Upgrade Your Summer Festival Outfits With These 5 Black-Owned Pieces

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Welcome to Fashionably Black!, a style and culture guide for Black people highlighting the cultural moments, pioneers, and conversations we’ve always been a part of! Putting a magnifying glass to style & self-expression, Fashionably Black! explores the many ways we are the history, we are the fashion, and will ALWAYS be. We’re not trending, we’re true.

Summer is finally here, and we’re in the thick of festival season. You’ve set up group chats with your friend discussing everything from what artist you need to see live to where you’ll be meeting up at. But the last and most important factor is what you will be wearing. If you’re like me, you may have saved some items in your shopping cart via an online store. But time flies by, and before you know, it, you’re putting together your outfits just days before the event.

As your style editor, it’s my duty to guide you along the process of creating an ensemble you not only look fabulous in but feel fabulous in. Key factors to think about while getting ready are the weather forecast, outfit practicality, and last but certainly not least, incorporating your personal style. 

You may think it’s easier to follow trends, but in all honesty, trends should be used as a starting point. If you want to come up with a look that’s your own, try selecting one or two trendy pieces you love and visualize how it meshes with what you already have in your closet as well as the feeling you want to evoke when wearing them to the festivals.

The five festivals we have on our radar to attend are Broccoli City, CurlFest, Lollapalooza, Rolling Loud: Miami, and AfroPunk. Here are some pieces we think you’ll look great in and that can be used to build your perfect festival fit.

Broccoli City (Washington D.C.)

If you’re around the DMV area, you know all about Broccoli City Festival. This year it takes place on July 15 and 16 at RFK Festival grounds in Washington D.C. The lineup is stellar, including the likes of Jasmine Sullivan, Coco Jones, Chlöe Bailey, Tia Corine, City Girls, and so much more. For this event, I recommend wearing a lacy crochet top – it’s breathable for the summer weather but also has a unique pattern and texture that will stand out and turn heads. This piece is versatile, so you can pair it well with any of your favorite bottoms, from a maxi skirt to denim shorts.

One of the biggest natural hair festivals is making its way back! For the second time, it will be held at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. From my own past experiences, you’ll be running into all your friends you ain’t know would be in attendance and walking around to all your favorite hair care vendors. So it’s a must you wear something light and flowy such as a sundress, especially in vibrant colors and patterns to coincide with your dope hairstyle.

Rolling Loud is a festival that is always packed in each city it shows up. Its next destination is Miami on July 21 through July 23. You may think your fashion sense won’t matter or that it’ll be too much. In actuality, I recommend leaning more into elevated basics — the asymmetrical-shaped tops or bottoms will add the right amount of flare to your outfit. These convertible track pants are simple but edgy, and they’re great if you get hot because they unzip at your knees and turn into shorts. You’ll also get a lot of use out of them because of how versatile they are and how seamlessly they’ll fit into your wardrobe. A win-win.

Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL)

From August 3 to August 6, Lollapalooza will be taking over Grant Park in Chicago, IL. This four day festival is filled with music performers across many genres and chances are you’ll be grooving a lot. You don’t want to worry about carrying much except your ID, cash or card, and cellphone. A mini tote crossbody bag option is perfect and will get you through the days without the worry of losing anything.

This year, Afropunk will be taking place August 26 and 27 in a new location: Skyline Drive-In in Greenpoint. Although the summer may be coming to an end by this time, that doesn’t mean you have to put away the bikini tops just yet. This Aztec pattern bandeau top resembles an ode to the alternative style you see at this festival. It would also pair so well with a vibrantly colored high-waist skirt and combat boots. Styling tip: shop along the vendors for accessories such as jewelry and scarves to add to your ensemble.

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