SXSW Essentials: What To Pack For Austin

Here’s what you need to pack for Austin’s South By Southwest music festival.
Photo: Courtesy of Dimepiece/Urban Outfitters/Nasty Gal/Sephora/80s Purple/Woolrich/Barneys

The music leg of Austin’s SXSW conference/festival/all together incredible hodgepodge of panels, live music, BBQ and tacos is officially underway! Not only does this mark the start of the the gigantic, several-days-long Texas event, but it also firmly kicks off the spring and summer festival season. Packing, especially for a city or experience you’re unfamiliar with, is always difficult, but we have a few tips for SXSW (that can also be applied to other festivals!) to make things just a little easier.

Day-to-night dresses: Dresses like this polka-dotted one from Urban Outfitters ($121.00) are the easiest articles of clothing to wear, probably ever. It’s one piece that covers your whole body without requiring any thought! What’s not to love? What will really save you time, agony, and precious suitcase space are dresses that can go from day to night.

Light layers: You’ll be glad to go sleeveless by the height of the afternoon, but the mornings and nights in Austin can still get a little chilly this early in March. Light layers like this Woolrich plaid shirt ($59.00) are great for those nippier hours. Plus, the grungey, flannel-tied-around-your-waist look is totally on-trend right now.

Comfortable shoes: You will be walking, and you will be walking a LOT. Be sure to pack a pair of shoes that won’t make that a totally miserable experience. We suggest combat boots like these colorful ones from Nasty Gal ($70.00), a trusty pair of sneakers, or some great worn-in sandals.

A low-maintenance bag: There are few things more annoying than feeling totally burdened by a purse. Make sure the bag you’re toting is big enough to hold all your stuff, but low-maintenance enough not to be a nuisance. We love this studded bucket bag from Nasty Gal ($48.00) because you wear it cross-body (i.e. you never have to think about it)!

Sun protection: Whether you’re into hats like this leopard 5-panel number from Dimepiece ($58.00) or you’re more of a sunglasses kind of girl, protecting yourself from the bright, hot sun is paramount at SXSW.

Anti-humidity serum: Austin is humid. Unless you’re blessed with effortless mermaid tendrils, you’re probably going to want some kind of anti-humidity situation. This Davines anti-frizz fluid from Barneys ($22.00) is the business.

Cute nails: This is more of a personal preference (we looooove our nail art around here), but it’s fun to have a fresh manicure for a trip like this. We like this speckled Illamasqua nail polish from Sephora because it gives a little extra to a simple solid. Also, the pastel will get some extra pop after you’ve gotten a little color out in the Texas sunshine.

Portable facial wipes: When you’re out in the dust and heat all day, you’re bound to start feeling a little sticky and dewy. Portable facial wipes like these Olay Fresh Effect S’Wipe Out makeup removal cloths are great for exactly that.

MTV Style is at SXSW! See Austin through our eyes by following us on Instagram.

Like us on Facebook so we can be friends and follow us on Twitter @MTVstyle to talk.