SXStyle: Three Ways to Transition Your Look from Interactive to Film to Music

The Red Fan team has recently started working with Laurel Kinney, an Austin-based personal stylist that has become our go-to girl for fashion advice. Laurel helps everyone from those preparing for an upcoming gala to those in need of perfecting their entire wardrobe. With SXSW just around the corner, we asked Laurel to provide us with her favorite tips for staying sensibly stylish during SXSW.

Below are her tips and tricks for those women and men trying to solve the style equation for one of Austin’s most notable events

SXSW is truly a marathon and the most action-packed, stimulating week of the year for a lot of Austinites and SXSW visitors. Not only do we have to be on our networking A-game, we walk miles over the course of the week, traversing from venue to venue. To further complicate things, it may be 50 degrees one day and 80 the next, and there’s no way to avoid being out in the elements. All of this adds up to a very complicated style equation, especially if you’re attending all three portions of the festival: Interactive, Film and Music. Here are a few ways you can easily transition your outfit from portion to portion without sacrificing your comfort or style.

Sneakers to Boots

If there’s one thing that’s extinct during SXSW, it’s high heels. You may see them briefly on a presenter in the convention center, but for those of us in the audience, we need flat, comfortable shoes. The Interactive portion requires a great deal of concrete-floor schlepping and lucky for us, sneakers are back in style with a vengeance this year. Wear some vintage-style trainers or some cute slip-ons with your skinny or boyfriend jeans. To keep the look modern and sleek (instead of frumpy) make sure your jeans are cropped or rolled to the ankle to show a little skin.

During the Film portion, you can use some sturdier ankle boots in the same way - roll up or tuck in your jeans or wear with tights and a casual skirt or dress. You’ll want to wear boots during the Music portion to protect your toes from getting stomped on in the boisterous crowd, plus boots can be easier to clean if you get spilled on during a party.


You can follow these footwear guidelines too! Wear your leather hi-tops to look stylish during Interactive and Film, and protect your toes with some lace-up chukka boots or Docs (if that’s your vibe) for comfortable walking during Music.

Beanies to Wide-Brimmed Hats

Sometimes you’ll find that you want a handy extra layer, especially if you’re freezing or having a terrible hair day due to the humid and wet weather. Bring along a cozy beanie during Interactive and Film. A beanie will keep you warm without getting in the way of anyone’s view from behind you, plus its slouchy casual, cool vibe will compliment your stylish sneakers perfectly. When the Music portion rolls around, it’s fun to have a wider-brimmed hat to protect you from the sun during day parties and to add a little extra swagger to your more rock-tinged outfit. Bonus if you find a crushable hat you can stuff into your bag if it’s too windy.


Ditch the baseball caps and try a cozy beanie this year! You can pull them back for a slouchy-cool look, or keep it classic with a simple fold over. Warm ears are always stylish.

Trench Coats to Leather Jackets

Because of the shifty weather situation, it’s wise to incorporate layers into your outfits. Start with a simple t-shirt then build your way up. Button-up shirts are great for SXSW because you can tie them around your waist if you need to and they keep your outfit looking ever-so slightly more tailored. Wear an open trench casually during Interactive and Film to keep you dry and provide you with some awesome pocket storage. You can never go wrong with a leather jacket that can be layered over your shirt(s) or worn with a dress to add a little edge to your comfortable basics.


Instead of a plaid shirt and hoodie (the common SXSW uniform for years) try out a baseball-style jacket over your button-down for a smart casual look during Interactive and Film. If you’re feeling edgy, wear your leather jacket, or keep it classic with an army-style cargo jacket during the Music portion.

Rely on these simple additions to your daily wardrobe and you can’t go wrong during SXSW. You’ll feel comfortable and casual, and fit right in amongst the stylish masses!

For more inspiration on SXSW style visit Laurel’s SXSW 2015 Pinterest board or contact Laurel to set up an appointment. We hope to see you out and about this year, and make sure to say hello if you spot us. Until then, Happy stylin’!

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