Rave Style Guide
How to dress like a modern raver. If you're partial to hopping along to those fun little events known as raves, or thinking of giving it a go, here's a breezy little rave style guide. Plan ahead, tweak your current rave style or nurture fond memories!
by Eve Allden
In my opinion, when attending a rave there are only two rules that you MUST follow:
You'll be at your most confident if you're just yourself
Wearing what you like is so much more satisfying than feeling obliged to put on a reflector jacket and carry your body weight in glow sticks. This rule applies to behaviour as much as clothing. Don't feel obliged to act a certain way or change anything about the way you chat to people just to fint in to what you think the raverati would approve of. Yes, it is fine to talk about kit-kats and Time Team at a rave, just as it is fine to talk about 2012 prophecies and David Icke and his lizards. Going to a rave is all about self-expression and letting go of your inhibitions. People love to chat and be silly at raves, and they're just as happy to chat to the real you as they are to chat to an uber-raver persona. If you’re someone who sometimes feels uncomfortable in their own skin, a rave is a place to be yourself and, ergo, dress (and think... and speak... and dance) how you want to. Who knows? Maybe this new-found confidence might transfer itself into everyday life.
Dress for comfort
If you’re going to be dancing all night in a venue that could indeed get quite packed and sweaty, comfort is imperative. The key phrase here is: all night. That means you'll be hot when you're dancing, you'll be cold on the journey home, you'll have points where you might want to be snuggly and sleepy in the chill out room. Make sure you have clothing that's up to making you feel happy in all these situations. If you’re not comfortable you won’t enjoy yourself and that defeats the point of raving.
Rave / clubbing clothing to avoid
While you should wear what you want to, I personally would avoid anything such as:
High heels or any uncomfortable shoes. Lack of dancing means a sad raver. Trainers, flats and ballet pumps are my favourite shoes for raving.
Tight clothing such as corsets. However, I have seen ladies wearing corsets at all-night raves before. They looked lovely and seemed very comfortable in them.
Wear something that you won’t get too hot in. Floaty or loose fabrics, leggings, shorts, miniskirts, t-shirts, vests, etc are all ideal.
Comfort value: It has been known for ravers to take a small mountaineering sleeping bag to raves where they feel safe in storing their stuff. Some people might feel embarrassed about napping at raves. Don't be. Napping is cool and fun. If you take out your sleeping bag at the end of a rave or on the journey home, you are immediately going to be very comfortable indeed. And what raver wouldn't be endeared to the sight of a happy fellow raver, looking as snug as a bug in a rug?
Rave / clubbing clothing to try out
Rave style has been associated with bright colours since the 1980s
Raves are primarily bright, fun occasions, so wearing bright clothes and/or makeup would be really fun. A rave is a great opportunity to experiment with colour, particularly if you’re a bit shy to wear that kind of thing from day to day.
Fancy a bit of fancy dress?
Themed raves are ideal for fancy dress. At New Year’s Eve I attended a rave which had a dressing up box included. I also attended a rave which wasn’t themed and ran into a girl wearing a rather cool batgirl-inspired costume with a red feather boa. I complimented her with “nice costume”, to which she gingerly replied “it isn’t a costume”. This only further reinforces the commandment to wear whatever the hell you feel like.
Glow sticks, glowing bracelets, fluorescent face paints, glitter et al are all immensely fun.
Rave toys are also cool, such as light-up bouncy balls.
Because raves are so diverse, the limits of accessorizing are endless. Goggles, wigs, hair falls, fairy wings, flowers, badges... be creative, this is only a miniscule sample of the potentially endless possibilities!
One cheap way to 'participate' at a rave, to offer fun to other people and give yourself an excuse to play with fellow ravers, is to fill a hat with folded up pieces of paper on which are written random instructions and daft feelgood messages. "Go on, have yourself a nice cup of tea." "Have you kissed a hedgehog today?" "Go up to the next person with red hair and give them a genuine compliment." "Tonight, do a dance move you've never done before". Invite people to take a random piece of paper out of the hat...
In order to look amazing at a rave, all you need to do is dress how YOU want to, and let your personality shine through.
Don't forget your chewing gum! Cinnamon / liquourice chewing gum is a particularly surprising treat, and good to share...
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