So you’ve decided to become a Burner... get set for the biggest, baddest, dustiest week of your life! Normal rules don’t apply on the playa, and while there are a ton of great survival guides online, there’s not many that help guys in the style stakes. We know how overwhelming it can be for first timers, so we’ve pulled together all the inspo you’ll need to rock some batshit insane playa outfits. Read on, friendo!
WELCOME TO A BRAVE NEW WORLD.
Forget everything you think you know about fashion – you’re heading to another planet. The Burn is a post-apocalyptic world filled with steampunks and dervishes, immortals and tribesmen, time travelers and kings. Imagine walking into the cantina on Mos Eisley, wandering wild-eyed around Mad Max’s Bartertown, and partying on Jabba’s barge on Tatooine. Strap in, compadre, because you’re gonna do all three.
Rules? Pfft! There are no rules in the desert, except for radical self-expression. With that said, it will be the best week of your life, so try and look the part.
Leave your brand names at home. Save that shit for Coachella. There’s no street style out in the desert. There aren’t even any streets. If you’d wear it in real life, it doesn’t belong on the playa.
Costume Or Die. Jeans and a polo shirt? Forget it. What matters is costumes, and lots of them. Aim for a different outfit every day. If you don’t dress up, you WILL stand out, and not in a good way *cough* narc.
Go big. Think the outfits you’ve planned look over-the-top? Chances are they’re wayyyy too conservative. Double down, then double down again. Nothing is off limits, it’s time to leave the reservation and go buck wild.
YOUR PACKING LIST
A hella warm jacket. The desert gets crazy cold at night. (Who knew?) You’re gonna need a big-ass jacket. Make it huge and warm and furry, something Conan would wear to a Viking funeral. Or a Russian army greatcoat, or something you’d win from a gypsy in a knife fight.
A sweet hat. Hats look cool and they keep the sun from burning your face off. Forget the trucker cap and shoot for top hats, pilot hats, cork hats, turbans. Hell, find a mother-flippin’ fez if you can get your hands on one.
Leather, baby! We’re not sure why, but after the apocalypse everyone wears leather. Maybe because it’s durable, but mainly because it looks cool. And it really does. Jackets are fine. Chaps are better. Some kind of insane armour is best of all.
Leggings. Jeans? Too hot. Sweat pants? Hot and boring. Leggings? Fuck yeah! Bring heaps, you’ll be wearing these suckers every day. Get the baddest, brightest, wildest designs you can get your paws on.
Try: Kapow Meggings, obvs!
A vest. For some reason, Burners love vests. They look classy, they go with everything, and they’re the only part of a suit that won’t give you heatstroke.
Bad-ass boots. We’re not talking Timberlands here. Who are you, Drake? What you want is some hardcore military or motorcycle boots that make you look and feel like a bona fide hellman as you stomp about the playa.
A tutu. You’ll need this for for Tutu Tuesday. Don’t laugh, it’s a real thing. And it’s awesome. If you can’t have fun in a tutu, you’re already dead.
Jewellery. Desert wasteland men need jewellry, lots of wild, sick jewellry. Rings, monocles, bracelets, more necklaces than Mr T. Bring it all.
Costumes. Yeeeee-ha! This is where all the room in your suitcase(s) should go. Space helmets, unicorn heads, wings, capes, glow-in-the-dark onesies – get bizzay. Pro tip: the best outfits aren’t a collection of random stuff, they’re an entire identity. Plan your get-up top-to-toe.
Nude up. On day one you’re gonna see so much boob and wang you won’t know where to look. By day two it will seem like the most normal thing in the world. Whether you’re rocking a winter dad bod, or your abs have abs – nobody cares. Let’s get nude!
Something flowy. You’re in the desert. It gets hot. Go Lawrence of Arabia (or just channel your weird-cool aunt) and rock a muu-muu or some sweet robes. Throw in some Thai fisherman or Aladdin pants, a djellaba, a shalwar kameez, anything that billows when the wind blows.
Goggles. Absolutely mandatory, they’ll keep the grit outta your peepers. You could rock a pair of swim goggs, but hey, any schlump can do that. Find something that kicks ass. Also, make sure they’re airtight.
Comfy shoes. All that stompin’ can be hard work on your feet. Some days you’ll decide that comfort is king. Leave your Jerry Seinfelds at home and rock some soft shoes worthy of a wasteland warrior.
Flip flops or sandals. Bring ‘em, they’re great. Both for daytime cruising and late night runs to the port-a-potty when you can’t find your shoes. Don’t forget the vinegar to ward off playa foot and you’ll be sweet.
Sunnies. When there’s no dust storms, bust out the shades. You could stick with full-time goggles but they’ll give you a case of the ol’ eye-sweats.
A scarf or face mask. Unless you like eating dirt morning, noon and night. And a double helping when the dust storms come. Any mouth covering will do, but like everything else on this list, max points go to creativity.
A dress. If you’ve never worn a dress before, you’re missing out. Not only are they comfy as balls, you reap the benefits of that sweet desert breeze. It can be a kilt, or a nightgown, or a robe, or a goddamn cocktail dress – the playa is a judgement-free zone, go for broke.
A backpack or utility belt. Adventure can strike at any time. If you leave camp, your pack goes with you. Jam it with water, jerky, gum, water, ciggies, water, goggles, water, band-aids, and a cup. Never forget the cup. Because free drinks.
Anything light-up. Bright is beautiful. At night is when the lights come out – use ravesticks, LEDs, glow-in-the-dark paint, fairy lights, whatever. Plus you don’t wanna get run over by an art car in deep playa… where no-one can hear you scream.
A shit-ton of clean socks. Bring heaps. Nothing feels worse than wearing the same pair of crusty stinkers all week. Pulling on fresh socks after 12 hours roaming the playa is better than sex with a unicorn.
Headlamp. Do you possess functioning night-vision? No? Then take a headlamp. Trying to guess a combination bike lock in the dark is as much fun as getting double syphilis.
A t-shirt and your dick. Just kidding, maybe don’t do this. It’s called shirtcocking and it’s kind of like wearing socks with sandals. Also, some bars don’t give drinks to shirtcockers. On the plus side, it’s fucking funny, so…
Burning Man / Black Rock City / BRC / Reno / Nevada / desert