If you think Coachella is mainly about the music you're naive; it's become one of SoCal's most highly-anticipated fashion shows. Say what you want about the styles – the floppy hats and the garlands and those gosh darn spirit hoodies – but Coachella most certainly has a “look.”
Once upon a time, these fashions were about expressing your creativity with outfits you put together yourself, no? Now mall retailers are dominating the game, selling everything from desert-style fringed crop tops to flower crowns.
Most stores won't literally use the word “Coachella” in their ads, of course, but they've taken to hashtagging #festivalready on Instagram or even hosting pre-Coachella hula-hoop lessons in their stores. Here are the five most obvious offenders, from low-key to ridiculous.
What are they selling? Small, fringed shoulder bags, lace tunics, panama hats, and feather head wraps.
How obviously are they pandering? Considering how quickly they usually appropriate trends like this, Urban Outfitters isn't being as obvious about commercializing Coachella as you'd expect. Their spring line is clearly Coachella-centric, but they aren't doing in-your-face promotions.
Pink by Victoria's Secret
What are they selling? See-through tanks, bikinis, backpacks and printed bralettes.
How obviously are they pandering? The lingerie giant doesn't seem to have put in much effort here. The “festival style” page for their youth-geared Pink line is just newly added bikini tops and some jean shorts they were already selling. Swimsuits can pass as clothing…right?
Icing by Claire's
What are they selling? Flower crowns, flower crowns, and more flower crowns.
How obviously are they pandering? Once a prized DIY Coachella item, flower crowns are now being mass produced by accessory retailer Icing. So put away your hot glue guns – the flower child look has clearly jumped the shark.
What are they selling? Body chains, maxi skirts, rompers, metallic temporary tattoos, and a shirt with palm trees on it.
How obviously are they pandering? They have some cute clothes, but their marketing, like the above ad – which seems to suggest that girls are too vain to, you know, care who's actually playing – rubs us the wrong way.
Below: The most obvious Coachella panderer
What are they selling? Gladiator sandals, bandeaus, bohemian jewelry, tribal-print fanny packs, and crop tops.
How obviously are they pandering? Cheap-chic retailer Forever 21, has not only hopped aboard the Coachella bandwagon – they're driving it. Their Santa Monica location is even hosting an in-store “festival hair bar” – whatever the heck that means.
The bottom line here? Now that it's taken over the mall, the Coachella look needs to change. All you would-be trendsetters, it's your move. If all else fails, we suppose you could just rock this.