Fashion Finds at High Water Festival


High Water Festival is back!

After three long years, High Water Festival once again rocked Riverfront Park in North Charleston on April 23th and 24th. This two-day celebration of music was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but was back in full force and sold out for 2022. The venue reached its full capacity of 15,000 on both days.

Shovels & Rope, a local folk duo comprised of married couple Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, founded the event in 2017 and are a crowd favorite each year.

Since High Water’s beginning, many local bands, as well as big-name acts, have performed on its stages. Headliners have included The Avett Brothers, The Shins, Jason Isbell, Band of Horses, Leon Bridges, and The Head and the Heart. This year’s line-up included Black Pumas, Modest Mouse, and Old Crow Medicine Show. My Morning Jacket closed the show on Saturday and Jack White was the grand finale on Sunday.

80 degrees and sunny: Perfection!

In addition to the music, High Water is also known for its food offerings, free-flowing libations, and beautiful location along the Cooper River. As with any outdoor music festival, the people-watching was fantastic. This year’s perfectly warm and sunny weather encouraged both men and women to dress to impress, dress to entertain, and dress to have a fun and relaxing time.

C’est Moi

I always look forward to festival season, particularly Coachella. I’ve never actually been to the Indio, California-based event, but I do participate in scouring the internet for what attendees wore there. I love seeing the beautiful flowing dresses, the daring barely-there outfits, and the zany “fashun lewks” that would look totally ridiculous on me.

I’m more of a t-shirt, jean shorts, and comfortable sneakers kind of girl when it comes to festival fashion. I did spice up the simplicity of my outfits with some dangly earrings, big shades, and sparkly bracelets, though. After seeing some of the “concert looks” this year, I’m feeling encouraged to shake things up, fashion-wise, for High Water Festival 2023!

Here are some of my favorite fashion finds of the weekend at Charleston’s version of Coachella.

Thank you to these kind fashionistas for dressing up, choosing unique attire, and making High Water that much more visually appealing!

  • Neoma from Charleston wears a silky, strapless scarf top; high-waisted, denim bell-bottoms; sneakers; and French braids.
  • Dale wears a button-up featuring scenes from Will Ferrell’s blockbuster Step Brothers. Look close to spot helicopters at the Catalina Wine Mixer!
  • Colleen from Mount Pleasant wears a black, Shovels & Rope concert tee; denim shorts; beaded, hoop earrings; and a cowgirl hat.
  • Sloan from Mount Pleasant wears a pink tutu; a black tank top; and wavy, blue hair.
  • Harper wears frayed, white, denim shorts; white cowgirl boots; and a colorful, crocheted, fringe top.
  • These good friends are Liz and Mary from Charleston, and Layne and Lisa from Austin, Texas. Liz wears a jewel-toned, shimmering, sequin, cardigan kimono; paired with denim shorts; and a black tank top. Mary wears a peach tank top; frayed, denim shorts; and an aqua trucker cap. Layne wears a cream dress with smiley faces; and a white, leather purse. Lisa wears a colorful, patterned jumpsuit; and round eyeglasses.
  • Laura from Charleston (who is due later this spring) wears a flowing, black, floral dress; skin-tone shades; and great hair.
  • Ruth from Nashville sports rainbow-striped pants; a black, spaghetti-strap tank; neon green shades; and a flower crown.

  • Micah from Columbia, South Carolina is in a statement t-shirt and neon green sunglasses. Strong messages never go out of style.

  • Fashionable cousins, Emily and Morgan, are from California and North Carolina. Emily wears a cream-colored, crochet dress; a white vest; suede booties; and a leather, fringe purse. Morgan wears a long, white dress; cinched with a black belt; and a brown, leather, wide-brimmed hat.
  • Cora and Jenna from Asheville, North Carolina wear elf ears affixed with spirit gum prosthetic adhesive. Jenna also wears a purple, feather headpiece.
  • Jive wears loose-fitting, blue pants; a vintage, yellow, Glo Worm t-shirt; round, white sunglasses; and is accompanied by Clarence the Caterpillar. “Jivefunkadelic and Clarence” have been dancing and performing at festivals since Bonnaroo 2017. Clarence is glad to be back after the COVID-19 hiatus on festivals. You can follow his adventures here on Facebook.

Thank you to everyone who dared to dress differently at High Water. You made the experience a truly memorable one. What will you wear next year?!

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Jenna Arsenault
Jenna is a Maine native who moved to Charleston in 2006, moved away for a while, then moved back again in 2018. She just couldn’t stay away from this city that feels like home! She’d choose palm trees over pine trees any day of the week. Jenna and her husband of 12 years have two rambunctious sons, ages 10 & 6, and live in Mount Pleasant. A social worker and registered nurse by trade, she is passionate about maternal mental health and is currently a postpartum doula specializing in perinatal mood disorders ( Jenna loves to read, kayak, paint in watercolor, and travel with her family. Visit her personal blog on all things motherhood at


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