The modern gentleman’s guide to festival style

Heading to a festival this summer? Bicester Village is the ideal destination to upgrade your wardrobe for the experience…

Unplug your headphones — because live music is back! From Parklife to the Proms, crowd-hyping, bass-thumping, ear-splitting experiences, gigs and concerts have returned in time to soundtrack our summers. And the most immersive, escapist musical event of them all? Festivals. 

Whether it’s Boardmasters on the Cornish cliffs or the electrifying energy of Creamfields, some of Britain’s most anticipated, celebrated festivals are back for 2021. But our favourite? Wilderness. Set in Oxfordshire’s private Cornbury Park, it’s as diverse a festival as you’ll find this summer; with music, comedy, theatre, dining experiences and even ‘paddleboard yoga’. 

But there’s another reason we can’t wait for the early August festival (it kicks off on August 5th for a long, luxurious weekend). Wilderness is under 20 miles away from Bicester Village — and that means it’s also the most fashionable festival in the calendar. The luxury shopping destination, after all, boasts more than 160 boutiques brimming with the best styles and accessories for summer. So, if you’re looking to refresh your wardrobe before embarking on a summer of sound and style, we’ve drawn up a definitive list of festival fashion commandments below…

Find a shirt even louder than the music

For festivals, patterns and prints are a must. Brighter is better. Bolder is better. Go for eye-catching colours and head-turning designs. Go for floaty shirts, photogenic shirts; shirts louder than the music itself. Go for shirts like this camp-collar option from AllSaints; dotted with palm trees and pastel shades. Or a similarly floral shirt from The Kooples, available under half price at Bicester Village.

And then there’s the safari look. While florals may work during the sun-soaked day, cooler evenings call for jungle-inspired style. Wilderness is the festival’s name, after all. And who better to kit you out for long, lazy nights at The Main Stage than Belstaff? At the brand’s Bicester outpost, this suede safari jacket is a fraction of its original price — and has pockets aplenty for accessories (and aspirin, for the morning after).

The modern gentleman’s guide to festival style

The Kooples Men's Summer Floral Shirt

£48.30

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Buy a big pair of statement, signature sunglasses

Next up, find some festival-ready frames. And the same rules should apply to your sunglasses as they did with your shirts; go big and bold. That means leaving any small, conservative pairs at home — and instead investing in a set of sunglasses that will become your signature accessory; from the moment a festival band hits your wrist to the moment the last band leaves the stage. 

Bicester Village, where you’ll find some of the world’s biggest brands, thankfully has you (and your eyes) covered. Ermenegildo Zegna’s tan-tinted options offer a touch of retro chic. From Linda Farrow, the unisex ‘Annie C4’ frames are round of shape and trimmed in tortoiseshell. And, if you’re looking to capture classic cool at a festival this summer, David Clulow has some of the world’s most iconic frames — such as these Ray-Ban Aviators.

Find functional footwear for days spent on your feet

Never, ever underestimate the importance of festival footwear. With some of Britain’s best live music events and experiences setting up in far-flung places, you’ll need some substantial shoes to ensure you remain comfortable when traipsing from stage to stage. And that means walking the flagstoned stretch of Bicester Village to slip-on and lace-up the best.

From MCM, these aptly-named ‘Terrain’ sneakers are an incredibly versatile option. Sturdy enough even for the wilds of Wilderness, they’re available for under half their original price at Bicester Village. Similarly, Timberland’s reliable boat shoes are both durable and discounted; and ready for sun-drenched days or coastal festivals. Or, if you’re planning for the unpredictable, Hunter’s ‘Play Boots’ are unapologetically bold — and impermeably soled. 

Bag yourself some luxury luggage

Often overlooked — but incredibly important — your festival luggage holds more than the loud shirts and flamboyant fashions above. It also holds the key to making a great entrance; to sweeping sunnily towards the tents and staking your claim as the most prepared, zealous guest at the fest. Luckily, Bicester Village not only sells some of the best styles for summer — but also the bags in which to pack them.

Bags such as dunhill’s ‘Hampstead’ leather backpack. It may be named for one of London’s wild parks — but will look at-home sashaying across every festival field around the country. Mulberry’s capable canvas weekender is also an excellent option, and Bicester Village can offer you significant savings on the brand’s leather-trimmed luggage. And finally, a decadent Smythson wash bag for any glamping campers; the perfect place for painkillers, earplugs (or even the odd glow stick). 

Got it? Good. And, luckily, Gentleman’s Journal readers can enjoy an exclusive VIP shopping experience at Bicester Village this summer. We’ve partnered with the luxury shopping destination to offer unique, exclusive access to the Village’s invite-only VIP space, The Apartment.

Valid until Tuesday 31st August, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy all-day refreshments — while also benefitting from complimentary services including hands-free shopping, reserved parking, priority entry into selected boutiques and a further saving of 10% on the Village price with an eVIP Pass.

To book your Private Client shopping experience, simply email PrivateClients@BicesterVillage.com, and quote code: BV2021. Provide your name, desired date of visit, contact telephone number and your planned arrival time. And, if you plan to come by car, please also submit your vehicle registration details in order for Bicester Village to organise your reserved parking.

The modern gentleman’s guide to festival style

Festival fashion at Bicester Village

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