help me with clothing do's and donts????

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help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by katieburleson2014 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:13 am

im a newbie to burning man and i was wondering the do's and donts of clothing. some of the more sepecific questions i have are
1) are tights/pantyhoes a good idea to keep the dust off
2)what kind of boots or shoes should i look for
3)and any other tips for managing long hair.

i am also welcome to any do's and donts :mrgreen:

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Re: clothing do's and donts

Post by VultureChow » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:24 am

1)Tights and pantyhose will not keep any dust off. It more like baby powder than sand. If you like the look and or feel of the tights, then go ahead and wear them. But they won't really keep you any cleaner. We maybe tights that are closer to legging than pantyhose, but embracing the dust is easier than fighting it.

2)Anything you can stand and walk in all day. Some people go barefoot or flip flops. I prefer workboots and heavy socks. Some can walk in platforms all week long. Make sure they're broken in, you have moleskin for blisters, and you have more than one type just in case they rub you the wrong way

3)There's already an entire thread discussing long hair here: viewtopic.php?t=55540

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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Elliot » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:08 am

Definitely a supply of shoes, since they tend to become "solidified" by the dust. Shoe laces can become stiff, etc. The dust simply packs into the tiniest pores in materials.
Three changes of socks PER DAY.

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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by AntiM » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:17 am

If you are bringing lace up shoes or boots, also bring a pair of slip on shoes, sandals or flipflops for around camp or midnight potty runs.

Tights or leggings might be good for night time warmth. Too darn hot for day. The dust is going to get on you, no matter what. If you think you won't like the feel of dust or sun on your legs, consider wearing loose cotton pants such as fisherman pants.

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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by FossaFerox » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:46 am

  • Bring extra everything. Especially socks, underwear, and warm stuff for the cold nights.
  • Don't bring anything you ever plan on wearing in the normal world ever again. Exceptions can be made for socks and underwear as those usually won't take in too much dust, but any pants, leggings, shirts, coats, etc will never be the same. They won't be bad, exactly, but they won't be the same.
  • Make sure the things you're bringing work well together, in particular that they work well with however you're carrying water and with however you're lighting yourself up at night. I made the mistake of putting 100% of my lights onto my CamelBak only to find out it didn't fit well with my fur vest/hood combo as pictured on the right. This meant I was scrambling to find a solution to carry water and not be a darkwad at night, because I loved that fucking vest.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Milayna » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:12 pm

1) Tights/pantyhose won't keep dust out, as stated above, it is VERY similar in consistency to baby powder. Personally I like long skirts because they let my legs breathe but keep the sun off. You're going to be covered in dust either way so don't worry about keeping it off of you, that's a futile endeavor.

2) There are actually lots of different shoes that work for lots of different people. I think the most important thing is to bring a variety of shoes so that you can see what you like best, AND so that you can switch pairs if one of them is uncomfortable and giving you blisters. Personally, I bring a pair of knee-high brown leather/suede boots, a pair of ankle combat boots, a pair of fake uggs (like the $10 ones from target), a pair of walking shoes, and a pair of flip flops. I've never had a blister out there, and I think at least part of that is thanks to the fact that I use different shoes throughout the day. I have a basic system for which shoes to use when: knee-high boots are for on-foot travel, combat boots for bike travel, fake uggs for near/around camp and porta-potty runs, flip flops for around camp. OH!! And at least 2 pairs of socks per day!!

3) I have long hair, and I actually LOVE letting my hair down on the playa. However, my first year my long hair was a DISASTER because I had it down all the time. By the end of the week it was this matted, dreaded horrible mess, even though I washed it daily. So now I have a system for my hair that works very well. During the day I ALWAYS have my hair covered, I wrap it up in a head scarf, even if I'm wearing my sunhat I still have my hair wrapped in the scarf. At night I let my hair down. I wash it probably twice throughout the week in a plastic basin, using shampoo and lots of conditioner, followed by a comb-out with leave-in conditioner and hair oil. It still gets a little crunchy/dried out but not bad at all. Now when I get to Reno and take my first real shower it only takes one thorough washing to get my hair back to normal again, whereas my first year I ended up having to cut it short because it was just never the same.

