What to wear: Under Canvas 2014

Image: Nina Haanes Hessen for Lightbox Creative (lightboxcreative.me)

St Andrews has its fair share of events that demand suits and cocktail dresses. Under Canvas is one of the few events that challenges this dress code. Organised by the same group that brought us Masquerade Ball, Under Canvas promises a night of music and dance like no other, all the while raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Essentially, Under Canvas is St Andrews’ answer to Glastonbury, so for those lucky enough to attend, dress accordingly.

Their promotional paint fight was held on West Sands last year and the continuous video announcements demonstrate the artistic energy flowing through this event, filled with colour and light. From this, expect a relaxed environment filled with creative elements.

Therefore, traditional festival garb will be suitable for Under Canvas, which for girls is embodied in a simple pair of denim shorts. If they are high-waisted, a crop top or t-shirt tucked into the shorts would help define the structure of the outfit. This look is especially great if they have detailing around the waistline to show off. Another look would be to layer a structured shirt over a vest and wear it loose or maybe with one button done up.

Alternatively, skirts are a good option. I would endorse a skater shirt as they allow for greater movement. Wearing a patterned one would act as a focal point of your outfit, putting less emphasis and thus less effort into the rest of the look. To let the pattern stand out, pair the skirt with a plain t-shirt.

Image: Nina Haanes Hessen for Lightbox Creative (lightboxcreative.me).

For the finishing touches, the shoes must be comfortable. Why go to a festival-style event without the desire to dance? A pair of Converse would be perfect, providing the ideal balance between style and comfort. To cover up, as we slowly veer into spring, a light jacket would be suitable. Opt for a leather jacket, or for the truly optimistic, a denim jacket. No matter what jacket is chosen, make sure it is light enough to not overheat but heavy enough to keep some of the residual chill out.

And yet, with festival style, it is not the clothes that make the outfit. Rather, it is the accessories. However, be sure to forgo the traditional daisy chain headbands and stacked bracelets. The catwalks this S/S 14 season provided the world with many different colourful trends to choose from, but all with a minimalist edge in harmonious colour and line. One major trend in particular is derived from modern art of the past century: Art School. This look is one that will certainly attract the eye due to its graphic print and clean lines, think Roy Lichtenstein but with less polka dots. A paint-splattered Pollock-esque clutch would fit the bill, (see ASOS for the best products in this style).

Similarly, as summer offers us the inevitable floral and tribal prints, choose versions that are cleaner and less cluttered. Again, an embroidered shoulder bag or flower print demonstrates this effect. To finish off the look, rustic silver rings and other jewellery along these lines showcase another dimension of the relaxed vibe, or try simple gold bands to enhance the minimalism.

Under Canvas is a highly anticipated occasion that every student will remember for a long time. Dressing like you’re going to a famous festival will ensure you remember the night for the music and dancing – rather than complaining about high heels.


  1. “St Andrews’ biggest music festival event” – incorrect. Starfields outnumbered it in every statistical sense; attendance, profit, budget, calibre of acts. In fact the bar takings at Starfields even topped those taken at FS and set a new record for the Union.

    In Short, Unlucky. Go to the 7’s.

  2. Hey! I didn’t even write the first comment. I’m merely the average to poor photoshopper caught in a war of events. I’m being impersonated from both sides!

    As for buses… i still have nightmares.


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