Last year, I attended White Wonderland and I saw an array of beautiful white costumes and different takes on how white could be incorporated into an outfit! Everyone was dressed for the occasion! This year, I wanted to stay local and decided on going to a bay area event, POP NYE. My friends and I walked through the parking lot dressed in all white (a tradition that we hold), my girl friend and I in our Electric Laundry and iHeartRaves attire and I felt a few weird vibes coming from those that we were passing by. Was it just me or was everyone staring at us and thinking, ‘What are they wearing?!’ We stuck out like sore thumbs while we were waiting in line to get into POP. I was confused on why I felt this way. When I was next in line to get my ID checked at POP NYE, the security guard looked up at my friends and I and said, “Woah! You guys are really dressed up!” We looked at each other confused and told him that we only seemed dressed up because everyone else in line wasn’t; it seemed normal to us. Then I realized: almost everyone was wearing a generic outfit, the color black and had almost no kandi. I guess this shows how different rave fashion is between the Bay Area and SoCal.
Gone are the days of having fun, dressing up, and expressing yourself and rave fashion has limited down to what seems to be ‘cool’, which these days results in the generic high waist shorts with crop tops for the ladies and cargo pants and bro shirts for the men. The ironic part about this event was the slogan for it, ‘Where Will Color Take You?’ Apparently no one got the memo.
When you first hear about raves, you think tutus, neon outfits, and colorful bracelets. Rave culture in the past has been all about dressing up, even with old school ravers in their phat pants and t-shirts they had some creativity behind their outfits! Looking back on rave fashion, it seems laughable. But old school ravers probably look at pictures of ravers today and think, ‘Where are their clothes?!’ Either way, rave fashion is evolving and showing which trends are being integrated into the scene from phat pants, to tutus, to high waisted shorts. Before, attire worn at raves weren’t normally accepted in the real world, now outfits that would be worn in the club are appearing at events. One of my friends who went to POP NYE two years ago said that back then, everyone was dressed up to the occasion; if you weren’t dressed up, it was probably your first event. It seemed hard to believe that the rave scene has changed so much over the years, but change is sometimes inevitable.
You don’t have to be wearing a decorated bra or a neon bro tank, but I would hope that you at least put some creativity into what your outfits. It’s one thing to have pride within your group of friends and have matching shirts, but make that shirt your own by cutting it to your fit at the very least. What’s the fun in dressing the same as the person next to you? In all of Insomniac’s festivals, Pasquale encourages everyone to express themselves through their costumes and attire. It just seems as if a majority of new ravers coming into the scene are self conscious and just don’t want to embarrass themselves by dressing the “wrong way”. Honestly, there is no “wrong way” to dress at a rave. Wear what you want to wear. Raves are where you express yourself without the fear of being judged. I’m not going to condemn you for the way you’re dressed, that’s your preference. I’m just sad that the days of fluffies, beautiful/wacky costumes, and true PLUR are slowly dwindling down.
There are still many who have fun in dressing up, but with raves becoming mainstream so is the fashion. I thank those who still embrace the rave culture through creative fashion and encourage those who think our costumes are too much to just let loose and have some fun!
Keep it PLUR and rave on <3