How to Dress for Beer Fests: 3 Tips

by: Tierney Pomone
April 25, 2014

Every week leading into a beer fest or beer event I have two things on my mind: How will I paint my nails, and what will I wear?

I know I’m not the only one concerned about what to wear, but there’s more to consider than just being fashionable. Functionality at any event is always key, but isn’t it great to be able to do both? I’ve got a few tips to consider when attending a brew fest, whether it’s your first time or your fifty-first time.

Sara wears her favorite "fest dress" and crossbody bag while pouring at last year's Harrisburg Brewers Fest.

Sara wears her favorite “fest dress” and crossbody bag while pouring at last year’s Harrisburg Brewers Fest.

Take a decent purse. While I love trying to take the smallest bag possible, sometimes this just isn’t going to work. For brew fests, most think to just throw their ID and some cash in a pocket and let’s rock, but what are you going to do with the swag you collect? My laptop is covered in stickers and my bar topped with coasters – the majority of which I have snagged at brew fests. Plus, there are things to consider like your lip gloss, maybe a camera, a phone, keys, etc. I highly recommend rocking a thin cross body bag. This will keep your hands free to hold your glass and check in those beers on Untappd, stay out of the way (which is key at a crowded fest), and hold all the goodies you grab.

Splurge: Fossil Explorer Mini Bag $85, Save: Xhileration Crossbody at Target $19.99

Slip-on sneaks, like Sara's dog shoes (Vans) also work with jeans and a tee.

Slip-on sneaks, like Sara’s dog shoes (Vans) also work with jeans and a tee.

Wear comfortable shoes. I’m all about wearing heels, but a brew fest is no place for them. They’re often crowded, sometimes outside (uneven terrain) and you’re imbibing — don’t make it even harder on yourself to function by not wearing decent shoes. Think cute flats or sandals. If you’re feeling daring, maybe even wedge sandals, but only if they’re comfortable.

Flats – Splurge: Toms in every color $54-79. Save: Charlotte Russe Tribal Print Pointy Toe Flats $24.50.

Sandals – Splurge: Seychelles Down Home Flat $59.95 Save: Madden Girl Knots Gladiator Sandal $24.95.

Tierney rocks it all: crossbody bag, drinking dress & Oskar Blues necklace.

Tierney rocks it all: crossbody bag, drinking dress & Oskar Blues necklace.

Dress like yourself. When I go to brew fests I like to wear dresses; in fact, Sara and I have designated “drinking dresses” that we have found to be comfortable and cute for festivals and events. I recommend lightweight knits and cotton dresses for the summer that aren’t too restrictive (see: beer bloat) and don’t allow for wardrobe malfunction (see: drunk people and crowds). Not everyone is into wearing dresses, and that’s okay. At brew fests you’ll likely find yourself in a sea of t-shirted people and there’s nothing wrong with that either. Just do you. Much like the shoes situation, think about the functionality and comfort of what you’re wearing.

Drinking dress – Splurge: Stripe Boyfriend Shirt Dress $69.95 Save: Island Woven Surplice Dress $17.80.

Fun beer t-shirts: Drink Beer from Here $18, Ladies IPA Info Shirt $25, Women Enjoying Beer V Neck $20.

Of course, there are other ways to dress-the-look at beer fests:

  • Brewelry. bottle cap earrings and hop necklaces are cute add-ons to whatever outfit you’re wearing.
  • Nail art. I always have a great manicure for beer fests. Get inspired by Nails and Ales.
  • Oskar Blues Can Necklaces. Go to a brew fest where Oskar Blues is pouring. Leave with a ridiculous beer can necklace. Trust me it’s fun.

Categories: Craft Beer, Fashion

3 thoughts on “How to Dress for Beer Fests: 3 Tips

  1. joey p on said:

    You forgot the oh-so-fashionable pretzel necklace.

  2. Sara Bozich on said:

    I think I’m going with Maxi dress and those dog sneaks for PA Flavor today! Cross-body bag FTW.

  3. Cecelia on said:

    I always, always wear above the knee skirts unless it is freezing out- makes port-a-johns much, MUCH easier. Sundresses are good, I also like to pair a cute brewery shirt and miniskirt. I even dare to wear white- you can bleach beer stains easier than with colorfast bleach.

    Always wear a hat unless you are under a big tent- I’ve gotten some of my worst sunburns at beer fests because you don’t feel yourself burning.

    I’ve worn mini-backpacks and cross-body. I like to bring a bag large enough for a couple of waterbottles- not every beer festival has a rinsing station or drinking water. If it is hot I freeze a couple ahead of time. And snacks, snacks are vital. Crossbody seems to stay out of the way better than the backpack.

    Most important, arrange ahead of time for a ride home!

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