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New Raver: What to Wear to an EDM Festival

| October 12, 2021

Hi and PLUR to all the new Rave Babies out there!

Are you wondering what to wear to your first rave? Spun out of inspiration and don’t know where to find rave wear? Along with rave wear, you'll need the rave essentials for basic needs and to withstand the elements found HERE

Before going further, I don’t want to tell you how to live your life and dress for a rave, but provided below are some tips I wish I learned before my first rave.

For more tips related to all things EDM fashion and culture/lifestyle, read more articles HERE.  

1. Gain Inspiration

It can be intimidating to think about what you will wear to your first rave. Where does one even begin to find their ideal outfit to experience their first rave?

I asked myself the same question in 2018, prior to the recent rave wear/festival fashion prevalence on social media and clothing companies creating separate categories for festival wear.

Because of this, searching: #edmfashion, #festivalfashion, #ravebabe, or other hashtags you are inspired by on Instagram can aid in finding the ideal outfit for you (even if the hashtags are not EDM related). Follow (EDM) fashion outfit inspiration pages, influencers, and online fashion stores on all social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc. 

iEDM has the distinctive festival essentials and fashion allowing exposure to your personal festival fashion style. Explore outfits and accessories HERE.

 Festival Fashion Styles

Keep in mind, there should not be pressure to find your ultimate festival fashion style for the first festival. However, you can ask yourself these questions to identify your style:

What style am I initially drawn to? Do I like trippy or trendy prints? Do I want to have a monochrome pink outfit? How about casual and comfortable styles to dance in until the sun rises like a Rick & Morty graphic tee? 

In contrast, do I want to headbang dressed in black and leather harnesses from head to toe? Personally, I love to wear monochromatic black outfits and flow to riddim, but please feel free to be the holographic disco queen bathed in glitter.

On the same note, do not inhibit yourself from having more than one festival fashion style. Allow yourself the duality and flexibility to express yourself in different styles at different festivals.

My first festival outfit looks the complete opposite from my last outfit because my tastes evolved and I discovered my own festival fashion style that honors my personal expression. The process is gradual and have fun with creating your own personal style!

It takes time to discover what you will like or no time at all. Everyone is different and your festival fashion style should embody only what you desire to embody.

One piece of advice I would like to give to all Rave Babies is:

Wear what you want because you enjoy it, not because it is a trend, or it seems like you’re “supposed” to wear it to a rave

Unfortunately, I have fallen guilty of wearing holographic shorts because I thought one was supposed to wear something of that nature to a festival.

This is not the case at all! Express yourself in your festival fashion in the vision you desire.

2. Experiment! Wear Anything You Want and Worry Less About Judgement! 

There are truly NO LIMITS or correct ways to dress at a rave! Ultimately, wear what you like and what inspires you! 

Since there are no limits, you don’t have to stick to one style. Feel free to wear cosplay costumes or casual clothes at one rave and a pashmina as a skirt to the next. 

Enjoy the process of expanding your rave wardrobe and your style! I didn’t find my ideal outfit that honored my expression for my first rave, but that’s okay! With more time and experimentation, I found my favorite looks. 

Raves are a celebration of PLUR and art, not a place of judgement. You may feel like what you’ll be wearing can earn you stares at a grocery store, but you’ll blend in with others liberating themselves through many forms of self-expression including their outfits at every rave. 

3. Wear Attire Enabling You to be Comfortable & Confident

Festivals are the ultimate dance and party events. Clubs can be too restricting in music with an absence of designated areas for vendors, live painters, or flow art performers. 

With that being said, if you want to get the most pleasurable experiences from raves, always be comfortable and confident in your ensembles.

Comfortable is the key word here. While festivals are a transcendental experience, some venues have porta-potties and the last thing anyone wants to do is damage or lose attire in the pitch-black darkness of a porta-potty. 

Sweaty summer raves melt glitter-highlighted cheekbones and winged eyeliner. Consider the weather before planning any ensembles. 