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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by VultureChow » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:17 pm

FossaFerox wrote: because I loved that fucking vest.
Yep. Don't be surprised to find yourself wearing a few things over and over again. That one skirt was super comfortable? Wear it tomorrow. Who the hell cares. Everything is already filthy or will be so in a few minutes. Your comfort and ability to continue to experience everything the event has to offer should be your priority.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by remi » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:31 pm

I shower right when the sun goes down every day. It's a good time to wash all the sweat and heat off you, change into comfortable night clothes and it's dinner time for my camp.. everyone meets back there when the sun ducks behind the hill. To keep the dust off my legs at night, I wear a light pair of track pants that I tuck into my very comfortable waterproof boots. I imagine waterproof also means dust proof.. and when I get back to camp (around when the sun rises,) I just take a vinegar/water solution I have to clean off my arms, hands face and neck (all my exposed skin.)

I also have 2 pairs of goggles. Clear pair (for night,) and tinted pair (for day.) They are dynamite.. especially when riding a bike. I also bring shemagh scarves (instead of bandanas.) They keep you cooler and were pretty much designed for life in the dessert.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Eric » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:08 pm

One basic answer on "do's and don'ts": don't bring anything you're afraid of losing or ruining.

That said:
1) As everyone has said, there is no keeping the dust off. Go for comfort. If you burn, plan to cover your skin accordingly, or be religious about sunblock (I'm a ginger, I go the sunblock route & never have my head uncovered during the day)

2) Comfort, comfort, comfort. Multiple pairs (I bring 3 or 4: Two pairs of converse, some big boots & some slip-on night-time potty break shoes). Make sure everything is broken in, make sure you have moleskin for blisters, and I would highly recommend having a pair you can slip on - by the middle of the week your hands are going to be a bit raw for lacing, and you're probably not going to do it much. Last year I ended up wearing my slip-on night shoes all day because (a) my hands were sore, & (b) I cracked a rib the first day, which made bending over & tying shoes ... painful (which tells you to always plan for the unplanned!)

3) Shave it off. Works for me (okay, I wash the beard daily with No-Rinse Shampoo, but that's about the extent of it for me). The link in the post above will give you actual useful information.


One addendum:
FossaFerox wrote: [*]Don't bring anything you ever plan on wearing in the normal world ever again. Exceptions can be made for socks and underwear as those usually won't take in too much dust, but any pants, leggings, shirts, coats, etc will never be the same. They won't be bad, exactly, but they won't be the same.
I have to heartily disagree with this.
I've been bringing incredibly nice suits (including silk-wool blends), tuxedo's, sport-coats, silk pants & robes since my first year. I have them dry-cleaned when I get home, and you could never tell they've been to the playa (none of these are fake-fur. That will be permanently altered). These still fall under the "don't do it if you're afraid of ruining them" rule - I do have one pair of pants that I was wearing when it rained out there, and they have permanent baked in playa-clay (the dust turns to clay, not mud, when wet). The only clothing I take out there assuming it will be ruined are my hats & my shoes, and anything white. The dust is a dingy grey-brown, and your white clothing will not remain white when combined with dust and sweat. Otherwise, unless you can't bear to lose it or can't afford to dry clean it, I don't see any reason not to bring it.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Bexx » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:28 pm

Bring what is comfy for you! - i practically live in leggings, skirts/dresses and tank tops out there! I bring several pairs of shoes and boots plus some flip flops for hanging around camp and going to the portos. You can dress up the most basic of looks with fun scarves and stuff! Don't be afraid of the dust. It'll get in everything.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by ranger magnum » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:40 pm

Ugg boots are great at night.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by FossaFerox » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:07 pm

Eric wrote: One addendum:
FossaFerox wrote: [*]Don't bring anything you ever plan on wearing in the normal world ever again. Exceptions can be made for socks and underwear as those usually won't take in too much dust, but any pants, leggings, shirts, coats, etc will never be the same. They won't be bad, exactly, but they won't be the same.
I have to heartily disagree with this.
I've been bringing incredibly nice suits (including silk-wool blends), tuxedo's, sport-coats, silk pants & robes since my first year. I have them dry-cleaned when I get home, and you could never tell they've been to the playa (none of these are fake-fur. That will be permanently altered). These still fall under the "don't do it if you're afraid of ruining them" rule - I do have one pair of pants that I was wearing when it rained out there, and they have permanent baked in playa-clay (the dust turns to clay, not mud, when wet). The only clothing I take out there assuming it will be ruined are my hats & my shoes, and anything white. The dust is a dingy grey-brown, and your white clothing will not remain white when combined with dust and sweat. Otherwise, unless you can't bear to lose it or can't afford to dry clean it, I don't see any reason not to bring it.
It might be synthetics in general vs your nicer, natural fibers. I'm a personal trainer so the bulk of my wardrobe is synthetic and that stuff just isn't the same afterwards. Color and texture are both off. The fur took the worst of it but even the normal stuff I brought was never the same.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Eric » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:38 am

