What to Pack for a Week of Shows, Parties and Panels at SXSW

What to pack for SXSW.
Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer
Manu Atelier Green Demi Cross Body Bag, $530, Farfetch.com.
Ulla Johnson Orin Jacket, $345, Thedreslyn.com.
The Dreslyn
Rachel Comey Pima Earrings, $92, Shopbop.com.
Burberry Reissued 1996 T-Shirt, $409, Brownsfashion.com.
Browns Fashion
Doên Savannah Dress, $178, Shopdoen.com.
Courtesy Doên
Vilhelm Parfumerie Smoke Show, $245, Barneys.com.
Courtesy Vilhelm Parfumerie
Isabel Marant Off-White Lefly New Stretch Cotton Skirt, $490, Ssense.com.
J.Crew French Bralette in Point d'Espirit, $32, Jcrew.com.
Courtesy J.Crew
IGK 30,000 Feet Volume Powder Spray, $32, Sephora.com.
Simon Miller Cyrene Striped Cotton-Blend Flared Pants, $495, Barneys.com.
Courtesy Barneys
Calvin Klein 205W39NYC Leather Ankle Boots, $895, Stylebop.com.
Courtesy Stylebop
Land of Distraction Drew Dress, $925, Landofdistraction.com.
Courtesy Land of Distraction
Illesteva Marianne Cat-Eye Scetate Mirrored Sunglasses, $190, Net-A-Porter.com.
Courtesy Illesteva

Be prepared: when you touch down in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest you will be surrounded by people who are cooler than you. Or at least those who appear to be, when you take into consideration the indie designer dress on their back and the perfectly scuffed boots on their feet.

This annual festival gathers the who’s who of the creative fields of music, movies, fashion and art—in addition to some individuals who dabble in tech. So, you want to dress accordingly! This is not the time to whip out your Coachella best (please, leave the flower crowns at home), but you’re also not going to want to be too buttoned up. The happy medium between those two sartorial choices can only be defined as polished indie chic.

First off, make sure to pack at least one cool t-shirt. Whether it’s vintage (or vintage-inspired, like this bright blue Burberry design) it’s sure to give street cred to any outfit you pull out of your suitcase. Don’t forget about bringing a pair of statement pants, to partner with that t-shirt. We’re partial to these comfy Simon Miller flares are that are surprisingly versatile—they can also be worn with a casual chambray shirt on chillier days or a lace tank, for a night of BBQ and cocktails.

We’d also suggest packing at least two dresses: this lightweight Doên frock is ideal for outdoor events during the day, while the pink tulle Land of Distraction number is perfect for partying all night long, as long as you bring along a vintage leather jacket. And since you’re in Texas, you might as well embrace the state’s signature: big hair. Opt for the 30,000 Feet Volume Powder Spray from IGK, an indie label that brilliantly packaged this texturizing product in a TSA-friendly bottle.

Click through to discover the rest of the sartorial necessities to pack for your trip to SXSW.

And make sure to check out all the must-see films at SXSW this year.

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