favorite playa wear

What to wear? What not to wear? Where to find and how to make anything from goggles to fantastic pieces of playawear.

favorite playa wear

Postby Monkeystyle » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:33 pm

Ok, so its my first burn, I've been reading all the survival guides and forum post and what not for the last couple years but finally am going to BM. that being said I'm also doing a 2 week camping road trip with my fiancée and best friend from Winnipeg to Vancouver then down the west coast to san fran. so assuming that most of what I want to wear on the playa isn't either suitable for the default, or things I don't want to destroy leading up to black rock. if you had to choose your top three things to wear to burning man, what would they be. I plan on over packing but am interested to hear what people with more experience in this find important. also, what was your single favorite outfit you've worn over the years? post pics if you have them.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby BBadger » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:14 pm

1) Comfortable shoes
2) Warm Jacket
3) Hat with strap + Sunglasses

Another essential:

4) On-body lights to be visible at night to others.

Nice other things to have:

5) Gloves for cold temps at night.
6) Convertible pants/shorts

Oh what? No costume-centric stuff? Furry shit? Funny glasses and jackets? Special belts and other stuff?

Whatever.

They don't matter if you're miserable. It's like those stupid people who don't wear hats when it's cold because they think it makes them look silly. You look silly by looking miserable. People don't care about costumes anyway (really, they don't).
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:16 pm

It's all I wear. 8)

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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:13 am

BBadger has a point about people, by and large, not caring. Wear what makes you happy. That means comfortable above all else, functional second, fun and expressive third.

My single most versatile item was a pair of white linen pants I scored at Good Will. Of the ~175 hours I spent on the playa this past year I probably wore those pants for about 100 of them. They fit REALLY well, they were very comfortable and relatively durable, I paid like $3 so I wasn't worried about ruining them (though they survived), and they were reasonably cool if I felt like throwing them on in the day and warm enough at night.

My hooded vest was a close second (pictured at the right). I wore it every single night. I got in the habit of putting it on just before sunset since people howl at the sun, and howling in that fur just felt right. Again, it was absurdly comfortable (the hood was a little bit too big but the vest was properly tailored to my frame) and the fur was SOFT. Walking through a dust storm and having the sides of the vest blowing against my arms was awesome. And it was warm. Well, warm enough. I had backup plans if it got colder than it did but I didn't need them, thankfully.

Remember, daytime temperatures get up over a hundred. Night time you'll see 30-50. So you need at least a few outfits to choose from.

Your post did trip a warning flag in my head though:

. . . or things I don't want to destroy leading up to black rock . . .


WHATEVER you bring, it should be durable. If it can't survive the camping trip it won't survive the playa which means you either lose precious playa time patching it up or you have to worry about pieces of it turning into MOOP. Both scenarios suck. Trust me. I actually had to spend a few hours patching the vest because parts of it were held together by fabric glue rather than stitches and the wind had a thing or two to say about that. It was especially heart breaking since it meant so much to me and seeing it unravel sucked. I still need to make version 2 of it sometime soon. I've only got about 180 days left...
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby BBadger » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:01 am

FossaFerox wrote:WHATEVER you bring, it should be durable. If it can't survive the camping trip it won't survive the playa which means you either lose precious playa time patching it up or you have to worry about pieces of it turning into MOOP. Both scenarios suck. Trust me. I actually had to spend a few hours patching the vest because parts of it were held together by fabric glue rather than stitches and the wind had a thing or two to say about that. It was especially heart breaking since it meant so much to me and seeing it unravel sucked. I still need to make version 2 of it sometime soon. I've only got about 180 days left...


Yeah patching stuff does suck, especially since you're not going to have all the equipment to do it right. One instrument I've found that is great for (pre)repairing stuff so it doesn't bust on playa is a sewing awl with waxed heavy duty thread. This stuff works great on leather, cloth, plastic, denim, tarps, etc. My sandles are held together with some right now. One of the nice things about the tool is that it's all self-contained, including the needles and 14-yards of the thread is contained inside the handle bobbin. Throw it in your toolbox for whatever you need to fix.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:26 am

Of the ~175 hours I spent on the playa this past year I probably wore those pants for about 100 of them.






yup...

