Vogue, Harper’s Bazar, and various other major fashion publications have declared vintage outfits a top Coachella trend in 2024. Vintage is king and the trend is here to stay. Adding some retro flare to your Coachella outfit requires a bit of skill and a keen eye for detail. Keeping the balance between classic and modern is heavily dependent on your fashion sense and creativity. Luckily, the following guide can make the task a bit easier.


What’s Coachella?

The very first Coachella took place on October 9 and 10, 1999. The music festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California bragged an interesting alternative line-up featuring names like Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Perry Farrell, DJ Rap, and Art of Noise.

In time, the popularity of Coachella grew. The line-ups became even more impressive. Through the years, Coachella attendees have witnessed outstanding performances by Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Moby, Fatboy Slim, Bjork, Oasis, The Prodigy, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Prince, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Tiesto, AC/DC, and others.

By 2023, Coachella was already considered a destination event. It started welcoming international visitors and the line-up began getting more diversified (to feature hip-hop and pop acts apart from alternative music performances).

Coachella is mainly known today for its ability to attract influencers. Each year, it sees massive social media coverage. The Kardashian sisters are regular attendees and actress Vanessa Hudgens won the title “The Queen of Coachella.” Other celebrities that have been spotted as attendees during the music fest days include Amy Winehouse, Scarlett Johansson, Cameron Diaz, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lindsay, Lohan, and Beyonce.

It’s interesting to point out that Coachella has registered a slight decline in popularity over the past few years but its incredible social legacy continues. The impact Coachella has had on fashion is even more notable.


Coachella Fashion: Why It Matters

Some reports suggest that Coachella has more or less become a “Met Gala” for influencers and internet celebrities. Coming up with the most breathtaking festival outfit has turned into a Coachella tradition and you’ve spotted at least a few elaborate creations if you follow Instagram influencers.

Coachella is mainly recognized for its boho fashion. One of the early trend-setters who made boho a Coachella staple is Johnny Depp.

Before the days of Instagram and TikTok, Depp often attended the fest in a vintage T-shirt and a fedora. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie joined in on the boho styling, choosing flowing blouses, dresses, and maxi skirts.

Coachella has long been known as an alternative music fest and that indie vibe still impacts festival fashion today. Eventually, hip-hop trends also got added to the mix, resulting in colorful and eccentric creations.

Through the years, many young adults have paid close attention to Coachella trends because these inspire summer outfits and have a profound impact on everyday fashion.

Bot Coachella isn’t just about the mainstream. It has started a form of fashion rebellion, adding sparkles, color, unusual textures, and massive accessories to minimalist outfits aimed at liberating and empowering. All that is topped with lots of glitter, hefty jewelry, and unusual makeup choices.

Coachella took a break over the years of the Covid-19 pandemic. It returned in 2022 and the fashion took a turn for more casual, and comfortable. Bold patterns and the boho aesthetic, however, remained prominent.

Fashion experts claim there isn’t a right or wrong way to do Coachella outfits. They’re about self-expression and liberation – two concepts that each person interprets in their unique way.


Incorporating Retro Trends into Your Coachella Outfit

To add vintage and retro flare to your Coachella outfit, you can make a couple of interesting choices when designing or styling.

Some of the top ideas that will give you a bold, retro outfit include:

  • Try thrift shopping: You’ll often discover genuine, high-quality vintage pieces in second-hand shops. When looking for treasures there, you have to pay attention to details. Recognizing renowned brands also takes some work – acquaint yourself with their aesthetics and most distinctive characteristics.
  • When in doubt, choose monochrome and natural tones: Monochrome outfits (all black, all white) will always look good. You can give those some retro flare through the addition of the right accessories – a wide-brimmed hat, a belt or some chunky boots. Natural tones also carry retro vibes, especially if you execute an outfit in the hippie or boho aesthetic.
  • Choose classics: Each era has its statement pieces that are immediately recognizable. 1960s mod fashion, for example, is defined by A-line miniskirts, shift dresses, gogo boots, and makeup that makes the eyes appear as large as possible.
  • Make your outfit eclectic: Mixing and matching is a great way to give your Coachella outfit some personality. You don’t need to execute the entire thing in a retro style. Rather, you can opt for a few modern pieces and glam those up through the addition of vintage accessories. Eclectic looks are very easy to execute, as long as you don’t overdo it. Make one piece the star of the show and all other elements should play a supportive role.
  • Embrace the indie rock aesthetic: Originally, Coachella was all about alternative music and those indie vibes. A printed graphic T-shirt, some sneakers, and leather pants or ripped jeans will always look good. Fashion rebellion will continue being prominent and a willingness to break the rules is going to get you noticed.
  • Knit dresses, lace, and fringe: All of these elements are strong on retro vibes. A knit dress is very reminiscent of the 1970s hippie fashion. Lace tops and accessories are perfect for layering and you’ll find lots of options in second-hand stores. When in doubt, choose pants or fringe accessories. These add some volume and fun to your movements, giving the outfit dramatic lines and a bit of pizazz.


Coachella Fashion: Forget about the Rules

Here’s one final recommendation for you – forget about the rules and stop checking out what others are doing.

Instagram influencers have massive teams of stylists and designers responsible for their custom-made Coachella outfits. Comparing yourself to them will make you feel inadequate.

Remember that Coachella is about freedom and embracing your quirkiness. You don’t need a ton of cash to put together an eye-catching retro outfit. Thrifting, doing some online shopping, and getting creative with styling are enough. Start with a solid, fun concept that’s reflective of your personality. When you have a very specific idea about what you want to accomplish, you’ll easily find the pieces that align with your vision.

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