It can be hard to know what to expect when you’re going to your first rave. It’s a very foreign culture to a lot of average people, and there can be a lot of personal pressure to dress right and fit in. Fortunately, you don’t need to be concerned. Raves are inclusive and welcoming spaces, and you can count on people to look out for you no matter how you’re dressed.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to show up looking like you don’t know what to wear. One reason why clothes become popular in certain situations is that they have serious practical value — and dressing a given way can leave you feeling significantly more comfortable. If you want to put together the perfect rave look, here’s what you need to know.

Your Needs Come First

Raves are about self-expression — so as long as you’re not wearing something hurtful or hateful, you should be fine wearing whatever you want. Your first priority should be finding clothes that feel comfortable. If it doesn’t feel good as soon as you step out the door, it’s certainly not going to feel good in the middle of a sweaty crowd.

Similarly, look for something that inspires confidence. Rave culture can involve a lot of risque and barely-there outfits, but that doesn’t mean they’re a necessity. It’s about what you feel good in, and you should never feel like you need to wear something you aren’t comfortable for the sake of fitting in.

Men’s Rave Fashion

Dressing for a rave as a guy is pretty easy. All you have to do is look through the crowd of a festival or rave to see the throngs of men dressed simply in shorts paired with tank tops or t-shirts. The reasons are practical. Dancing for hours is exhausting — and doubly so in bright sunshine — so simple clothes are the best option.

That said, there’s plenty of opportunities for guys to get creative. T-shirts and tank tops are almost always comfy, but you also have a whole lot of chances to show off a look that suits you. Bright designs with vibrant colors are a popular choice that can help you stand out in the middle of a crowd.

Women’s Rave Fashion

Raven choices for women are significantly more diverse. That can be intimidating, but you’re better off treating it as an opportunity to really flex your own sense of style. As with men’s clothes, women’s rave fashion tends to place pragmatism above all else. Booty shorts, crop tops, and bikinis are a great way to show off without overheating in the middle of the dance floor.

What’s fun about dressing for raves as a woman is that there are a lot of chances for costuming. While skimpy, risque outfits will always be popular given the circumstances, you can wear almost any extravagant thing you want without worrying about offending someone’s sensibilities.

Accessories

The basics of rave fashion tend to be surprisingly practical. Fortunately, some of the best opportunities to express your sense of fashion comes in the form of rave accessories. Bright and flashing lights are a natural choice for a rave, and they tend to be positioned prominently at any retailer that offers clothes for ravers.

The most exciting thing about rave fashion is exactly how much leverage to do whatever you want. The only real limitations are the law and your own sense of confidence. In other words, you can mix and match rave clothing with whatever clothes you already have and still fit in at your next rave.

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