Going to Coachella This Year? Guys, Here’s What to Wear to Beat the Desert Heat

what to wear to coachella for

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So you’re going to Coachella, huh? Well, whether you’re attending Weekend One, Two or both (you party animal, you), you’re going to need to pack the right gear. If you’re lucky, you’ll be staying in a nice, air conditioned Airbnb, walking distance to the festival. However, odds are you aren’t that lucky. You probably aren’t walking distance, and you’re most likely crashing on the floor in somebody’s hotel room because everything is expensive. And, God forbid, you may even be camping. All of this is to say, space comes at a premium and you can’t pack too much. But, you do need the right gear. The best Coachella outfits for guys let you stand out among the sweating masses and survive the intense Indio heat.

Below, we’ve listed a few must-have items for a successful Coachella experience, as well as some Coachella outfit ideas for men. With the right gear, you can get through all three days in style. Whether this is your first or fifth foray into the desert, you’ll be well-covered thanks to this guide.

Coachella Outfits for Guys: The Must-Have Clothing & Gear

Before diving into the daily outfit breakdowns below, we’re going to outline the essential gear you need to pack. If you take nothing else away from this guide, make sure you take note of these five Coachella essentials. You can wear whatever you want, but these five items are must-haves for a fun and, most importantly, safe experience at Coachella.

1. Clear Backpack

Yes you need a bag and yes it needs to be clear. Nobody likes the guy who makes their friends carry their stuff. Don’t be that guy. These bags are cheap and keep your hands free, which makes dancing and drinking beer (and water!) easy. Plus, when you buy that limited edition Rage Against the Machine shirt, are you really going to feel comfortable tucking it in your waistband and then dancing all night? No. Don’t be dumb, and bring a bag.

AmazonBasics Clear Backpack Amazon

2. Bandanna

This is by far the easiest thing to pack and the number one item everyone regrets forgetting. The desert gets dusty and even though it will be hotter than hell, it’s not unprecedented for brutal winds to kick up and send all that dust and dirt flying. Bringing a bandanna is an easy (and fashionable) way to fight off the dust from clogging your lungs. And the best part of all is it takes up little to no space in your bag. You’ll be glad you brought it, trust us.

what to wear to coachella Amazon

3. Sunglasses

This might sound obvious but there is always someone who forgets them, so bring shades. Not only are they great to protect your eyes if a rough wind comes across the Main Stage, nobody wants to be stuck squinting at their favorite bands. We recommend these shades because they’re stylish yet affordable, so if and when you totally trash them, you won’t care.

what to wear to coachella Amazon

4. Earplugs

Yes, you need earplugs and no they won’t block out the sound. High-fidelity earplugs block out the bad and let in the good, so you can still hear Tom Morello shredding, but you won’t go home with your ears ringing. Trust us, with over 10 years of festival experience, we take pride in our lack of tinnitus.

best earplugs for concerts vibes Image courtesy of Amazon Image courtesy of Amazon


5. Plastic Reusable Water bottle

Coachella doesn’t allow any metal or glass water bottles into the festival, but you can still bring a plastic bottle. Both for the sake of saving the environment (the ground of the festival is always littered with single-use bottles) and for convenience, you should 100% bring a reusable bottle. If you don’t already own one, pick up one of these from Embrava. Not only is it affordable, but it’s easy to drink from and will last you much longer than your three-day stint in the desert.

what to wear to coachella for guys

What to Wear: Day One

1. Light Gray Shirt

No need to go overboard, which is why we recommend this set of undershirts from Calvin Klein. They’re cut extremely well, striking the balance between a good fit and great breathability, so you’ll look good without sweating too much. Plus, with so much sun shining down on you, you’ll want to avoid darker colors that absorb unnecessary rays.

what to wear to coachella for guys Amazon

2. Navy Everland Shorts

It’s tough to find a better combo than light gray and navy. It’s also tough to find a better pair of shorts than these Air Chinos from Everlane. Light, slim cut and breathable, these shorts will hold their own throughout even the longest sets in the Sahara tent. We prefer the 9″ inseam, but if you’re feeling bold, Everlane sells them in a 7″ as well.

what to wear to coachella for guys Everlane

3. High White Socks

There are two reasons we recommend high white socks here. For starters, it’s a style play. High socks are trendy in a sort of ironic way at the moment, and they pair well with white shoes (see below). The other more practical reason is that wearing shorts keeps you cool but exposes your (probably pasty) legs to a lot of sun. At least with some high socks, you can cover up a bit without getting too sweaty.

what to wear to coachella for guys Amazon

4. White Vans

Yes, they will get dirty, but you’re buying these shoes for Coachella specifically. White sneakers are great because they won’t absorb sun and they do look better with a little wear and tear. Yes, they will get a lot of wear and tear after a day at Coachella, but for $55 a pop, are you really that worried about it? Vans are easy to put on and take off, and they have a clean aesthetic and decent enough support to keep you dancing all night.

