Then and Now: Rave Fashion Trends
Popular trends come and go. Technology advances, more resources become available, and people's preferences change. Raves were not relevant at all until England developed the first underground parties in the late 1980s. They were extremely low profile but only for a short period of time. In the early 90's, young adults in the United States latched on to this new culture and quickly became a popular social event for people to go enjoy electronic music and dance 'til dawn all while rocking their finest rave attire of their generation.
Society views raves as inappropriate for many different reasons including: the type of music played, illicit drug use, and their strange sense of style. Rave clothes have always been and still are vibrantly colored and attract a lot of attention when worn out in public besides at the rave itself. Ravers today get those confused looks from the public as well because their clothes also look far from normal, but if someone in this generation were to walk into a 90's rave in the kind of clothes they wear today, that person would stick out more so than anybody else there. The fashion trends then and now are both extremely out of the ordinary but in much different ways from each other. The only real thing both generations have in common, are the vibrant colors of their clothes and makeup.
Girls back in the 90's wore much less revealing outfits than today. Their outfits were actually pretty cool looking and you can tell they probably put just as much thought into coordinating the colors and patterns as girls today. Overalls and Chuck Taylor's were a common trend among young women, and it certainly was not out of the ordinary to see many of them sporting parachute pants and bell-bottomed jeans. The pants and skirts were usually all high-waisted matched with a crop top or leotard.
Makeup remains just as crazy today as it was back then for rave chicks. Eye shadow and lipstick so bright that it seems to glow in the dark and can be easily spotted from across the room. Glitter and face gems weren't used as much as they are today but big, vibrant earrings and necklaces were commonly used instead.
Guys back then got way more into the spirit of dressing up and looking crazy than the male ravers in this generation. Much like the girls, men wore the parachute pants and brightly colored shoes, socks, and shirts. Sweat bands and bandanas were also common as well as visors and puffy jackets. Both generations share a mutual love for tie-dye shirts but their attitudes at raves are what separates them the most from each other.
Boys today tend to go overboard with drinking and drug use, usually resulting in extremely obnoxious behavior that triggers fights or interactions with security and/or police. Guys back then were all about peace and love and pretty much did their own thing. There were never huge headlines within the dance music community about men crossing boundaries and acting out in public. They were under the radar for the most part but that certainly doesn't mean they were angels who did absolutely nothing wrong at raves. Drugs and alcohol were popular then as well, it just seems that back in the 90's they were a little smarter about it then the unruly generation of boys who rave are today.
Girls now wouldn't be caught dead in an outfit worn by an average rave girl in the 90's. Pants are pretty much non-existent within the female rave fashion culture today. Instead, they are known for their revealing, inappropriate sense of style that they seem to take a lot of pride in. Spandex shorts, tutu's, and bikini bottoms are the most common among rave girls, with matching bikini tops or low-cut skimpy shirts. All of this clothing is bright and usually shiny. Leg wraps and glitter make them easily comparable to strippers but that reputation really doesn't seem to bother them.
Their shoes are covered in a boot made out of fur called, "fluffies". They come in different colors and patterns, sometimes they even light up to make themselves more noticeable. Face gems and flower head bands are popular, and they still wear the same kandi bracelets that ravers in the 90's liked to wear too.
The most typical rave guy today has been labeled as a "bro". They tend to only travel in packs and rock similar bright tank tops and shorts. There's really not too much to say about men rave fashion because it's pretty basic. They have some explicit party phrases printed on their shirts as shown to the right which give them their not-so-great reputation. They still wear kandi like the vintage rave guys, but they give off that extremely pompous "I'm cooler than you because I rave" image which isn't the point of wearing kandi at all. Kandi promotes peace, love, unity, and respect but the only way I ever see boys act at raves is obscene and obnoxious. But nonetheless, they are still ravers who have morphed the original fashion statement that the 90's gave birth to into something completely different. That's just how fashion trends work!