FossaFerox wrote:It might be synthetics in general vs your nicer, natural fibers. I'm a personal trainer so the bulk of my wardrobe is synthetic and that stuff just isn't the same afterwards. Color and texture are both off. The fur took the worst of it but even the normal stuff I brought was never the same.
I have synthetics in my clothes as well (I bring a lot of clothes), almost all hold up fine. A huge factor is how you clean them - everything I would like to actually get clean gets the dust banged out of it before I clean it, then the suits go to the cleaners. There are lots of threads on hear with suggestions for cleaning clothes to get the dust out, but I'm no going to argue that everything will come back pristine. Everything won't come back undamaged, but most will, and the myth that every piece of clothing that is taken out there is ruined for life is just that - a myth. That said, never ever ever take anything out there that you can't bear ruining or losing, because it's pretty much guaranteed that the piece that gets ruined will be that one.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by pink » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:42 pm

My first year I was pleasantly surprised at how clean all my playa clothes got after washing. Really couldn't tell the difference. Except for my shoes. Very hard to get all the dust out of the crevases. Even my flip flops have a permanent playa patina.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by C187 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:53 am

To your questions:
1) See above.
2) Personally I always were a good set of shit kickers. Nothing else. Regardless of what you bring, make sure it isn't to banged up.
3) See the topic posted. I doubt my hair has ever been as long as I'm sure yours is. Come to think of it the longest I've had it on playa was last year, where it was long enough for a proper mohawk. That I put up a whole three times if that.

--

I'm happy to see someone posted that you should bring whatever your comfortable in. Because it's true. Over bring, or only bring two sets of jeans, and a few shirts. You don't need a costume, or special clothes if you don't want them.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Daydre » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:03 am

1) My most comfortable clothes out there consisted of cotton leggings, long flowing skirts, and sarongs. I found out the hard way that things that were too binding or had a scratchy fabric drove me crazy (especially in the heat) and I was ripping them off of me in no time.

2) I brought mid-calf combat boots thinking that was the thing to do, but for the most part they just made me hot and gave me blisters. I gifted them by Thursday. I ended up finding my low top converse to be perfect and ended up being my go-to shoes for most outings. Your mileage may vary, but that was my experience at least. Oh and yes, flip flops for hanging out around your camp.

3) I have very long hair so this was something I pondered about before I went as well. For the first few days I kept it down naturally, or threw it up if I got hot. The dust is kind of a funny magical thing to hair. By mid-week I had a lovely wild body that no hair product could ever give me and I kinda loved it. I didn't even feel the need to wash it with that fine layer of dust soaking up all the oils. But beware as that wild beauty look may soon transition into a matted mess, as did with mine. This year I'm braiding it ahead of time.

As said above, embrace the dust. After a week you'll forget it's even there. Then after you get back home, you will miss it terribly and stuff your face into your backpack just to get that smell one more time...trust me, you'll see.

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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Roberto Dobbisano » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:49 am

I'm a personal trainer

ah, the pieces of the pyschological puzzle fall into place....of course you are........it makes perfect sense...


I'm happy to see someone posted that you should bring whatever your comfortable in. Because it's true. Over bring, or only bring two sets of jeans, and a few shirts. You don't need a costume, or special clothes if you don't want them.

you're doing it right...
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:36 am

C187 wrote:Personally I always were a good set of shit kickers.
You know, I'm trying not to get all over people who make grammatical errors, including homophones. This is even harder to resist, because the way I pronounce them, they aren't homophones. (I realize that pronunciation is different for different people, and that's a natural part of language and even if I could be sure of pronunciation in some absolute sense, I really don't want to succumb to the trap of becoming a prescriptive grammarian.)

And then someone declares he's a pair of shoes.

That's really tempting. Really, really tempting.

Are you trying to mess with my head?

And am I just being worse, rather than just letting loose with a quick joke and then dropping it?
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by tahiti_treat » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:43 pm

Don't bring anything new without wearing it for awhile first. You may find, as I did, that the 10 pairs of brand new undies you brought give you mega-wedgies.