'nuff said.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Monkeystyle » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:48 am

FossaFerox wrote:Remember, daytime temperatures get up over a hundred. Night time you'll see 30-50. So you need at least a few outfits to choose from.

Your post did trip a warning flag in my head though:

. . . or things I don't want to destroy leading up to black rock . . .


I'm not worried about things being durable enough not to cause moop, anything that I bring to wear on playa I intend to be overly durable due to not wanting to do on site repairs, I'm more refuring to things like my elwire full length fur coat I'm working on, or the caravan themed clothing I plan on bringing like Moroccan robes. things that are not suitable for the rest of my trip, like hiking in the Canadian Rockies
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby VultureChow » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:29 am

My straw campaign hat. Like this:
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Cool and well ventilated, good wide brim. Totally bitchin.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Monkeystyle » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:57 am

Sweet hat. Where can you find those?
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby VultureChow » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:24 am

I got mine on ebay. Stratton makes them. I got the patent leather chinstrap as well. On ebay, they go for about $30. From the manufacturer, They're like $70.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby trilobyte » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:05 am

Don't let this thread stop you from spending some time reading things like the Survival Guide or the First-Timer's Guide, or just spending some time browsing through the boards. There's a treasure trove of great info, awesome projects, and brilliant ideas. "Playa wear" can be anything from elaborate costumery, something incredibly skimpy, clothes for adventure, fetish gear.... or all of the above. Or it could be none of the above (birthday suits are playa wear too). Whatever makes you happy.

To answer your question and tell you what makes me happy, it varies. +1 to comfortable shoes, in my case I've got a favorite pair of Docs. I've got a flight suit that's got all the Burning Man patches I've collected over the years. It's ideal for when I'm building (lots of pockets), especially in the evening or at night. My kilt's also a favorite, it's got tons of pockets which makes it great for daytime building and wandering around (that thing holds a lot of cans of beer haha). I've also got a few steampunk and piratey things I like to wear throughout the week.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Ratty » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:51 am

Bbadger. You are so right. This thing is indispensable. I use it at home with carpet thread to sew fake fur and upholstery fabrics.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Monkeystyle » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:40 am

trilobyte wrote:Don't let this thread stop you from spending some time reading things like the Survival Guide or the First-Timer's Guide, or just spending some time browsing through the boards.


i think ive read over the survival guide from last year about 20 times now. And ive been brousing the board here regularly befor becoming a member this week. Its been interesting watching thus thread and seeing how some people really prefur to simplify it. Personally i plan on wearing everything from my light up fur coat to moroccan robes, to leather gear to nothing depending on where im going and state of mind. But im always open to ideas so im enjoying this thread.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:14 pm

I think you'll be surprised at how quickly you pick a favorite and how much one or two outfits gets worn compared to everything you bring, not to dissuade you from bringing the rest. I had like three other night time outfits two of which never left the tent, but I didn't know that going in.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Monkeystyle » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:24 pm

I think you're probably right but I would rather over pack and have choices then wish I had brought something that would have been fun to have for this party or that event, you know? also, I love the fur hoodie vest from your pic.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:34 pm

i'm a label bitch.

i like to destroy only the finest clothing and footwear while im at the burn.

i have a thing for trashing gucci loafers and hickey-freeman suits.

seriously.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Bless » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:39 pm

hmmmm Gucci loafers 8)
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Eric » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:42 pm

I bring a lot of clothes, but rule #1 with all of them is Comfort. Especially with shoes.

My daytime wear is loose cotton pants & t-shirts, with a keffiyeh on my head to keep the sun off. The keffiyeh does double-duty as my dust mask, and works way better for me than an off-the-shelf dust-mask (I have a very full beard, regular dust-masks aren't designed to fit over that & block my mouth & nose). Loose pants let a breeze through & keep the sun off (I'm a ginger, & not a big fan of sunshine)

For night-time I go with formal suits, ties & a variety of hats (top hats, admiral hats...). I bring good quality light-weight thermals to wear under my night clothes if it looks like its going to get cold. There have been years it's dipped below freezing, other years where it barely got into the 60s (f) at night. You need to be prepared for either.

