How to Pack For SXSW

It's March, which means spring and the return of seemingly endless festivals. The first one is SXSW, the annual event bringing music, interactive media, and film nerds all together in the Lone Star state. It’s a fine line at South By, between looking semi-respectable and wearing stuff you don’t mind thrashing with a thousand sweaty concert-goers. Here are our picks for gear that can go from day to night, all day and all night.

Check out Green Label Live, going down this Wednesday, at Textile in Austin, featuring, A-Trak, Joey Bada$$, Pintrill and more.

Texas' big sky is often unpredictable so it's best to come prepared for all kinds of weather. A packable anorak, like this black pullover by Zanerobe, is easy to stash in your bag when you're in flight, and to pull out for outdoor shows.

A hat is essential for both fashion and function to protect you from the elements or a bad haircut. Go for a fitted like this one from Black Scale that'll work with just about any outfit and is a little more grown man than another snapback.

The plain white tee is a necessary staple but when you're at an event that is arts focused, it's worth trying a spin on the classic. The Kevin Lyons and Girl collaboration has simple graphics for a little edge, whether you're speaking on a panel or out for some post-show tacos.

You'll need more than a t-shirt for cool nights and film forums, so why not go local with an update on the denim shirt. Levi's Made and Crafted makes a great pale denim shirt that's neutral with a touch of Texas cool.

One the best things about denim is that you don't need to iron it, making it great for travel. The Max It vintage jean by Acne are like your classic 501s but with a slimmer, better fit and a wash that will get better with time.

However, when the temperatures rise, denim isn’t quite as comfortable. Cotton chinos, like these classic black ones from Benny Gold, are great for warmer days and more comfortable and breathable if you’re “enjoying” all those interactive panels all
day long.

Since there is so much going on at South By South West, comfortable shoes are a necessity, and the warmer weather will have you ready to bust out some crispy kicks. Check out these Vans Sk8-Mid Reissue sneakers, the mix of black, white and blue is incredibly clean, and at $65, you can beat ’em up at all the parties and mosh pits while in Austin. Vans always look great broken in too. so you can’t lose!

Austin is one of the few cities in Texas, if not the only city, that’s accessible without needing a car. But to get around the inevitable traffic it’s smart to bring your skateboard to make sure you don’t miss the next great rapper due to an Uber surge. Cliche Skateboards’ Gypsy Life decks (named for their latest video) are not only great from a performance standpoint, but the graphics are trippier than almost anything you’ll see at SXSW. Bonus: dope skate deck art will likely earn you some cool points with the creative-type ladies you’ll find in Austin. Howdy.

Finally, a good bag is necessary for your trip because you need to make sure you can haul your life around with you. A personal favorite is the Bravo Company “Oscar” backpack, as not only can it support a full day (and night) out, but the suede bottom gives it a hint of extra style and the army green color is classic. Make sure to pack it full of necessities like a water bottle, external batteries, your passes, gum, snacks and plenty of water for your best possible trip to Austin this March.

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