Second hand and sexy: Here’s how gen Z are going to transform the fashion at Glastonbury 2023

By Jennifer Raymont

Published Jun 22, 2023 at 02:24 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

To say that I’m jealous of the people who were lucky enough to nab a Glastonbury ticket this year and are currently basking in the Somerset sun surrounded by inebriated strangers, would be a serious understatement. Despite relentless page refreshing and meticulous Excel spreadsheets, I wasn’t so fortunate. In fact, I’m fighting back the tears as I write this.

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In the past, Glasto was also for the millennials, while Reading and Leeds were for us mucky gen Zers to blow off steam after finishing school. Glastonbury was the music festival for the over 30s, a place where the line up was perfectly tailored to their tastes.  You’re much less likely to see masses of Strongbow cans plaguing the floor at Glasto too..  Some people would even bring their kids, after all, the ticket is free for under 12s—it would be rude not to. Sadly, there was always a Glasto-shaped hole in my own childhood.

The festival’s extortionate price tag certainly requires a decent salary, (the scraps of your overdraft likely won’t cut it) not to mention the extra spending money you’ll need. Rumour has it that on average people spend in excess of £700 over the course of the long weekend. On top of that budget is the cash dropped on fits. Let’s be real, festivals are now more of a fashion event than a music event.

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Despite the outrageous price tag, gen Z are flocking to the famous fields and packing a new era of Glasto fashion in their backpacks. But how exactly will we be shaking up Glastonbury fashion this year?

The event started back in 1970 with tickets costing a measly £1.Now that’s a price tag I can get on board with without a drop of sweat. It was exclusively about the music, predominantly rock, until the 80s where it established itself “as a powerful voice for social and political change and for raising money for good causes,” according to the V&A.

In 2008, Jay Z was announced as the first rapper to headline the festival making a noticeable step towards accepting different genres of music. The decision received backlash from the Baby Boomers and Karens of the world for straying away from Glasto’s rock roots. The performance, however, attracted younger audiences and Beyoncé’s boo had the crowd wrapped around his little finger.

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The younger festival goers encouraged Glasto to explore a range of music genres, as well as bringing festival fashion to the top of everyone’s packing list. The it girls of the 2000s began to make the muddy fields their runway and, practically overnight, supermodel Kate Moss was crowned queen of Glastonbury.

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In the 2000s, before its current revival, indie sleaze was the festival aesthetic. The 2010s were Glasto’s era of doom where fast fashion dominated. Think clear perspex raincoats, glitter cheekbones and flower crowns off Amazon. It’s a time we’ll try to forget.

That brings us to this year’s trends. As to be expected, we’ll very much be referencing Y2K fashion and indie sleaze, as well as searching up the likes of Alexa Chung and Sienna Miller on Pinterest for inspiration.

Sustainable fashion is also a huge priority for gen Z, which is rather ironic considering the piles of plastic cups and left over tents left in the fields after the long weekend. Us youngsters will be turning to charity shops and Vinted or Depop—whichever pre-loved platform tickles your fancy.

Sadly in the age of social media and TikTok trends, Glastonbury has seen a shift towards the Coachella end of the festival spectrum. The controversial American festival has been deemed the influencer olympics as Coachella regulars such as Kendall Jenner, Alix Earle and the Hadid sisters make it their lifelong mission to clog up our feeds with fit pics.

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While there is a big shift towards festival goers Glasto outfits making them more deserving of a ticket rather than their actual music knowledge, there is only so much a well planned fit can withstand in the lakes of mud and notrious great British weather.

With that in mind, gen Z on this side of the Atlantic are much less fussy over the longevity of their outfits. It’s more “get the fit pics then prepare to let loose” rather than the meticulous displays we see over the pond. We’re more confident to wear revealing clothes and celebrate our bodies. Particularly in an age of body positivity and inclusivity. So, if you see any glitter covered nipples on your screen as you watch from the comfort of your own home, don’t be afraid to do the same. It’ll almost feel like you’re in Worthy Farm watching Billie Eillish in person.

For me, Glastonbury’s shining era will always be Kate Moss in the mid 2000s. To avoid some serious FOMO, I will be steering clear of social media. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t recreate Moss’ looks for myself at home, Hunter wellies included. As gen Z adds it to their bucket lists, I can’t wait to see what queen Kate’s heir, and gen Z style icon, Lila Moss will bring to 2023’s Glasto fashion.

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