It’s that time of year when our beautiful Golden Gate Park opens its arms to music lovers, foodies, and adventure-seekers of all kinds; with tunes and wild laughter echoing from one meadow to the next. The Stern Grove events kicked us off at the start of summer, and now Outsidelands brings us full swing into festival season this weekend. Read on for my tips on the event and for a special invite to a pre-festival celebration this week with Free People in Corte Madera.

It may still be summer, but there’s a reason SF has a foggy reputation. For those unfamiliar, our city is full of microclimates; I’ve been surrounded by dense fog only to walk less than 3 blocks away to discover blue skies and sun. The festival grounds are right in the center of the fog bank, and we may get lucky this year with patches of sun during the day, but when evening rolls around it’s going to get cold. Don’t do what I did my first year — leaving halfway through to drive back home and add layers and sweaters to my daytime dress —  once you leave Outsidelands you’re technically not allowed to re-enter. That year I lucked out and was able to sweet talk my way back in, but I definitely learned my lesson about what to wear and what to bring.


What to Bring: 


You’ll probably be on your feet throughout the day, running in between stages, dancing, swaying side to side; but a light weight blanket is always a good idea anyway. The park is hilly, rocky and dusty in patches, and you could save yourself sitting in dirt or wet grass.


The most important tip I can give you – layers are key. Wear a medium weight jacket you could tie around your waist if it’s warmer, and pack tights or socks, a scarf, and a beanie. With these in your bag, you’ll be prepared for anything SF can throw at you.


For fellow photographers — Outsidelands does not allow professional equipment without a press pass, and if caught with one you could be kicked out or worse, have your camera confiscated. Snap-and-shoots are ok, as are DSLs with smaller lenses (under 2 inches) like my pancake 40 mm here. And of course no one is going to mess with your phone.


Not pictured but useful:


Water bottle. As long as it’s sealed you can bring your own water in.


TP. For obvious reasons.


Sunscreen. Even if you can’t see the sun you’ll still be exposed to those harmful UV rays after a day outdoors.


Outsidelands has an official FAQ page with more details here.

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Dress & Socks: Free People/Jacket: Vintage


Festivals allow a freedom to experiment and explore new styles and out of the ordinary looks — but for this particular event comfort is key. This is not the festival where you try out your backless crocheted fringe top for the first time. You’ll be hiking a long way to even get in to Outsidelands — either on the N train to Judah/Ocean Beach, the #28 bus, or from wherever you can find neighborhood parking in the Sunset or Richmond. There’s also a lot of walking in between stages and venues; if warmer the air gets super dusty, and the weather could change drastically throughout the day. Wear something you’ll be comfortable in whatever may come, and branch out with fun accessories and hairstyles. To see Andrew Bird at Stern Grove this weekend I picked out my favorite day dress, kept warm with a statement vintage jacket, and played with one of my favorite fall trends — contrasting lengths, with a short skirt, ankle boots and tall printed socks.


I’m SO excited to announce that the Free People store in Corte Madera is throwing a pre-festival party to help you get ready for the big event! Come meet me and hear more of my styling and San Francisco tips and suggestions. Get the whens and wheres and RSVP here. Can’t wait to see you there!


Any tips to share for SF’s festival season? Let us hear it in the comments.  As always, stay in touch with pinterest, twitter, facebook and instagram!





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