So, I went to Coachella this year. And it was unbelievable. In the best way possible.
Coachella was the best weekend of my life so far. I met incredible people, did other worldly things, and had an amazing amount of fun. My friend invited me to go with her and some of her friends for weekend one (Coachella is a two-weekend festival for those of you who don't know) and we had a lovely time.
This was my first time at Coachella and my experience will be different than others, I wanted to write a post for you guys about the must-haves for the days when you're at Coachella. Let's get started.
Everyone at Coachella wears booties. Why? Because you're in the middle of the desert walking around for hours. Not only are booties more comfortable than sandals or heels, but they really do keep your feet clean. There's only a handful of things that are more tacky than a dirty pedicure. Majority of the booties I saw were Western-style and had fringe, buckles, or detailed braids on them with a very slight heel (like these). Personally, the ones I wore were the Crown Vintage Larin Western Booties. I had a fringe purse, so I decided to pass on fringe booties. I really liked my booties, though I do wish I would have broken them in a bit more before heading off to the festival. Nonetheless, they looked perfect with all of my outfits and stayed in top condition during the whole vacation (they still look like they did when I first got them).
If you feel comfortable wearing crop tops, Coachella is the place to wear them. I basically lived in my bikini and crop tops the entire weekend. The very last day of Coachella I opted for a romper from H&M's Coachella collection with my hair in a top knot, but other than that, it was crop top central. 90% of the girls that were in our group, and at the festival, had a crop top of some sort on. Knit, crochet, cotton, mesh—you name it, it was worn.
When I was on the hunt for cute crop tops for the weekend, I found the cutest ones at PacSun. I wanted to get crops that were trendy, but not invest a lot of money in them incase they got ruined. My favorite one that I wore was from this little boutique in San Diego that I got a few years ago. It's a completely knit black crop top, and it kept me cool the entire day despite it being a dark color.
Side note: you're able to go braless with your outfit during the festival, do it. It's a hundred times more comfortable and you won't have to keep readjusting your bra. It's 90 degrees there. You will get hot, you will get sweaty, and you will not want to have one more clothing item on you if it's not necessary.
You're in the desert and sunshine all day. You need your sunnies. Invest in a good, stylish pair.
Body chains, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, hair chains—bring them all! Coachella is jewelry-central. I don't remember where I heard it, but the week before I left for California, someone said "if you think you have enough jewelry on, put on double that amount, and then some, and you'll be good." At the time I was like, I don't know, that seems like a lot, but I brought a lot with me just in case, and man, was that right. The funny thing is, the more jewelry you put on, the better your outfit ended up looking. If you're not a big jewelry person, those Flash Tattoos were also really big there. I brought some with me, but didn't end up using them. I like them a lot, but I liked how the jewelry itself looked.
Portable phone charger
You need this. You'll want to take pictures, use Snapchat, and find your friends when you're lost. I don't know what it is about the desert, but it sucks your phone battery up like no other. And trust me, there's nothing worse than having your phone be on 5% battery and not being able to locate your friends at a huge festival. I brought two with me from the brand Justin. I charged them when I was back at the place we stayed at when I charged my phone for the night, then threw them in my purse with an iPhone USB cord, and I was ready to go and didn't have to worry about running out of power. Plus even if you don't need it, a friend might!
I don't know the reasoning behind it, but me, and everyone else I was around at the festival, went through so much gum. Bring some.
Now for me, I didn't need to bring a backpack. If you're camping on the grounds or actually get there at 9am, you might want one, but we never got there before 2pm, so I didn't need to bring one. I had a small purse with me that fit some power, lipstick, chapstick, my phone, money, and the chargers and I was perfectly fine. Don't just bring your phone and that's it though; you'll get tired of carrying it. My purse was one of those ones that could be a cross body, but I just kept it handing off one shoulder. No one really seemed too concerned with stealing anyone's stuff, but I mean I wouldn't leave my purse somewhere and walk away either.
Tip: Don't bring your whole wallet. In fear of losing my wallet, I brought my state ID, a credit card, and $100 in cash each day to the festival. I just put all of it into a little ziplock bag and put it in that little zipper compartment of my purse. That way it was waterproof and it wasn't the end of the world if I did lose my purse. I'd just be out a credit card, some money, and my backup ID. No biggie at all.
You'll see many of the festival-goers wearing bandanas to keep the dust out of their face when walking to the festival. I was fortunate enough to not have to walk far, so I didn't need a bandana. However, if you do not wear anything to cover your mouth and it's windy out, be prepared to end up with a sore throat. It's now a week after the festival and my throat is still aching from all of the sand/dust. Throw a handful of cough drops into your purse to help with easing up minor pain during the festival. I don't regret anything at all, but I wish I would've thrown a few more in my purse.
"I don't burn, I don't need sunscreen." Girl, I don't burn either, but to protect yourself, lather on some SPF. It'll keep your skin moisturized too. I would highly recommend applying this at least a half hour before you go so it has time time to absorb into your skin. There's nothing fun about having sticky skin that sand will soon stick to.
I wore my hair down in waves for majority of the weekend, but the very last day, I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted my hair up off my neck and it was such a relief. Bring a ponytail holder, or five, for you and your friends. It'll save you when you're hot, when your hair no longer looks so cute, or if someone strap on their bag breaks. Even if you don't think you'll need it, bring one just in case. It's better to have it and not use it, than need it and not have one.
Thank you all for reading this! If you went to Coachella, tell me what your favorite memory was! Tag me in your comments on Instagram (@tiffanymariegabriel) so I can see all the fun you had too! For those of you who didn't go this year, I hope you learned some valuable tips from this post to use for other festivals or for future reference.
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