An A-List Guide to Not Looking Like a Fashion Victim at Coachella

For every boho whirlwind that breezes past in a riot of paisley, fringing and floral head garlands, there are other girls who have decided to not follow the usual festival-fashion protocol and instead choose to blaze their own, unique, understated and completely cliché-free trail. Those are the Coachella outfits we're really interested in from this past weekend's festivities in Palm Springs—and no doubt you are too.

The stage-side season is one that gives you a chance to unleash some different styling skills, but that doesn't mean fancy dress is the optimum option. Instead, just look in the gallery below at how Suki Waterhouse eschews convention in favour of something altogether more unexpected, or how you can nod to hippie without falling into a Woodstock memorabilia black hole. Click through to see the fashion crew's most effective style tips—then keep going to shop a few new essentials…

Rule #1: Don't go for the obvious ditsy florals.

Photo:

@themisshapes

Style Notes: Instead of the usual pretty blooms worn at festivals, make like Emily Ratajkowski in a daisy/dot mash-up in this ASOS Mix Print Tie Back Dress (£25), opt for gingham checks like Poppy Delevigne or a clashing combination like Leigh Lezark.

Style Notes: Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What got the print memo too: Her combination of python print ankle boots and this geometric two-piece ensemble from Flynn Skye is spot on.

Photo:

Katie Jones/WWD/Rex/Shutterstock

Style Notes: The eternally snappy dresser Emma Roberts also took this tack with her op-art mini-dress paired with zebra booties from Coach. It's entirely Coachella-appropriate, but could be worn throughout the summer.

Rule #2: Wear a slip dress, but make it super casual.

Photo:

@pernilleteisbaek

Style Notes: Blogger Pernille Teisbaek (whose style we always trust) is wearing this season's most coveted slip dress from Calvin Klein, but don't let that make you scared to wear it to a down 'n' dirty festival. She's wisely layered it over a white tee (for extra '90s brownie points) and styled it with nothing more than some sunglasses and chunky sandals.

Photo:

Neil Rasmus/BFA/Rex/Shutterstock

Style Notes: Zoe Kravitz has also employed the bias-cut frock for an afternoon's chill at Coachella, but again, with the addition of a straw hat and statement shades the lingerie piece looks completely relaxed.

Rule #3: Denim dungarees should be worn like a tomboy.

Photo:

Courtesy of Hunter Boots

Style Notes: Suki Waterhouse's super-sweet Tommy Hilfiger dungarees were the perfect starting point for her Hunter Original Women’s 3 Layer Nylon Bomber (£215) and matchy-matchy slides.

Photo:

Jerod Harris/Stringer/Getty Images

Style Notes: Laura Whitmore knows the denim dungaree drill too, keeping hers looking fresh with a suede crossbody bag and bright white sneakers.

Rule #4: White dresses are not to look sweet.

Photo:

@patriciamanfield

Style Notes: In an Isabel Marant Étoile Naoko Alice Items Dress (£352) with the addition of Converse All Star Boots (£29) and a bit of double bandana action (see one around her neck but also knotted around one ankle?), Patricia Manfield has provided all the necessary tools to make such a girlish dress look completely laid-back.

Photo:

Jerod Harris/Stringer/Getty Images

Style Notes: Aluna George has the right idea for her white-on-white ensemble: Cutaway layers, hi-top sneaks and dark lipstick turn this after-dark look into something entirely appropriate for a pool party.

Rule #5: Pair denim cut-offs with an evening top.

Photo:

Rex/Shutterstock

Style Notes: So Suki is the unofficial fashion queen of Coachella 2016, right? Here she is giving the old classic—denim shorts—a rejuvenating new spin for the festival season via a sequined and striped top from Sonia Rykiel. Add in some rose-tinted glasses and, hey presto, you have a very individual get-up.

Style Notes: Super blogger Aimee Song of Song of Style treads a similar path with her combination of high-waisted jean shorts and a dramatic Stone Cold Fox Powell Blouse (£194).

Rule #6: Wear lots of black.

Photo:

Courtesy of Hunter Boots

Style Notes: Okay, so black layers aren't exactly the most practical thing for the Los Angeles desert, but think of the wear you could get out of a combination like Binx Walton's at Glastonbury? She's also picked up the Hunter Original Women’s 3 Layer Nylon Bomber (£215).

Photo:

Courtesy of Hunter Boots

Style Notes: Jaime Chung grounds a slightly sheer dress and peekaboo bra combination by slipping on a bomber jacket (again, it's this Hunter Originals number!) with a matching black hat and ankle boots. 

Feeling ready for the music season ahead? Let us know what you'll be wearing in the comments section below…