texas tech polo shirts Fashion do’s and don’t
You didn’t know there was a “what not to wear” category at Burning Man, did you?
Well, technically, you’re right. You can dress yourself in whatever you want. Birthday suit accessorized by a unicorn and a tie drawn on with henna? Go ahead. A graduation robe? Right on. Ten layers of Christmas sweaters? If you insist.
But there are some guidelines at the very least when it comes to Burner fashion, whether those guidelines are to help you stay comfortable, or to help keep the playa litter free or if they are to help you from being the pariah of Black Rock City:
From 2016: Burning Man Fashion Dos and Don for the playa. Be safe and comfortable at Black Rock Desert. Voiced by Kim Bickford at Junkee Clothing Exchange. Express yourself. Self expression is, after all, one of Burning Man’s 10 principles. If you could dress however you wanted, without concern for what people thought of your appearance, what would you wear?
Try the theme. Each year, Burning Man has a theme. In 2015, the theme wasCarnival of Mirrors. (In 2017, it’s Radical Ritual.)
Stay safe. Whether you have a sun allergy (Yep, that’s me.), you have contacts, you have asthma or you are afraid of people (That’s worse than being allergic to the sun in this case.), being out at Burning Man can be a bit daunting. You want to make sure that you protect yourself from the elements, in both the day and the night. Wear lighting to avoid any dangerous incidents in the evening.
Get comfy. You are going to be a lot of stuff out there, so keep in mind that what you wear on girl’s night out or to the beach might get old when you are walking and biking for miles in the middle of the desert.
Don’t litter. If the stuff you are wearing is going to fly off, melt off and rub off of you, it is going to end up on the playa, which means someone is going to have to pick it up after you,
which is not cool. Remember one of the other 10 principles, leave no trace.
As a wise LeVar Burton once said in “Reading Rainbow,” you don’t have to take my word for it. You might, however, want to to take the word of Burner stylist, Kim Bickford, who works at Junkee Clothing Store, a Burner’s one stop Burner wear shop, in Reno. Bickford taught us how to stay cool (in several ways) at Burning Man this year.
Here are some of her favorite and not so favorite styles:Outfit A: Creepy tourist
What is wrong with this outfit?
Model Peter Barnato has taken on the personality of “that guy” who goes around the playa taking pictures of people without their permission.
“Nobody wants to be this guy ever. He’s creepy. He’s looking for boob shots,” Bickford said.
His shirt is admittedly colorful and his fanny pack could come in handy, but anyone who is there to observe versus to participate is not getting the point of Burning Man. The outfit is not the problem so much as the attitude, although it is important to note that his glasses would keep not an iota of dust out of his eyes in the middle of a dust devil and his hate would leave the top of his head looking medium rare by day’s end on the playa.
And, his camera? He better safeguard that pretty clicker, which Bickford said some people even position at “sneaky boob shot height.”
“He’s always alone. He always goes to the camps alone and asks if he can take pictures of girls with their tops off,” Bickford said.
Don’t be that guy. Please don’t be that guy.
Outfit B: Furry friend
(Photo: Jenny Kane/RGJ)
After getting Barnato out of his creeper getup, Bickford switched him into a much more Burner friendly alternative.
In the second outfit, Barnato is sporting layers for an evening outing because it does get cold out in the Black Rock Desert during the evening. Weather can change on a dime, which makes layers essential. He is also prepared for a multitude of situations with this outfit.
“A lot of guys like leggings. They’re comfortable, they’re super soft but they’re tight around the calves so you can still ride your bike comfortbaly without them getting caught on anything,” Bickford said.
In this outfit, Burner Barnato also is sporting goggles instead of wimpy glasses and a hat that actually covers his head if he were to be out in the sun.
“Hats are key too ’cause your hair sucks. Your hair gets matted with playa, and it looks bad,
” Bickford said.