what to wear to coachella for guys Zappos

5. Pack a Hoodie

While it will be a scorcher during the day, it’s never a bad idea to bring a hoodie for the evenings. This is another reason why we recommend bringing a backpack. You can (and should) pick up a hoodie from the merch tent once you get in, but don’t forget to pack one from home just in case. We love these hoodies from J.Crew because they have a great cut and clean, simple colors like this green which will go great with the outfit outline above.

what to wear to coachella for guys J.Crew

What to Wear: Day Two

1. Flannel

Yes, we’re well aware the desert gets extremely hot, but still think you should pack a long sleeve flannel. For starters, they look just as good on as they do wrapped around your waist. During the day, while you’re dancing and drinking, you can keep this thing around your waist for style points. But, later on when it gets cold, you’ll be glad you have it close. Likewise, if you’re going to hit an after-party, tonight is the night to do it. This particular flannel from Lululemon will give you a fresh look that is appropriate for a party and it’ll keep you warm when the sun goes down.

what to wear to coachella for guys Lululemon

2. White Shirt

Bet you’re glad you bought that three-pack of shirts from earlier, huh? Toss another on for today. Thanks to your flannel, you’ll look different enough from day one and you’ll beat the heat. A win-win if we’ve ever seen one.

what to wear to coachella for guys Amazon

3. Black Shorts

Lululemon can do no wrong. The latest example of their expertise in menswear are their T.H.E shorts. They designed them for exercising, but we love them for Coachella. They come with a liner (so you can pack one less pair of boxers) and have a back zippered pocket for storing any essentials on your body. Also, the four-way stretch make them ideal for sprinting from stage to stage and dancing your face off.

what to wear to coachella for guys Lululemon

4. Baseball Cap

Bandannas are great (and you should still have one in case of dust), but Day Two is a great day to leave the hair gel in your dopp kit and go laidback with a classic baseball cap. As a team (mostly) based in LA, we love our Dodgers, but you can get any team’s official dad hat on Amazon. Show your team pride and protect your face from the sun all at the same time.

what to wear to coachella for guys Amazon

5. Nike Revolution 5

What’s important to remember about Coachella style is that you need both form and function, but you also have to remember your gear will get trashed. This is precisely why we recommended buying a pair of Vans. And on that same train of thought, we highly recommend these Nike Revolution 5s for Day Two. It’s fine to wear a pair of Vans on Day One, but come Day Two, your feet will hurt. The Revolution 5’s sport a clean silhouette and in black and white will match every outfit. They’re extremely affordable but best of all, they have enough support to help you survive Day Two and get you ready for Day Three.

what to wear to coachella for guys Zappos

6. Go Sockless

Though we recommended high socks for Day One, it’s okay to live a little and show off those ankles a bit. We love these sockless pads from Pedag because they look smart and keep your shoes from smelling. What a genius invention, huh? Plus they’re damn affordable and easy to wash once you get home from your trip to the desert.

what to wear to coachella for guys Amazon

What to Wear: Day Three

1. White Hemmed Tee Buck Mason

You’ve probably noticed a trend in our Coachella outfit ideas for guys. Once again, on day three you’ll wear another white shirt, but this one is a bit nicer than the past two. Buck Mason makes some of the best shirts in the game and this hemmed one is what made them famous. It’s not terribly expensive and the quality is miles ahead of what you wore on the first two days. Best of all, these shirts look amazing with nothing but a pair of shirts and simple kicks. Just because it’s the last day doesn’t mean you should phone it in, right?

what to wear to coachella for guys Buck Mason

2. Rhone Versatility Shorts

Another day, another brand of comfortable exercise shorts that look like chinos. We love Rhone and their brand of exercise clothing but their Versatility shorts may be their best product to date. Quick drying and slim cut, these 7″ seamed shorts even pack an invisible pocket to stash your valuables (read: phone/credit card).

what to wear to coachella for guys Rhone

3. White Vans

Get the most out of your Vans from earlier and rock them again on Day Three. Giving them a day to rest will let the cushioning bounce back a bit and thanks to your day in the sun with the Nike’s, your legs will feel fresh as well. Paired with the burgundy shorts from above, the white will give you a clean and different look from the rest of the guys pushing through Day Three at Coachella. They aren’t the trendiest sneakers in the world, but they are the perfect shoes for Coachella outfits for men.

what to wear to coachella for guys Zappos

4. Sockless

Go sockless again today with another pair of these inserts from Pedag. We’d recommend buying two pairs (one for each day), because even though these Pedags can make it more than one wear between washes, a single day of Coachella is like five days of normal wear and tear (especially on insoles). Your feet (and anyone within smelling distance) will thank you for bringing the extra pair.

what to wear to coachella for guys Amazon

5. Pack a Hoodie

You’re going to be exhausted after all the goings-on of this marathon festival, so don’t overlook your weakened immune system and pack your hoodie again. Just like the past two days, it’ll get chilly and you’ll be happy you have this thing handy, especially if you’re one who decides to leave all that body heat behind and dip out from the festival early to beat the traffic back to the hotel.

what to wear to coachella for guys J.Crew