Monday 14 June 2010

Getting by at Glastonbury: Looking Presentable!

As soon as we have a minute of sunshine, every magazine, newspaper and blog brings out their own feature on festivals. From fashion and makeup to the music and celeb-spotting, down to just general survival, by the time the first festival of the year rolls around, we’ve already read it all.

I can’t help but wonder if half the writers of these articles have much experience at all of the actual festival experience. I certainly take their advice with a pinch of salt. This is going to be my fifth year as a Glastonbury girl, and over the years I’ve honed my own festival survival guide. Sooo, over this week, I'll be featuring one or two posts on how I manage to survive a week in a field.

Typically, of course, we are starting with two of my favourite subjects. Hair... and clothes. You know that little disclaimer under my profile picture about my hair? So true. I am a typical girl in that I spend a great deal of time worrying what my hair looks like. It’s gone through a few different variations at Glastonbury.

From hippy dreadlocks - my theory being that if I plaited it all, it wouldn’t look greasy or need brushing - oh god, it looks awful: leaving it to its natural devices. Which worked brilliantly one year (although under the hat is a different story):

...and less brilliantly the next.

I actually can't believe I'm letting that photo out in public. I look like a clown.

Last year, I opted for the straighteners route, and it was surprisingly sensible. This was Saturday - bear in mind I had been there since Wednesday.

A series of cute up-dos kept my hair from looking too greasy, and also stopped me feeling too hideous. It was all about random plaiting.

This year, I’m going to finally attempt to master dry shampoo. I don’t know why, but every time I use it, I seem to do it wrong. I have no idea why I struggle with this! However, I've got the Batiste one for brown hair now, so I'm hoping even I'll be able to figure it out.

Onto the clothes... you see, too many years of battling mud encrusted jeans and combats has taught me to leave the trousers at home altogether. Have you ever tried to put on a pair of cropped trousers that were completely glued together at the bottom by mud? It's not fun! So - on the surface, dresses may not seem practical, but hear me out.

1 - They take up less room in your bag. Dress = complete outfit.

2 - Unless you’re in the habit of rolling around on the floor, a short dress is never going to get too muddy. Tights dry fast, and if they do get too splattered in mud, you can just change them. Ruining tights is much better than ruining trousers.

3 - Also, your kag in a bag will cover most of your dress, protecting it and keeping you dry.

4 - If it gets unbearably hot, you just need to lose your tights. If it gets cold, double up on the tights and add a pair of socks under your wellies. Dresses are amazing!

And yes, I know everyone is saying that playsuits are the current festival must-have, but putting aside the fact that they just don’t suit me, I can’t get over the idea of having to pull down my whole outfit in the portaloos. What if it slipped? Would get covered in mud. And other stuff. No thanks!



  1. Great post! I am rubbish and have never been to a proper camping festival, but I do spend the summer thinking 'what? how exactly would you go to the toilet in THAT?!' - I'm glad you cleared that up haha! I love your hair in the second photo, it looks tres chic!

    Sarah x

  2. I love reading tips from people who have actually been to festivals - the articles in magazines are great for looking flash - but are they practical for actually living in a tent for a week?? I think not! :)

  3. Ha! Great post! "Festival" and "fashion" were never designed to be bedfellows.
    Your hair looks cute in all the photos.
    I've made some bloopers in my time, (catsuits and the like) and you're so right about short dresses and tights, the best option all round.
    At one festival last year we forgot to take our clothes and after the first cider it didn't matter anyway.
    We're going down next tuesday so just look out for the woman with the worst hair, it'll be me!

  4. This year will be my 6th Glastonbury and I CANNOT WAIT! So excited. And I have to say, you rock the natural hair look far better than me. I normally look like a hobo by day 3. I gave up on trousers after the first year. Now I'm all about the dresses too! x

  5. I'm always so jealous of people who can manage so long without hairwashing. Even with dry shampoo, up-do's and hats, my head is vile after 3 days and I'd sell my own granny for a shower and hairwash!

  6. I love this post, and I totally agree with you- a dress and leggings plus a cardi or hoodie, wellies or sandals, and a cag in a bag tucked away in an across the body bag- is the best festival wear around. I still haven't got the hair thing right though, mine is so fine it gets really greasy after a day or two.

    I am SO excited about Glastonbury- it will be my first time there! Any tips for what I can't miss? xx

  7. Love it! I passed your blog onto my sister, who's first festival experience is Leeds this year (:

  8. Fab post ! No way would I wear a playsuit at a festival, a gig or anywhere else i would have to use a portaloo! Really good post :) Have fun at Glasto, I am not going this year and I really do wish I was !

  9. that photo of pixie is geldof is just shocking! urgh! how is that practical at a festival? dresses are the best for every occasion! i love them so much

  10. i love the magazines which say maxi dresses are practical! HA
    Great tips! Gutted I'm going to be missing glasto this year

  11. Great post - I do not trust a single word magazines tell me about festivals!
    I bought some dry shampoo today, I've never used it before so this could be interesting haha. It smells like coconut though, so at least I'll smell nice!
    I agree about playsuits, I don't even trust myself to wear them on a night out because they making going to the loo so complicated!

  12. Completely agree – I saw one feature that suggested wearing a maxi dress. Do they not realise how much you will soak up just from visiting the portaloos?! And as for playsuits... The amount of locks that are broken on the Glasto toilets (if any locks!) outnumber the ones that work. Ohh the utter shame if someone opened the door on you!
    With dry shampoo, you’ve just gotta be ruthless. Just keep rubbing it is, until the white has gone. OR put it on before you go to sleep (I tried this a few times too)
    Love the real tips from festival goers – at least we know what we’re talking about! Have fun at Glasto – I’m gutted I won’t be there this year!
    Lou x –

  13. Great great post!
    It's a challenge to keep looking as fab but you have got it nailed now.
    My first glasto was a hair nightmare, greasy on first day. Some awful fabric headbands got me through.
    My friend had her hair put into cornrows. Love her. One burnt scalp and looking like a white snoop later she changed her mind.

    And maxi dress, playsuit and anything white? get it out of the rucksack.

    X x


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