what to pack for coachella

So here you are, only a week away from one of the most fun, hedonistic weekends of the year: Coachella. Each year's event has a slightly different buzz around it (last year it was The Hologram and weather); this year's chatter has mostly been focused on the lineup. For the people disappointed that The Rolling Stones rumour didn't pan out, or that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are played out, remember: once you are three mojitos deep with your best pals at a pool party, you aren't going to give a sh!t about how everything after RHCP's By The Way album sucks. At all.

Now that you're good and excited for your trip, it's important to make sure you've packed everything you need for a successful visit to Indio. Let me emphasize this point: strategic packing for music festivals is CRITICAL. You don't want to miss your favourite band because you're burned to a crisp, do you? See the list below to make sure you win at Coachella-ing.


1. a cross-body bag

A good crossbody bag is crucial for hands-free partying once you get on the Polo Grounds. Not only are they convenient for stashing all your stuff, the crossbody style is still super trendy and you'll end up using it all summer on Sunday Funday bike gang adventures and with maxi dresses. I like this one by Madewell - it's real leather and won't break the bank.

2. sunscreen that actually absorbs w/o making you look like powder

We've all done it: you slather on a good coat of sunscreen before leaving the house with the intention to apply more midday...and then you forget and have a nose redder than a beer league pitcher. Protect yourself from the ruthless desert sun with these 50 SPF sunscreens. I like the ones from Shiseido - they hydrate and don't leave a chalky film. Bonus: Sephora offers travel sizes, perfect for tossing in your bag.

3. a cute suit

Extremely shocking news: Coachella isn't awesome just for the concert. There's a very healthy chance you're going to be logging some serious time at a pool so come prepared. Our Sandy Savasana Bottoms are colour-blocked in very Palm Springs-apropo hues and provide enough coverage to keep you feeling comfy at a DJ set at the Ace.

4. killer shades

If there's one place that I recommend blowing the budget pre-trip, it's on your sunglasses. Think about it: they're going to show up in every one of your photos! Since you'll be wearing them with every outfit throughout the weekend, they'll need to be versatile. These Stella McCartney shades are in a universally-flattering ecru shade and the oversized teardrop shape is on point without being so outrageous that you'll regret them in a year.

5. a bag that's easy to pack

Sure, you'll be strategic when you're going to Indio...but at the end of a long weekend, the last thing you'll want to do is to struggle packing everything into a too-small duffel. The Everyday Gym Bag is roomy enough to easily stow away a weekend's worth of gear AND fits as carry-on on most airlines.

6. wipes!

There's no way to overstate it: having wipes at Coachella is a GAMECHANGER. They are good for so many things: taking makeup off late at night when you're exhausted, taking a layer of desert grime off your face every few hours, cleaning your hands so you don't have an OCD man-down situation after the bathrooms...the list goes on and on. I like these ones from Sephora - they're cheap, they smell inoffensive and they come in small packs so they fit easily into most bags.

7. bright lipstick

It doesn't matter if you wear a plain tank top and cutoffs or an elaborate outfit - bright lips are always fun and less risky that vibrant eyeliner (yeah, it looks good...but once the temperatures start soaring you risk looking like Ke$ha after a night on the town). I love Casablanca from Nars - it's a great consistency and the colour looks good on everyone, guide's honour.

8. comfy pants for the plane ride home

After an amazing weekend of frivolity in the sun, you are going to be tired...really tired. Do yourself a favour and remember to pack comfy pants for the plane ride home. The Work It Out Track Pant is my new MVP for comfort - plus, they look pretty cute with a pair of Chuck Taylors and are warm enough that once you land back home your legs won't freeze.

Are you going to Coachella on Weekend 1 or 2? What bands are you most excited to see? And what are your must-have items for beating the heat in Indio?

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Week end 2 for the second time!!

Don’t forget a hat and some purel.

Comment by Ariane — April 6, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

Weekend 1! Gotta admit I’m excited to see RHCP….

Number 1 item on my list? Glitter…♥glitter…

Comment by Sarah — April 9, 2013 @ 6:38 am

I love the idea of this, but perhaps I’m not the right demographic for this list to totally make sense for me. I am late-20s and Lulu-loving, but seriously, bright lipstick is the LAST thing on my mind at a 12 hour-in-the-sun concert (especially by day 3). I haven’t been since 2007 (and before that, 2004), though, so maybe I’m just more low key than most festival-goers now.

I’ll second the wipes and/or hand sanitizer, sunscreen, sunglasses. I would also say a hat is pretty imperative. I’m also not sure about all the references to pool-side time. I paid a heckuva lot of money for this festival, so I’m probably going to be logging more hours at the polo grounds than beside a motel pool.

I’d also add that even though it’s going to be really hot in the daytime, it can get pretty chilly at night, so bringing some kind of warm layer is a good idea.

Comment by Meredith — April 9, 2013 @ 11:42 am

This looks great, I sooo need to try this soon! Thanks!

Comment by across body bag — July 3, 2013 @ 4:26 am

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