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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:45 pm

No white shoes after labor day.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by tamarakay » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:14 pm

Silk long johns rock. Especially for us large legged women.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Canoe » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:49 pm

I may have missed this if it's already posted above, but

have a clean set of clothes & shoes for the trip home. Sealed in an air-tight bag, BEFORE you get to the playa. Leave it sealed until after you have left BRC.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by HazelRae » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:55 am

theCryptofishist wrote:No white shoes after labor day.
Hah! Nothing is white after OUR labor day.
How witty!

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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Mrstry » Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:24 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
C187 wrote:Personally I always were a good set of shit kickers.
You know, I'm trying not to get all over people who make grammatical errors, including homophones. This is even harder to resist, because the way I pronounce them, they aren't homophones. (I realize that pronunciation is different for different people, and that's a natural part of language and even if I could be sure of pronunciation in some absolute sense, I really don't want to succumb to the trap of becoming a prescriptive grammarian.)

And then someone declares he's a pair of shoes.

That's really tempting. Really, really tempting.

Are you trying to mess with my head?

And am I just being worse, rather than just letting loose with a quick joke and then dropping it?
I think I love you!! I'm totally with you on this - BUT- maybe he really was a pair of shoes.

If so, that's all good with me; I don't judge.

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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Joeln » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:32 am

theCryptofishist wrote:No white shoes after labor day.
Please keep up the quick jokes!
Nothing I love better than a good chuckle over a bone-obvious error.

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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Elorrum » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:37 am

back to lace up shoes: The type of shoes, hikers, sneakers, that have the cloth loops for laces, instead of actual holes or eyes, absolutely suck out there. Your hands will be dry and cracking, and trying to fight the friction to just tighten your shoes will wear you out. I never knew that trying to tighten shoes laces could make such loud squeaking sounds.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Aurelia » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:11 am

and OMG ..there was a year when I thought the perfect garb would be my white cotton long skirt which I wore to a way out on the playa wedding
BUT I couldn't figure out what wa wrong with me when I had to crab walk back because I was in pain
The skirt had acted as a funnel and I was burned all the way up
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by danibel » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:33 pm

1) Clothes. I like fishnet tights. In any color. They do nothing to keep the dust off, but who cares! They look cool. Also I wear thigh high tights with short mini-skirts, again, not to keep the dust off, but because they look good. I bring silk long johns to wear UNDER my jeans or whatever I am wearing at night, because it can be downright frigid! I like to bring long sleeve and short sleeve shirts so I have options. Feel free to add a tutu to any outfit for extra fluffiness. I practically live in a short silk robe around camp in the morning. It's light, airy, pink, and perfect for walking to the porto. Long skirts don't work for me during the day because I usually ride a bike and they are in the way or I have to hike them up. Short light dresses and sunscreen on my legs works well, or a sarong. Don't forget your big ass sun hat! Or a parasol. Or both.

2) Shoes. There are multiple threads on shoes somewhere. Sorry I can't find them for you, I am lazy. I bring a pair of lace up boots, a pair of canvas slip ons (vans or other), and flip flops. Also I have brought easy on cowboy boots, but they have never been the same. In fact, most of my playa shoes are not the same, and that is fine with me.

3) VC posted the long hair thread link. It's worth reading. My hair is the longest it's been in years right now and I plan doing what I did last year (wash daily with little shampoo and lots of conditioner) and then up in french braids. A good trim and deep conditioning when I get home should help. I also wrap my head in a wet scarf sometimes to cool off and it keeps the dust abated a bit. If you are going to wear your hair up - be sure to get a hat that will fit over your braids or whatever. Hats are a great thing out there (for me anyway).
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by Hope-a-Lope » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:07 pm

Daydre wrote:As said above, embrace the dust. After a week you'll forget it's even there. Then after you get back home, you will miss it terribly and stuff your face into your backpack just to get that smell one more time...trust me, you'll see.
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Re: help me with clothing do's and donts????

Post by FossaFerox » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:27 pm

Elorrum wrote:back to lace up shoes: The type of shoes, hikers, sneakers, that have the cloth loops for laces, instead of actual holes or eyes, absolutely suck out there. Your hands will be dry and cracking, and trying to fight the friction to just tighten your shoes will wear you out. I never knew that trying to tighten shoes laces could make such loud squeaking sounds.
This warrants repeating. I actually wore a pair of shoes today for the first time since I left the playa. Lacing them up even now was a nightmare. The laces hold so much playa dust which they grind into your skin as you struggle to tighten them. Completely miserable. Metal or plastic eyelets are so much better it's silly.
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