8 Coachella Fashion Mistakes I’ve Made So You Don’t Have To

You look at pictures of Kate Bosworth and Katy Perry running about Indio without shoes or pants and you think, “I can be that free.” You can’t. I thought I could be that free. You know what it gave me: Two broken toes, a fanny pack tan line, a fight with Paris Hilton and a rash.
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You look at pictures of Kate Bosworth and Katy Perry running about Indio without shoes or pants and you think, “I can be that free.” You can’t. I thought I could be that free. You know what it gave me: Two broken toes, a fanny pack tan line, a fight with Paris Hilton and a rash.
Ah, Coachella (Photo: Getty)

Ah, Coachella (Photo: Getty)

That's right, Coachella's not over yet. So we asked our contributor Jo Piazza to share some hard lessons she's learned at Coachellas past.

It’s the place where the good and the bad meet the beautifully boho and the shamefully shiftless. Rocking out to Vampire Weekend and Jurassic Five while soaking up the sun seems to naturally lend itself to a style best described as homeless spring breaker or slutty Pocahontas. We understand. You look at pictures of Kate Bosworth and Katy Perry running about Indio without shoes or pants and you think, “I can be that free.” You can’t. I thought I could be that free. You know what it gave me: Two broken toes, a fanny pack tan line, a fight with Paris Hilton and a rash. Follow my sage advice and don’t let your last weekend at Coachella be a disaster, fashion or otherwise. 

  1. Don’t bother to pack a raincoat, that is unless you want to lose your $200 Patagonia shell on the first day of the festival, which I did before procuring a black garbage bag from a maintenance man named Juan. Not only did it keep me dry, but it doubled as a suitcase on the way home. 

  2. Don’t let your belly jewelry define you. I met a girl at Coachella who was so excited to wear a crop top for three days straight that she connected her belly ring to her lariat necklace. Unfortunately she forgot about it during a turn on a muddy slip n’ slide. Now she doesn’t have a belly button. 

  3. Don’t try to carry a change of clothes! I “packed” different outfits for day and night because I was offended by the idea of partying during the evening in the same sweaty clothes I danced all day in. Then my spare outfit went missing along with my Patagonia shell and I had to wear a free Trojan t-shirt from a guy giving out condoms. 

  4. Don’t embrace the Guantanamo chic. Even though the controversial Gitmo party got the boot we’re sure some folks will still go for that Tomb Raider-vibe along with other offensive garbs. Coachella is all about peace and love and harmony so it’s probably better to leave the controversy at home. 

  5. Don’t think an outdoor festival is the same as a trailer park. We know you love America, but we don’t need the flag to cover your lady bits. I had a friend at Coachella who wore an American flag as her sarong. She accidentally lit it on fire with her herbal cigarette. Do you want to be the girl who burns the American flag with an herbal cigarette? 

  6. Don’t wear a tiara. Do wear a hat and heaps of sunscreen. A lack of sunscreen turned me Lohan orange and gave me a Neopolitan line on my belly around my fanny pack. Yes, I wore a fanny pack and that is one of the things I don’t regret even a little bit. I have a lot of regrets from Coachella, accessorizing like a suburban dad was not one of them. 

  7. Don’t wear maxi skirts so long they will drag through the mud. My Coachella could have been ruined when Paris Hilton and I nearly came to fisticuffs after I trampled the tail of her too long skirt. Do wear pants, full stop. The kids these days seem to think an outdoor music festival is an excuse for a pants off dance off. I thought Coachella was an excuse for a pants off dance off. Grass chafes. 

  8. Don’t wear flip flops. I know you just got the most adorable ombre pedicure that you think will lure Jake Bugg off the stage and into your tent. Protect your tootsies because they will get trampled. Mine sure did. You know what you can do for a broken toe? Nothing. Two years later my pinkie toe still sticks out like a sad glow worm away from my other toes because a large man named Roger got too excited to see Kanye West. You can always dance barefoot, but give them the option for some shelter.