Demystifying the Rave Scene: What's With The Outfits?
Spectacle is one of the words that I’d use to describe rave culture. Everything is very over-the-top, from festival location to special effects.
Lasers, confetti cannons, fireworks, huge stages, LED panels, pyrotechnics, gigantic festival grounds and carnival rides are just a few of the features of music festivals. And ravers have to keep pace with the magnitude of their surroundings and many take pleasure in fashioning lavish outfits for whatever event they may be attending.
When I first got into the rave scene, the outfits puzzled me. A lot. I didn’t understand why people would walk around in a onesie or wearing a pink tutu and green fluffies (who wears fur on their legs?!). Why did people have plastic bead bracelets from wrist to shoulder and why did people wear masks? I was so confused.
Then I went to my first event and everything made sense.
The beauty of the rave scene is that expression is the name of the game and everyone expresses themselves in different ways. Some people express themselves through flow art and gloving (more on that here), some people express themselves through lavish kandi (there’s a meaning behind those plastic pony beads), and some express themselves through outfits.
When it comes to outfits, they can reach either extreme- from day to day clothes to the most outlandish and extravagant attire imaginable. I’ve seen people at festivals in nothing but pasties and a tutu and others in jeans and a t-shirt. Some want to wear outfits that show off their creativity and love of colors. Others wear outfits that will let them dance in the utmost comfort (that’s me!). And still, others wear entire costumes. Because why not?
Raves are a judgment-free zone, and that’s why people can wear anything and everything. Clothing is expression, creativity, practicality and comfort. At a festival, you can wear something you couldn’t wear anywhere else, or you can wear something that you’d go grocery shopping in. You wear whatever makes you happy.
What you wear is a form of expression, not definition.
People can express their love for EDM, their country, their state, a favorite DJ, a favorite color, and more, all through their clothing. From an outside perspective, rave outfits can look a bit strange, outlandish even. But everyone is different and everyone expresses themselves differently. Some do it with fancy rave bras or muscle tanks. Others do it through flow art and dance. But at the end of the day, raves are a place where self-expression is welcomed and embraced. We are all very unique individuals, but we are all united through our love of electronic music.