I learned my lesson from running makeup and numerous layers of clothing to take off before the discombobulation of porta-potties: comfortability will be your saving grace in an environment that can be too stimulating at times.

Our graphic t-shirts are the perfect rave wear essential starter for everyone! Check out our hand-finished abstract printed t-shirts HERE

Wear clothing that you can’t wear everyday at your nine-to-five job and allow clothes to empower you to feel like your most confident self!  

4. Twin/Group Outfits

 Get your festie bestie or crew and brainstorm twinning/similar outfits! Choose an animal theme, color, trending fashion collection, or costumes!

I once saw four guys in banana costumes at Excision. My friends and I joked that the four banana bros attended a banana committee party before the show. 

I have also seen three women wear cow costumes and exclaimed they were about to “get tipped” while experiencing Big Tipper at Gem and Jam Festival 2020.   

They became some of the entertainment that night and I hope that inspires you to become the fun as well!

My festie besties and I planned leopard print outfits for Imagine Festival 2021 and you and your festie bestie can wear these twinning looks HERE and HERE.

5. Purchase Fundamental Clothing Items Capable of Upcycling

It’s common to buy a new outfit for every rave, but if you’d like to practice more sustainability and less consumption, buy fundamental clothing items capable of upcycling to wear to more than one rave. 

Fundamental clothing items like tops and bottoms can be accessorized in a hundred different styles. An outfit can look refreshed with new platforms, wigs, goggles, bandanas/face masks, and leather harnesses. 

View these new and trending face masks created to revamp any outfit HERE.

6. Purchase the Non-clothing Essentials

Depending on the venue of the rave, survival may require some effort.

You may need a hooded blanket, hydration backpack, goggles/sunglasses, fanny pack, and hand-held fan for the outdoors. iEDM sells my favorite hooded blankets HERE which are perfect for winter forest festivals. 

Other essentials include: drug testing kit (if you so choose to implore in party favors--please be safe), gum, LED flow toys, lighter/matches, hair elastics, band-aids, and bobby pins. 

7. KANDI! KANDI! KANDI!

Are you really going to your first rave without kandi? Just kidding! You don’t have to wear kandi for the first time, but I strongly encourage you! 

Going to your first rave without kandi is like going to Disneyland without buying Mickey Mouse ears! Kandi enhances the experience, especially when you make the kandi with your friends listening to the artists you’ll see prior to the event.  

You can trade kandi with your new friends and those who you randomly admire. Kandi is truly the cherry on top at a rave (enforcing more PLUR). 

8. Buy From Local Vendors at Festivals 

Many raves have vendors that sell a variety of items including rave wear, jewelry, handmade art, stickers/pins, and so much more! 

Buying from your local vendors is a great way to support your community and others! You can meet so many artists with many mediums. 

If you fall in love with their work, you can ask for a custom order (if they allow) and connect through mutual expression! 

9. DIY (Do-It-Yourself)

It’s easy to become frustrated while searching for the clothing article/accessory that you see in your mind’s eye. Ask shop owners for custom orders or create it yourself! 

Many vendors started making their own clothes and accessories because they couldn’t find where to purchase their desired items. Now, many vendors work for themselves vending at festivals doing what they love the most. This too, could be you and the EDM scene needs your creations! 

Sew patches and insert pins in your hats, paint your jeans, make a kandi harness/garter set, create whatever you want! I can’t stress enough that EDM (culture & community) is a safe and welcoming environment for (artistic) expression, so why not express yourself to the fullest?!

To discover more festival fashion products, DJ interviews, and festival news, view iEDM’s On Blast Blog HERE.

about the writer

Mary Mason

Mary Mason

Read More...Mary is an artist based in Phoenix, AZ. Her favorite mediums to practice are confessional poetry and hula hooping.

When she’s not hula hooping at a local bass and riddim show, she’s at the beach or San Diego Art Museum. Mary’s adoration for EDM (culture & community) inspires her to perform. One of her many ways of celebrating art is attending festivals with her friends.

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