By Elizabeth Wellington

The Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — Festival season is in full effect.

But these unabashed months of dancin’ (and eatin’) in the streets bring with them fashions rooted in a certain sheer, ethereal creativity that we’ve seen bomb. Terribly.

Because — well, let’s face it — very few of us can rock Daisy Dukes, historically black college sweats and fluffy Christian Louboutain boots with Beyonce Knowles panache. But I can almost guarantee some aspiring fashionistas out here will try.

So to help avoid festival fashion’s most common pitfalls: too much skin; too, too much cleavage; too, too, too much booty, and — gasp — way too much hairy chest, I’ve compiled a list of post-­Memorial Day do’s and don’ts to help all of us look fresh and feel confident as we get our party on. After all, festival fashion knows no age, does it?

Daisy Dukes

The short shorts that take its name from Daisy on “The Dukes of Hazard” remain a cheeky part of the festival-goers’ wardrobes. The good news, said Alisa Frederico, personal stylist and owner of Dressing Jane, is that waistbands are now trending higher so they hide love handles, folds and other problem areas. Also, Frederico said, the diversity in shorts’ styles this season offers a variety of lengths so at or below mid-thigh short lengths are options.

Don’t: Spend the day pulling your shorts down and out of creases. Put your shorts on and walk around your place. If you have to pull your shorts down two or more times, find another, looser alternative.

Do: Make sure your shorts completely cover your tush. “If you are comfortable with the front of your leg showing and not the back, throw on a kimono or duster,” Frederico said.


If Urban Outfitters display windows are any indication crochet anything and everything — we are talking tops, dresses, skirts, pocketbooks — are still giving us light, airy and must-have.

This year, however, thanks to the bold-hued inspiration of the late 1980s and early ’90s, the soft neutral ivories and taupes have been replaced with reds, greens, mustards. And we can’t ignore the appliques bringing these pieces floral life.

Don’t: Wear crochet tops with wide stitches without the proper foundation or layering. Not only do knits itch in 90-degree heat, you don’t want to mess around and expose a nipple.

Do: Invest in good undergarments. They can make the difference between adorable and trashy. I like spandex camisoles. (They are always on sale at the Gap.) And for these times, says Sabir Peele, founder of fashion, lifestyle and marketing outfit Men’s Style Pro, “The bralette still reigns supreme.”

Going shirtless

This is for the fellas. Please. We beg you. Unless you have abs like Idris Elba, don’t do the festival scene without a top. You will either end up looking like A) a live lobster B) assault the world with your hairy back or C) do both.

Don’t: Wear shapeless Fruit of the Looms. They are boring and chances are if you found it in the back of your drawer, it’s stained. Also, be mindful of what’s on your shirt. The wrong phrase or picture can turn a seemingly nice guy into a lout. Topics to stay away from: how good you are in bed, how many women you can pull, how much beer you can guzzle.

Do: Believe it or not, Peele said, basketball jerseys are back, so go for it. Apparently, says Peele, we can thank the Sixers play-off runs. “(Joel) Embiid and (Ben) Simmons jerseys will be prevalent.” Also, thanks to Black Panther and our continued love all things Ankara expect to see even more African-inspired prints on men in the form of dashikis (and women too, for that matter)

Throwback track suits

I’m slightly obsessed with the vintage Adidas track suits. Oh, how I want one in red! While they remind me of the Golden Age of hip-hop, they can cause us to err on the side of costume. So.

Don’t: No matter how much you feel the urge to break dance, wear your zip-up jacket and pants in one sitting. You will run the risk of heat stroke and looking like a back up dancer in a Run-DMC video. But if you pair your two-piece with cute little bandeau underneath, all bets are off.

Do: Feel free to treat your track suit like the cute set of separates that it is, says Susan Padron, Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based stylist. Pair your bottoms with a cropped T or lace-up body suit, And the jacket will go great with a pair of, well, Daisy Dukes. “The trick,” Padron said. “Is to find subtle ways to make your vintage pieces modern.”

To romper or not to romper?

There used to be a time where women over a certain age didn’t wear shorts. Thank god those days are over. But a romper? The onesie is a tougher call because of its inherent fit problems. Too small and they pull. Too big and you swim in them. But when worn just right they are the perfect transition piece for a daytime concert to nighttime after-party.

Don’t: Wear a romper that’s too heavy on the prints and in dizzying polka dots, too many stripes and loud flowers. Let chicness of the one-piece speak for itself and accessorize well.

Do: Go one size up. You often need extra room in the hip and butt area. Remember something has always got to give and it shouldn’t be your pants when they pop from the pressure of an all-in-one.

The fanny pack

Hands-free is everything at an outdoor dance party as you need your hands for dancing, texting and, most importantly, taking selfies. Pocketbooks are too easy to lose. So said, Frederico, the fanny pack is the answer.

Don’t: Overstuff your fanny pack. All you really need are your keys, a lipstick, a slim pouch for your license, a credit card and some cash, your cell phone and maybe a charger. Leave the novel you are reading at home. You won’t get to it any way.

Do: Opt for a fanny pack in a cool neutral and one that doesn’t show too much dirt (all that touching will leave it sticky and dirty). Think black, tan, camouflage (my favorite), even millennial pink.

Shoe issues

I’m one of those people who plan their outfits around their shoes. Festivals, with all of the walking and walking and walking — did I say walking? — totally make this type of thinking a must.

Don’t: Pull out the strappy stilettos, or even wedges for that matter. Those shoes are made for sitting and you never know when you will find yourself sinking into a grassy surface. We also suggest you stay away from the basic flip-flop, too. They don’t provide enough arch support.

Do: Rock Converse, ­Sperry Top-Siders or a pool slide. And for optimal cuteness, I say add a pompom. In fact, add pompoms to everything.