How to dress for this summer's festivals
If you don't have the garb for these fests, you can still get the look for less.
Summer’s the time for showing off that beach-ready body—or hiding your not-so-ready form under a full-length medieval gown. Instead of splurging (how often you gonna wear those fairy wings?) follow our low-priced suggestions.
Eat, drink and be fairy
Set your fairy fetish free at the World of Faeries Festival (Aug 1,2) in South Elgin. Based on modern folklore, you’ll definitely need a petite figure, the face of an angel and magical powers. Missing those assets? Try winging it with costume essentials, glitter tattoos and face painting ($5–$10) by Kathy Beringer of Head 2 Toe Bodyart in Crystal Lake.
Celtic gents throw on the ceremonious dress for Celtic Fest Chicago (Sept 12, 13). Not man enough to exhibit the traditional garb? Skirt the kilt and head to Anne Mckeown’s Evanston store Anne’s Irish Knits. She has a more practical choice for the clan-less: $20 authentic Irish knit socks.
At International Mr. Leather Weekend (May 21–25), the demure should cease their blushing and enjoy the array of armbands, biker caps, cuffs and, of course, the almighty assless chaps. Animal hide isn’t recession-proof, but Sheldon, of Shel-don Chicago, a veteran in custom leather creations, brings some $20 items to IML’s market.
Step away from the computer and halt your online bidding for designer handbags. The smart, spend-thrift gal who frequents Randolph Street Market Festival (May 23–Sept 27) dusts off her vintage purse from last year’s fest, tosses it over her shoulder and shows it off while hunting for other frugal finds. Purses begin at $5.
Ol’ college try
The bands at Lollapalooza (Aug 7–9) don duds so trendy they’d make Chloë Sevigny covetous. But swarms of college-age fans pack Grant Park with decidedly less exciting garb: backward hats, T-shirts, khaki shorts and the perennial hippie dress. Add a music-fest-veteran look and buy last year’s commemorative tee at lollapalooza.com for $25.
Halloween is months out, but you’re itching to reveal the inner knight, jester or lustful woman-of-the-street inside of you. The Bristol Renaissance Faire (Jul 11–Sept 7) is the place to show your royal heinie all in the name of fun. Thou shalt save shillings and rent a medieval costume for $30–$50 at Fantasy Festival Costume in Algonquin.
To dye for
Even Trustifarians who managed to shell out the $249.50 for a washed-up Bob Dylan are hard up these days. At this year’s Rothbury Festival (Jul 2–5), lose the pricey, custom-made hemp necklaces and take a lesson from the ’rents, who might’ve once said: Groovy guys and gals wear tie-dye. If you don’t have it, stop by the Sunshine Daydream vendor booth for tees ($12–$15) and dresses ($13–$40).