How To Coachella: Fine-Tuning Your Look For Hot Desert Days and Nights

What’s the word on trends at this year’s fest? Cowboycore, glamping, and retro cameras to capture it all

Gearing up for Coachella is a perfect mash-up of flossin’ and survival. The annual music mecca in Indio, California, attracts people from all over the world who come to see first-rate talent in the hot, hot, heat of the desert, while also aiming to look their finest. Among the headliners this year are Frank Ocean, Blackpink, Rosalía, Björk, Blondie, Gorillaz, and Bad Bunny, who will perform with dozens of other artists on multiple stages over two weekends in April.

“I start planning my outfits months in advance,” says Sierra Jessup, a 20-year-old college student from Palm Springs. “I usually go for a beachy vibe, but I’m thinking of whipping out some cowboy boots this year for photo ops, then changing into my Converse.”

“Cowboycore” is the hot look for women at this desert affair—a combination of a favorite pair of broken-in cowboy boots matched with the festival’s now-classic “brachella”  look: a bikini top offset by faded fringed cutoffs.

For men, the fashion choices are generally less complicated: a tank top paired with a vintage Hawaiian button-down and floral shorts is one perennial look. And this year, a bucket hat is definitely de rigueur.

“Don’t wear pants,” cautions Angel Chavez, a Coachella whisperer, who has built a cottage industry out of Coachella hacks. “You’ll only regret it. Shorts all the way.”

If you’re a VIP and intend to only pose in the beer garden all day, go ahead and wear stilettos. But festival vets know that dancing for three days and nights requires countermeasures and so slip insoles into their Converse high-tops, Doc Martens, or Vans to pamper their dogs while keeping their fashion game high.

At dusk at Coachella, a ritual takes place. As concertgoers gather to watch the desert sunset, a cheer erupts when the moon finally lights up the night. Then, the merrymakers disperse, dressed in the latest earthy finery, to the evening’s festivities.

FRAME-UP With contrasting rectangular lenses and faux mother-of-pearl frames, Strawberry Sherbet sunglasses are meant to evoke the vibe of ’90s supermodels. Le Specs, $79,
IT’S A MATCH The Djembe top and skirt are crocheted from cotton and finished with scalloped hems—perfect for hot Coachella days and cool nights. Wales Bonner, $783,
BOOT CAMP Americana gets funky on the Fairview cowboy boot, with stars and stripes forever over a distressed leather fi nish and a walking heel for easy festival striding. Old Gringo, $720,
FREE ALIGNMENT Coachella famously channels the desert’s mystique. Give your mind-body balance a boost with the 7 Chakra Abalone necklace, hand-crafted with 14-karat gold-fi lled chains and crystal detailing. Goldish, $388,
JUST SHOOT ME The retro-cool Instax Mini EVO camera captures festival memories in real-time, spitting out old-school Polaroid-style prints before you can say, “Where’s the Beer Barn?”Fujifilm, $200,

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.