by Tyler Mazaheri

Spring is finally upon us, and with it, festival season prep. One in particular is on everyone’s mind, as we all (my closest friends, included) search in a frenzy for the perfect outfit for the most Instagrammable of them all, Coachella. Yes, I said it — “Instagrammable.” Might be cringy (don’t worry, I already did), but let’s be honest with ourselves, that’s a large part of the Coachella experience, so why deny it? Instead, let’s break down the essentials so you can build outfits that are 1) functional and 2) look good. That’s the whole idea, right?

As we all know, over the past few seasons, there’s been plenty of runway collections referencing classic workwear and streetwear, and this occasion is no exception. Think about it, the more pockets, the better. You can carry everything you need (wallet, chapstick, sunglasses, illicit substances, etc.) and still have your hands free in the midst of the crowd. Tactical vests, cargo shorts, crossbody bags—whatever it may be, grab for ones with pockets, and plenty of them. (See images, Alyx Studio, Jil Sander, and obviously -- Prada, have some killer options).

Adjacent to the workwear/streetwear trend, look for footwear options with a more substantial, “chunkier” sole. Of course, they lend as an interesting design element, but first and foremost, we’re thinking practicality. Larger sole = more cushion = less blisters = better experience. Make sense? But I would also like to make the point that balance is key here. This is not the occasion to pull out your trusty Balenciaga’s. There will be a lot of walking and that kind of weight won’t do you you any favors. Think soles meant for hiking, because that’s what you’re about to be doing a lot of.

Now let’s think of two things even more fundamental to building an outfit for the desert. Might seem obvious, but from the photos I’ve seen in years past, I guess not. 1) Colors. 2) Fabrics.  If you’re about to be standing 8+ hours in the desert sun, the last thing you want is to feel like you’re suffocating under your black leather chaps. Opt for brighter sand/earth tones that emulate the desert landscape (creams, tans, greens, etc.) with occasional pops of color (i.e. oranges/reds), in fabrics that’ll let your skin breathe (cotton, linen, mesh, nylon, etc.) Rule of thumb: run from anything resembling latex like the plague. Thank me later.

Last, the final touches. The small cherries on top that’ll elevate even a basic tee and shorts to a proper fit. Sunglasses. Hats. Button-downs. Bags. Do not neglect the details. These pieces are where men are given the most room to experiment and switch things up, so take advantage of it. Look for interesting patterns, designs, colorways, etc. Save the classics for the base (I’ll never pass on a plain white tee). This is the place to spice things up.

To close things off, remember what Coachella is. It’s a music and arts festival. Enjoy the music and art. Spend less time tracking your Instagram metrics and more time taking in what all is around you. There will be plenty of other days for you to post an OOTD.