which you can wear your scarf are endless. You can find really amazing patterns and designs and look super amazing all weekend for around $15 (three scarves = $6, cut-off mom jeans = $7).

Look #6: The American Dreamer

Cotton leggings mean you are super comfy all weekend, patriotic fanny packs mean your hands are free to dance the weekend away, and this crop-top is as easy as finding a perfect $4 T-shirt, cutting it into a tank and sewing the sides a bit more snug for a perfect fit (perfect tank top tailoring tips on 365daysofthrift.wordpress.com). You will feel perfectly equipped wearing this number when Father John Misty sings “Bored in the USA.”


Look #7: The Bohemian Folk Star

One look that is super in this year is the Maxi-Vest. You can quickly create the most amazing Maxi-Vest ever by heading over to Goodwill and picking up one of those incredible rayon ’90s dresses. Cut down the middle (or just cut those cheesy fabric flaps out of the middle) and cut off the sleeves (you can either sew them under or just tuck under and use safety pins) and in about 10-20 minutes you have turned a 90s nightmare dress into a Bohemian Dream Vest. For those of you who need a bit more instruction, stay tuned this week on 365daysofthrift.wordpress.com). A hat is totally vital this weekend to keep your pretty little face from getting blistered and burned. I decorated this Goodwill find with wildflowers.

10 essentials that will save your life at the festival


First of all, this adorable pink plastic backpack was a Goodwill find. Now let’s see what’s in it.

In the interest of helping you to stay pretty, hydrated and fresh-smelling, I give you the following festival essentials which you may not have thought of. I have been to festival environments where showering is scarce and dancing is plentiful, so I can promise you that these tips have been tested.

  1. Water bottle. It’s going to be 100 degrees, folks. Hydration is vital (ital). I love this water bottle (which you can find at Walgreens) because it has a built-in filter in the straw. You can always find plenty of water bottles at Goodwill as well.
  2. Sea salt and potassium tablets. When you sweat, you lose salt and potassium. This will make you feel dizzy and worn out. Keeping some potassium tablets and sea salt with you while you are out and about will help keep you from getting depleted.
  3. Sunscreen. Need I say more?
  4. Sunglasses: Obvi … (You can find great (ital) shades at Goodwill)
  5. Cover-up: Full-faced foundation just really isn’t gonna fly in 100 degree heat, but you might want to bring some cover-up to handle any problem spots.
  6. Waterproof mascara: Stays on even after you go crazy at the DJ Logic Show.
  7. Lip Balm: I got some Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm in my Birchbox, and it’s amazing. You can use it to tame brows, and it stays on forever and really protects your lips.
  8. Baking Soda: At $1 for a box, it doesn’t get more thrifty than this. You can use it to brush your teeth and as a natural deodorant (it reeeeeally works!)
  9. Kaolin Clay: You can get this at most natural food stores (like Whole Foods and The Turnip Truck). Mix it with water and use it as a natural face wash/mask/bodywash, and sprinkle some in your hair as a dry shampoo
  10. Selfie-Stick: I got mine as a joke about a year ago and then realized it was awesome.

Have a magical weekend, lovelies! Stay Safe, Stay hydrated, pack light and have fun!

Love and Thrift, Elisabeth

For more stories like this read the Spring 2016 edition of The Ambassador – Goodwill’s quarterly magazine which provides readers with stories of events, activities and the inspiring changes Goodwill is making in the lives of others.

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