what i wore to bestival 2018

Posted in Creativity, Fashion, Style by

I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a bit of a festival fashion snob. In fact, if you’re going to a festival this summer (or any event that requires festival dress), don’t even THINK about buying one of those £20 iridescent sequinned dresses from Primark, because – no word of a lie – at least 400 other people will be wearing the same thing. Although we did quite enjoy simultaneously pointing out ‘Primark!’ every time we saw someone wearing one (because we really know how to have fun, obviously). Seriously though, festivals are about having fun with fashion, throwing together new combinations and unleashing your creativity – so try something a little different! You’re so much better than basic bitch Primarni sequins, trust me.
That’s why I love Bestival (well, there are LOTS of reasons why I love Bestival, but this is a big one) – fancy dress and thinking outside of the box is actively encouraged, and there’s no such thing as over the top. This year’s theme was ‘Circus’, so I decided to really go for it and make two themed outfits to take with me.

Of course, I couldn’t wear fancy dress EVERY day (much as I’d have loved to – but sadly rucksack space was limited and they take bloody ages to make), so I dug a few bits out of my wardrobe to pull together some looks for the Thursday and Friday before the big weekend too. Here’s a little peek at my Bestival 2018 wardrobe!


Day 1 of a festival is a funny one. Do you travel in the same outfit you’ll be wearing later? Do you have a midday costume change? WHAT IS THE ANSWER? Well, I went for the former option and severely regretted my decision when my giant rucksack was rubbing on my bare shoulders for hours on end and I sat in melted chocolate on the coach there. But hey, I made these mistakes so you don’t have to! You’re so very welcome.

Lilac faux leather top – River Island @ ASOS

Frilly checked shorts – ASOS

Polka dot mid-length wellies – eBay

Bum bag – Primark


Festival day 2: the first day of avoiding a hangover by necking a warm Aldi pear cider at 9am and numerous frozen gin slushies soon afterwards. I chose to wear a swimming costume on this particular day, because I’d drunkenly promised glitter beards to the entirety of the ‘DJ BBQ’ tent in return for access to their swimming pool. On reflection, the ‘swimming pool’ was actually a children’s paddling pool with questionable sanitation and I’d be sharing it with a group of bearded men covered in charcoal. Needless to say I thought better of it, but I still wore the swimming costume just in case (well, you never know!)

Tile-patterned swimming costume (worn as top) – Primark

Polka dot culottes – ASOS

Floral disco ball head dress – floral headband from Flying Tiger Copenhagen with disco ball keyrings from Baker Ross (I just stuck them on with a glue gun and added a bit of extra glitter!)


The first day of fancy dress attire! Rather than dive straight in there with performers or animals, we went for what is obviously the most exciting part of any visit to the circus: SNACKS. As the pastel princess that I am, I chose to embody pink and fluffy candy floss, whilst Rachel brought out her salty side with an INCREDIBLY professional-looking popcorn outfit. Delicious!

Headpiece – make 3 pom poms using pink tulle (1 large and 2 small). Use a glue gun to fix them to a hairband (the wide fabric kind work well as the glue tends to adhere better to fabric than plastic). Roll an A4 piece of white card into a narrow cone and fix with glue, then decorate with red stripes using acrylic paint.

Bralet – take a cheap-but-pretty pastel pink bra (mine was £2.50 from Primark) and glue 3 more tulle pom poms to each cup.

Pink midi skirt – ASOS


Obviously the last day of Bestival HAD to be the most fabulous, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine my favourite things (pastels, flowers, sparkle and pom poms) in this ridiculously fabulous clown outfit that I’ve labelled ‘pastel floral glitter clown eleganza’. I made the outfit from scratch for less than £20, and the makeup was created by layering face paint with chunky iridescent glitter to highlight the accents. I was so happy with the result, and it managed to withstand 14 solid hours of dancing, approximately 20 Desperados spillages and an INCREDIBLE amount of my sweat. Yum.

Hat, ruff, skirt and pom poms – I wish I could take more credit for this fabulous DIY outfit (because it’s so bloody dreamy), but I used a brilliant tutorial by Clare Shannon on YouTube. Head over to her channel to find out how I made it!

Off-shoulder top – Primark (the tutorial suggests a body, but I opted for a top-and-short combo, partly for ease of portaloo use and partly because I blew my budget on the candy floss skirt – GOOD ONE.)

What are your top festival fashion tips (or festival fashion pet peeves)? What do you think of fancy dress at a festival? Let me know in the comments!

Alice xxx


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