A fortysomething man going to a music festival? What can possibly go wrong? Well, probably quite a lot if I misjudge the ABV content of my craft beer and the subsequent volume intake. If I get that right it should make life easier, but what to bring clothing wise is probably my biggest logistical quandary. What does a man of forty plus years wear to a music festival?
Covering the basics
I have decided to go for a functional, rugged menswear look. The reasons for this are several fold; Beer tends to spill when in crowds of exuberant people, it rains, I am sleeping in a tent and finally fitted white t-shirts and food stalls don’t mix. I am also going to be drinking a fair bit of craft beer (did I mention this already?), so my urbane weekend look that I often favour is simply not suited to a music festival in Ireland or the UK.
Hitting it up with selvedge denim is a must. Selvedge is the thinking man’s denim and also brings some brawn to the arena.
The heavyweight denim gives a bit of protection against the elements and if beer or food heads south, then the denim can cope. I have discovered selvedge is the denim to invest in for those reasons and the fact it molds to your own frame after a few months of wear.
The denim ages beautifully, so break ’em in and show them off at the festival. Pairing it with a heavy tee or shirt and a man has just nailed easy-going functional style.
What I wear- Hiut indigo selvedge with a heavy bag t-shirt from Taylor Stitch. An Irish festival in Welsh denim and an American tee for me.
Well-trodden festival grounds are not for the faint of heart when the rain clocks on (we won’t mention portaloos). What I need is a comfortable boot that I can stand and walk in for hours and not give it a second thought. Sore, wet feet ruin the joy of watching a band I may have waited a lifetime to see. You don’t notice such afflictions in your twenties, but I am long past that stage. Comfort matters. Boots are just the job. They look great with the denims I picked out. My bottom half is now sorted. Tip: Break in any new boots or shoes before the festival. I wore my Red Wing boots around the house for 3 weeks before they saw the outdoors.
What I wear- Red Wing Moc Toe boots in oro-russet. I will also take a pair of Adidas SPZL trainers as a tired legs fallback.
The top half
I have a couple of shirts in mind and the same applies for t shirts. The weather may well dictate terms and what I wear will be obscured by waterproofs and mud, but let’s hope not. I have warmth, style and practicality with an overshirt from Bristol-based Grove & Co.
I have a striped blue shirt in Japanese cotton from Bee Outerwear and a contentious shirt is in the running for a festival appearance, well I don’t find it contentious, but my wife does. It is a Yosemite shirt by Taylor Stitch in a light camo (I picked it up from The Revive Club ) which my wife insists is overtly military (so much good menswear started out so is my riposte) and also makes me look like I am going out to hunt elk. Well, I like it and am definitely packing it. So there.
On the t-shirt front I will pack one or two tees in the hope of some balmy weather. I am definitely avoiding white or cream, so it’ll be navy, grey or maybe a hint of mustard if the weather really turns it on. I will pack these more in hope than expectation.
What I will wear- Grove & Co overshirt, Taylor Stitch shirt, striped shirt from Bee Outerwear & “heavy bag” tee from Taylor Stitch.
Preparing for the elements
Anything involving outdoor pursuits in northern Europe necessitates the wise man to reach for stylish waterproofs. Is there such a thing? Well, yes, but it can be a tricky find. I have my trusty Lowe Alpine cagoule, but it can be overkill for what maybe a bit of drizzle and I can’t stand hoods on any garment. I invested in a waxed jacket from the English heritage brand Gloverall with the skilled waxing of the garment being expertly carried out in Dundee, Scotland by Halley Stevensons This jacket will keep me dry as a bone with my style credentials intact. It should also see me through a few rainy days wherever they should be.
Instead of putting up a hood (which I have a slight aversion to doing), I decided to get hold of a waxed cotton bucket hat from Laird Hatters This will keep me dry and hark back a bit to my youth when the bucket hats were a festival essential.
What I wear- Lowe Alpine cagoule/Gloverall waxed jacket and a waxed cotton bucket hat from Lairds of London.
The craft beer
Well, what is going in the tank for the three days of festival going? Well, the beer offering in-house at the festival does not look that appetising. Factor in the queues and the general trend for drinks to be underwhelming at these events and it made sense to bring a selection of my own choosing. I currently have on chill-
Kinnegar kumplenest pilsner (Ireland)
Milk Stout Nitro from Left Hand Brewing (USA)
Sierra Nevada Summerfest lager (USA)
Eight Degrees Brewing Orange Ball fruity pale ale (Ireland)
If you are lucky enough to be going to a music festival or heading on an outdoor adventure, then enjoy the good times. If not, you had better get planning!
Thanks for reading,