Music festivals have a particular style. Granted, Outside Lands is not Coachella, where the golden hour reflecting off the mountains makes everyone look stunning, and they’re all excited because it’s April and they can show off the tattoos that have been hibernating all winter (and the place is full of Angeleno fashionistas, besides).
It’s not even close, actually. Although the fog burned off for so much of Sunday afternoon that Golden Gate Park came damn near close to experiencing a proper sunset, it’s been a relentlessly cold summer and people seemed to dress accordingly. Comfort and good sense ruled the day, every day, and many of the cliches of years past seemed to have fallen by the wayside. Yes, there was a fair amount of Bernie paraphernalia and Jill Stein-branded apparel, but I don’t think I spotted a single Keep Calm and Chive On shirt.
Although we would shame brazen cultural appropriation — like feathered war bonnets or nón lás (those Vietnamese conical hats) — we’re delighted to report that we saw a grand total of zero offenders in either category all weekend. (We did spot a Reagan-Bush ’84 T-shirt at the Panhandle Stage, but that was probably ironic.)
Plus, shaming isn’t really that much fun. It’s way better to draw attention to people who put a little effort into looking good in a frequently inhospitable climate, so here are some of our favorites.
(Peter Lawrence Kane)
Can’t you just sense how happy she was to tie that ash-gray puffy jacket around her waist and show the world that Furby crop top?
And speaking of happy, this guy put exactly the right amount of effort in. He’s got a not-quite-houndstooth-print shirt that looks like those critters from the arcade game Centipede marching in formation, plus a kickass necklace, plus two great scarves. You’d be smiling, too.
More smilers! You know what’s a great way to get attention? Wear pastels while your best friend has bold primary colors on, then accessorize like a freakin’ pro. (And what is it about a fleur-de-lis?)
This is Cindy from CUESA, the nonprofit that runs the Ferry Building Farmers Market. She humbly requests that we all pay closer attention to where our food comes from, so that maybe we stop wasting so much of it. She was giving out temporary tattoos near the GastroMagic stage while dressed like a pea pod. A bit Anne Geddes? Possibly. But when Cindy comes in for a hug, you will not be able to resist her gravitational pull.
The art of power-clashing takes confidence and pluck, but it never hurts to have Ryan Gosling leggings. Vertical neon stripes and white-on-black polka dots are also a shrewd move, but check out that neckerchief. Did she steal it from a senior flight attendant on a state-owned European airline or what?
Along with Janice Joplin shades, fake fur, and those big-brimmed black hats, leggings-based group costumes were all the rage this year. Pretty much all the human chains were dressed alike. (Note: I asked them if I could photograph their butts, and they said sure.)
Hey, Admiral! This looks like power-clashing, and certainly the Spongebob shirt and the shorts that look as busy as the back of a Tally-Ho playing card are very different patterns. But look closer and you’ll see the hybrid of salmon and carnation pink that connects the dots. He was also wearing an American flag fanny-pack, just barely visible on the right hip. Well played!
This bro was a very nice bro, and I deliberately didn’t ask what this was all about because I wanted to keep the mystery intact. However you feel about potty-mouthed bears, you have to respect the commitment to carrying one around all day — and you don’t win prizes like this at the carnival unless you’re the world-motherfucking-champion at Skee-ball.
Celeb sighting: S.F. artist Jeremy Fish and his date wife Jayde Fish hit the Polo Fields in some serious earth tones. Is that vintage leisure wear? Are they pajamas? Who cares! Lookin’ great, guys.
Totems are great for reuniting with your drunk-ass friends after they go eat a ramenburger and you want to hang out for (or possibly make fun of) Third Eye Blind. But most of the time, totems are just low-res photos of Bill Murray or Nicolas Cage. Bo-ring! Instead, this couple went to town on a sparkly pink unicorn, then they picked out good hats. And if that shirt ordered me to kill, I would obey.
But can anyone really beat Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem for sheer style? Yes, Janice looks like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors with spaghetti for hair, Animal’s underbite is a genuine hazard to everything around it, and Dr. Teeth’s beard looks more like Surgeon General C. Everett Koop’s than some aging rock star with an undomesticate-able libido. But damn, did they put on a show, complete with a choir for the Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help from My Friends” and an insanely cute duet between lovebirds Janice and Floyd in the form of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Can you picture that?