How To Fit In At SXSW

How to fit in at SXSW

Photo: Alfie Photography/Shutterstock

The South by Southwest Film Festival kicked off today and the SXSW Music Festival portion will begin next week. This means that thousands upon thousands of tech geeks, music nerds, pretentious film school grads, artists, producers and celebrities who couldn’t get backstage for Coachella will descend upon the city of Austin, Texas, infiltrating its every crux and Instagramming its every fried dish.

If you are going to go to SXSW, you’ll have to look the part; if you don’t, you’ll be shunned and Google Glass will automatically label you a complete douchebrain. (Note: Yes, I have no idea how Google Glass works and no, I do not care.) Here are some essentials to have on you at all times:

1. Google Glass

Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Like I said, I have no idea how these work, but they seem to be created for people who stand in front of the mirror each morning and whisper, “You look like money.” Moneypeople are welcome at SXSW, and therefore you will be accepted with open arms.

2. Badges

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

Photo: Alfie Photography /

Wear all of them at once. Make it clear you belong everywhere.

3. Monocles

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

For the posh tech peanut, or just the guy who takes the New York Times really seriously.

4. Tablet

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Samsung

Carry this around at all times, frequently whipping it out to use apps you do not actually understand, but their interfaces look complicated so that is good enough.

5. A short film

Photo: Christopher.Michel

Photo: Christopher.Michel

Be sure to tell every person you meet who has anything to do with film about the short film loosely based on your eye-opening experiences abroad. Have this ready to play on the aforementioned tablet, lest the viewer be forced to see a film on an iPhone. (Make a joke about how David Lynch hates that–film execs love references to 2008 parodies.) Don’t stop at humans, though; if you spot Lil Bub or Grumpy Cat, both of whom have more Facebook likes than your self-created fan page, make that cat watch your movie until it mews in agreement.

6. Famous acquaintances

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

Photo: WENN

Your best friend from high school’s dad is really tight with somebody who’s in Game of Thrones so you one time got to attend the loft party of an actor who was killed off in the show. This is a story you should tell everyone.

7. Effortless clothing that took a lot of effort

How to fit in at SXSW

Photo: Alfie Photography/Shutterstock

Otherwise, how will anybody see your backsweat?

8. Unwashed hair

How to fit in at SXSW Google Glass

Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW

We don’t take kindly to shampooers ’round here. And if you add unnecessary sunglasses, you look even busier and more disinterested. Which brings me to number 9…

9. Unnecessary sunglasses

How to fit in at SXSW

Photo: Roger Kisby/Getty Images for iHeartradio

Whether it’s the middle of the night or you’re indoors, you should be shielding your eyes from the light and the prying gaze of all those wannabes around you.

10. Tattoos you loudly explain to anyone who will listen

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

“This one’s for my dog, which I saved from a shelter before writing this song I can just play for you right now…”

“This one’s for my mom, whose story I told in this little film I can just pull up for you right here…”

“This one’s for the people I met during my semester at sea–oh hey, I actually have a copy of the story right in my pocket…”

11. T-shirts explaining your eating habits

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

Photo: Eugenio Marongiu /

Whether you are vegan or you eat a ton of bacon, be sure to publicize your diet.

12. High-waisted jean shorts

You need something to tuck #11 into that will pair well with your 4-inch-heeled combat boots.

13. LED anything

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

Can I tag you on Insta?!?!!!

It is important that everybody in the room looks at you; otherwise nobody will photograph you for the Internet, and when it comes down to it, that’s why you bought a ticket in the first place.

14. Pieces that scream “style and science nerd!”

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

Think Black Milk galaxy leggings all day, every day with a vintage button-down priced at under $10. Inform anybody who dares compliment your shirt of how little it cost you. You are such a good budget shopper, which explains why you spent nearly $1000 to see some bands your friends really like and some videos that are on Vimeo anyway.

15. A dictionary of 2014′s buzzwords

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

Synergy, social media synergy, synergetic blogging, blogging for millennials. All things you’ll need to erratically repeat despite being only satisfactory in your usage of them.

16. Half-smiles

How to fit in at SXSW Google Glass

Photo: Getty Images

Don’t let anybody know how excited you are to be there, but also don’t let them know you’re starving and grumpy and desperately crave French fries. A half-smile ensures those around you will believe you are casually pleased with the circumstances you’re in.

17. The incessant need to document everything you do at SXSW

How to fit in at SXSW

Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images

If you don’t take selfies while at SXSW, it will be as though you never even went.

18. An undeserved sense of self-importance

How to dress so you fit in at SXSW

Rushmore (1998)

You are the up-and-comer with a fresh perspective. You are just what this town needs. Show ‘em who’s boss.

Share This Post:
    • anna

      Hahahaha. Meanwhile I will be hating all of them infiltrating my city and clogging up the roads.

      • Samantha Escobar

        I think literally every person from Austin I have talked about SXSW with has said they dread it because it makes their daily lives inconvenient and overcrowded for 2 weeks. :(

    • Lindsey Conklin

      T-shirts that explain your eating habits…hahaha i LOVE it

      • patti livernash

        My Uncle Nathaniel recently got a nearly
        new red Chrysler 200 Sedan only from working part time off a home pc… find
        out this here B­i­g­4­1­.­ℂ­o­m

      • Samantha Escobar


    • Mark

      How about 19, “oddly excessive negativity”?