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The Essential Burning Man Costume Checklist

Black rock desert burning man

It’s that time of year again! Mutant vehicles are popping up on the highway, Burning Man costumes are for sale in department and thrift stores, and the Black Rock Desert is requesting our attendance to the biggest art and culture festival in the world: Burning Man.

Radical Expressionism At Burning Man

The iconic festival, called “life-changing” by the majority of attendees, was built on 10 principles. Today we’re going to talk about the principle of “radical expressionism.” Burning Man invites individuals from all over the world to express themselves in all different ways. Clothing is one of the most popular outlets for expressing personality in ways that might be deemed strange in regular society.

It’s All About How You Put it Together

When it comes to radical expression, buying a ready-made Burning Man outfit doesn’t always illustrate a person’s authenticity – but if you’re not a master sewer, ready-made wearables make an excellent base to your handmade costume. It’s all about how you put them together!

Bandanas, for example, are used to keep dust out of your face during dust storms. There are so many bandanas and face masks to choose from based on your personal style and preference. In fact, you can choose a different bandana to match your costumes throughout the week. Each year there are different theme days through the week. Some are honored every year, like Tu-Tu Tuesday, while others change based on the year’s theme.

bike riding on the playa at burning manSelf-Reliance at Burning Man

While this festival is rooted in radical expressionism, another principle of Burning Man is radical self-reliance. In order to really get something from this festival, there are a few essentials to pack that will help you fulfill the 10 principles and make this festival all the more enjoyable.

Your Burning Man Costume Checklist: Clothing, Costume & Misc. Necessities

Suspenders, bandanas, hats and goggles for Burning Man are among the most essential costume/clothing pieces, and they are also a good starting point for packing a wardrobe that expresses your individuality. Here are some other essentials for fashion, expression and function:

  1. Craft and Expression Kit

    Put together a craft or expression kit as your gift to other Burners. To make your kit, fill a box or some form of container with enough crafts for a person to make cards, a personal journal, a puzzle, or whatever else you can think of!

  2. Lights

    You are in charge of your own light out there, so use lights to express your individuality at night, and be seen by art cars and bike riders!

  3. Glow sticks

    These are perfect for lighting yourself up too.

  4. Costumes

    Wings, suspenders, dresses, anything you want! Keep the theme of the festival in mind so you can be sure to participate with props and accessories.

  5. Bandanas

    Your bandana will be your best friend. Those dust storms plus the sweltering heat can be unbearable without the help of your bandana.

  6. Helium

    Fill up a tank for various activities on the playa (come on by to pick one up!)

  7. Fur Coats and cloaks

    The temperature drops quickly when the sun goes down).

  8. Keep a clean set of clothing in a plastic bag for the ride home.

  9. Hats

    The more the merrier: decorative, protection from the sun, and at night for warmth.

  10. Sunglasses

    A couple of pairs, in case one breaks

  11. Goggles

    Decorate them with embellishments to make them your own!

  12. Skirts, sarongs

  13. Fishnets, hose, bodysuits

  14. Comfortable shoes/boots

    Be sure to bring a selection of shoes for camp, day time and night time.

  15. Funky shoes

    But avoid stiletto heels!

  16. Make-up

    Body paints, glitter gels – no loose glitter!

  17. Rain gear/poncho

    You never know what the weather will bring out there.

  18. Gloves

    Decorative and for warmth.

  19. Blinking lights

    Battery operated to wear at night.

 

That should do it for costumes and clothing!  Whether this is your first time at the festival or your twenty-first, we wish you a once-in-a-lifetime experience and good luck!

Come on into the store for your costumes, crafts and other wearables today! If you’re in need of helium for your camp, come down to Paper Plus, we have helium tanks for rent!

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