The Evolution Of Rave Attire
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The Evolution Of Rave Attire

How Has It Changed? And How Has It Not?

The Evolution Of Rave Attire

The rave scene really came into view in the mid to late 1980s. Electronic music had existed in the 70s through the 80s, but it wasn’t really until the late 1980s that rave, techno, and house music had emerged.

We’re approaching approximately 30 years of this culture existing, and as it has persisted it has changed and evolved greatly. The music, clothing, and nature of the gatherings have changed. At the same time, the whole idea of rave culture has stayed the same. People come together to enjoy music and party all night long, while being joined by fellow ravers that have the same desires.

The one aspect that has become quite obviously varied is the clothing and style that is associated with raves. From each decade there have been obvious differences, as some old school ragers look in shock at festivals and shows.

Late 80s/Early 90s

First things first, if you go to festivals and enjoy dance music/raves, you know about kandi. In the late 80s and early 90s kandi hadn’t really made a huge appearance yet. Some beads were present, but not as much as there would be. But don’t worry, people still dressed perfectly crazy. Crazy colors, insane designs, and multiple appearances of the smiley faces we all know and love.

One major difference that is obvious between this time period and the present is not as much skin was exposed. People dressed crazy, but also kept their rave attire modest.

Mid/Late 90s

There may have been some crazy colors present in the 80s and early 90s, but as the culture grew, so did the vibrancy. Colors were EVERYWHERE, way more so than in the previous age. Furry objects, cutsie accessories, multi colored hair were coming onto the scene. A slight ease-up on modesty became relevant, as more youngsters started showing more skin while they raged at their given party location.

Now here comes the kandi! It’s popularity began to increase and it was more evident amongst the partiers.


I’m feeling old as I write this, since I feel like the 2000s weren’t even that long ago, but a lot can change in a decade. The kandi prevalence was REAL as people started filling their whole arms with glorious, colorful beads. Again, as expected, the modesty level dropped once again. Furry rave boots and fishnet stockings had made an appearance in this decade. This style has persisted, as many still choose to encase their legs in colorful and wonderful fur.

Guys also began to wear less insane clothing on average. I'm not saying there aren't guys that go all out, but comfort is a plus.

The key to going to a rave was to be as colorful as possible. Whether going to a festival, a show, whatever it may be, just be colorful!


This has more or less been wrapped up into one category, more likely to be called your current go-to rave style. As one walks around a festival, all the styles of past decades can be seen. Even from the crazy colors, to the smiley faces; from the mass amounts of kandi, to the furry boots. It’s all incorporated today. I mean, people often don’t wear their flappy jean pants anymore, but much of past elements still exist in the culture.

One difference is that kandi masks have been introduced and incorporated into your normal rave attirehe The main difference, however, again is the skin exposure. I mean, it’s hot out, why not wear as little as possible? Embrace the nipple tape people, because it's everywhere.

- Megan

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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