Festival season is finally (finally!) upon us in Texas, and with it comes the urge to show off a full slate of new looks, bolstered by a year and a half’s worth of pent-up creative energy. At last, the chance to express ourselves in a big public setting. The only question we have: do we match our mask to the outfit? Or match the outfit to the mask?
October begins with the return of the long-awaited Austin City Limits Music Festival (October 1–3; October 8–10) and ends with Post Malone’s Posty Fest, in Arlington, on Halloween weekend, while Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival will return for a third iteration in Houston November 5–6. See also: the Kerrville Folk Festival (October 1–11), UtopiaFest in Burnet (October 14–16), Lights All Night in Dallas (December 30–31), and all of the individual live performances in between, from ZZ Top in Lubbock (November 27–28) to Khruangbin in Dallas (December 17).
While “Who to see?” is at the top of our minds, “What to wear?” is a close second. ACL’s starting lineup, featuring George Strait, Miley Cyrus, and Megan Thee Stallion, gives a peek into the fusion of honky-tonk style, glitter, and hotness that will hit concert venues this fall. This weekend and beyond, expect bedazzled cowboy boots and hats, fringe on virtually everything, and the occasional vintage item, be it a Hannah Montana homage or an OG Duran Duran concert tee.
Texas brands will be competing with favorites such as Nike, Free People, and Zara for a spot on your outfit lineup, so we’ve rounded up a guide to wearing your state pride on your sleeve, organized by category.
The Raging Recreationist
Popular Austin-based brand Outdoor Voices provides a cute but comfortable alternative to athleisure. “Doing things” in a brightly colored exercise dress or five-inch-inseam shorts is the only way to go during our typically steamy autumns.
The Funky Texan
For the guy looking to stand out in the crowd, Flameless Shirt should do the trick. The patterned shirts (think psychedelic mushrooms or The Starry Night) are made in Austin; each colorful garment has a personality of its own. But why stop there? Pair it with a cowboy hat, some jorts for spice, and a pair of colorful tall socks.
The Trendy Trailblazer
With streetwear-pro Tyler, the Creator taking the ACL stage this year, some festivalgoers are bound to be repping the rapper’s brand, Golf Wang. For those wanting to sport their own off-duty outfits, look to Dallas brands DMKD and By Way of Dallas, and Houston’s 75th & Canal for graphic tees, utility vests, and simple crewnecks. Whatever you wear on top, pair it with the bold, food-inspired sneakers from Dallas-based YUMS, ideal for sprinting from stage to stage.
The Urban Cowboy
Yeehaw, y’all. The moment has never been more ripe for an unironic Western-wear renaissance. Cow print and cowboy boots have been marching their way into the mainstream since “Old Town Road” started charting, but this year’s festival season will catch the country trend in full flower. You can play the look straight, with real-deal Roper boots, or you can embrace one of the many brands that have emerged to offer an urban-cowboy aesthetic. Neon Cowboy may be based in L.A., but its light-up hats (as seen on Kacey Musgraves) keep Texas parties going all night, while Houston-based Vinyl Ranch offers playful comfort-wear like tees that read “Strait Outta Texas” and “Chattahucci” (in the style of Gucci). Even better: the brand doubles as a deejay act and will perform at ACL both weekends.
Not Your Mom’s Flower Child
The festival flower crown is now passé, but the free-spirited feeling behind it is always in fashion. For an elevated hippie look, think earth tones, dusters, fringe, and hats like those sold at Texas Hatters, in Lockhart, or Ferrah, in Dallas. For a simple, sustainable base upon which to build layers of necklaces and bangles, shop dresses from brands like Austin’s Miranda Bennett Studio and Houston’s Sunchild. And for further folkiness, add a quilted corset or bandana dress from Psychic Outlaw, the Austin brand reworking vintage textiles.
The All-Seasons Hot Girl
If we’re real with ourselves, it remains hot in Texas well into October (and sometimes beyond). That truth only means that we, as hot Texans, have more seasonal opportunities to practice that Southern sex appeal: Hot Girls are no longer relegated to the summer. Dallas sportswear brand Levenity understands the need for yearlong looks, and offers turtlenecks in neon and geometric prints. Pair with Austin-based Limbo Jewelry’s new, geometric Tres line to keep the pattern play going.