Summer ushers in a host of outdoor festivals and concerts, including this weekend’s Rock the Garden at a new location on Boom Island. Given our area’s unpredictable weather (remember Beyoncé’s rain date?) and the fact that many events go from sweltering day to cool evening, it’s time for a what-to-wear guide.

We asked local boutique owners for guidelines on keeping comfortable all day. Then we asked real people to model the looks.

Here are our five “dos” for a festive festival fashion.

1. Try denim: It’s versatile, rugged and comfortable all at once, managing to look good through a day (and night) of dancing, eating and drinking. Boutique Proper and Prim recommended a denim dress in a breezy cut that defies the heat.

2. To a tee: T-shirts are softer and stretchier than ever, making them the perfect go-to for daylong, fun-filled events. Local companies like designer Spencer Johnson’s Duluth-based Sota make Minnesota models that let you show your pride in northern living. And Minneapolis-based online store Moth Oddities offers one-of-a-kind handmade and vintage options. T-shirt company My Sister gives a percentage of profits to organizations.

3. Sun management: We all know to apply and reapply, but sunscreen isn’t a fashion statement. Sunglasses and hats, on the other hand, let you show your personality while protecting your skin.

4. Layer up: Manage temperature fluctuations from day to night by packing a light sweater, sweatshirt or wrap. No need to skimp on style when you can find a pretty kimono from boutique Cliche to pair with a flowy dress.

5. The short of it: Shorts can be hard to fit, but they’re a summer staple. One option that gets you beyond an athletic or preppy look is a pretty romper, like the one we found at Proper and Prim. If you’re into vintage, you’re in luck, since shorts don’t go out of fashion as quickly as most other clothes. We found men’s pairs at Moth Oddities.


Sarah Edwards is a stylist and an experiential producer working in the Twin Cities. Follow her on Twitter @iamsarahedwards.