The first weekend of this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival was like living a dream. Walking through Zilker Park free from the threat of heatstroke, the sun emanating a gentle warmth instead of looming overhead like an omnipresent hell ball, you start to remember that music festivals are fun. Nothing but respect for the festgoers who weather triple-digit-temperature days each year in pursuit of a good time, but what a little treat for us all this weekend proved to be.
In terms of fashion, however, trends stuck closer to the status quo. Playful Western touches dominated the field, with a sprinkling of neon or bedazzled cowboy hats bobbing through the crowd, and (quite literally) hundreds of variations of fringe. With country queens Tanya Tucker and Shania Twain both performing, fans came ready to yee-haw—and by that I mean a lot of them were wearing T-shirts that read “Let’s go girls.”
Maybe it was the cooler weather, or maybe the Cigarettes After Sex fans know what’s expected of them, but head-to-toe black outfits also joined the party. Naturally, some crossed over into goth-Western territory, as cowboys have been known to do, with black boots, black hats, and black fringed details.
There was a noticeable uptick this year in the number of pairs of leather pants we spotted. (Again, a ten-degree temperature drop can truly change lives.) But it still seems we can’t quite quit crochet, with dresses, bikini tops and two-piece crochet sets proving a stubborn presence. We still seem to be riding out the Barbie movie hangover—or so the plethora of unapologetically pink outfits would have you believe. A real sucker for a pair of pants that is also a shirt, I was pleased to spot plenty of overalls, worn with or without a shirt underneath and often alongside a matching friend.
We also spotted a single pair of MSCHF’s “Big Red Boot” (of which our photographer politely asked, “What are those?”). Maybe not the best festival option, the wearer, who had jury-rigged a bandanas-as-socks situation to prevent chafing, told us. As we all come to learn in our festival-fashion journeys eventually: You win some outfits, you lose some. That’s what you get for passing on the cowboy Crocs.