You have utter freedom with what you wear, don't feel obligated to go with the Burners-R-Us look you see in all the pictures. Wear anything you find comfortable, even if that's nothing at all.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:47 pm

I wore a keffiyeh during the day one day. I enjoyed it, but I felt like not talking when I had it on. Part of it was how the fabric pressed so much closer to my lips than a dust mask, but more than that I knew what I looked like with it on and just felt silent. I wound up serving as the bouncer checking IDs when we took over an empty pop-up bar to serve my buddy's homebrew and it wound up being a pretty awesome experience.

I'm bringing it again, but I'd hate to have to rely on a keffiyeh the whole burn. The 3M N95 "9211" masks work really well for me, though my jaw is as hairless as I can keep it.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Monkeystyle » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:57 pm

FossaFerox wrote:I'm bringing it again, but I'd hate to have to rely on a keffiyeh the whole burn. The 3M N95 "9211" masks work really well for me, though my jaw is as hairless as I can keep it.


how do they work for us bearded fellows?
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:14 pm

I think they pretty much rely on bare skin to make a seal with the plastic. Ask at a hardware store--and a good one, where they have knowledgeable employees making a decent wage. Then buy something there.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby BBadger » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:37 pm

I think I had more fun trying to put on the keffiyeh than actually wearing it. It was a bit too hot, and as FF mentioned, it seemed to give me a niqab effect in terms of socializing even if my face was exposed. I'm sure it would've been great in a sandstorm if there were any of any note that year. Eventually I just stuck with my hat and a bandana if I needed to breathe. I think next time I'll spend more time without my Camelbak or lab coat on during the day (or even night) even if it means more sunblock. That means I'll need a bike basket too.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby FossaFerox » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:57 am

Monkeystyle wrote:
FossaFerox wrote:I'm bringing it again, but I'd hate to have to rely on a keffiyeh the whole burn. The 3M N95 "9211" masks work really well for me, though my jaw is as hairless as I can keep it.


how do they work for us bearded fellows?


I imagine it depends on the nature of you beard, but I don't think Eric's is overly large and he seems to have had trouble, so take his word of mine if you're rocking long facial hair. Check the reviews on Amazon maybe? Just search 3M 9211 and see what people say in the reviews.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Canoe » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:58 am

Monkeystyle wrote:
FossaFerox wrote:...The 3M N95 "9211" masks work really well for me, though my jaw is as hairless as I can keep it.
how do they work for us bearded fellows?

Not well.
Better than not having it, but there's leakage. So if you've got medical issues...
And for the fine playa dust, you want N100, not N95, but again, N95 is better than not having it.

I got a full-face model, like https://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic ... 60#p922763
with N100 fitlers to wear for white outs, so I could breath & see to provide aid where possible. You also end up with filtered air in front of your eyes. I didn't think of the beard, nor of the glasses. Now I take the gas-mask frames, but it still leaks with the beard.

Cowboy style stage-coach robber banana over the nose & mouth works very well, and also retains some humidity for breathing. And you can wet it with water. Tie it around your neck, and you just reach down and pull it up when you need it.

But a keffiyeh works even better (and provides some protection for your ears against direct blasts in a real blow out) - so practical, and does a better job.
As Eric warns somewhere here on eplaya, make sure it's cotton. (~ed., "as long as they're either all cotton or a cotton/wool blend, it's all good.")
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Elliot » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:47 am

My two cents worth on air filtration -- and an explanation:
From my very first dust-blow in 2006, I have never had any difficulty breathing Playa Dust. It is so fine, it follows the air in and out of the lungs unnoticed.
That said, I know that some of it sticks in the lungs forever. I figure... if I lived out there full time, I would die early of "miner's lung". But I'm only there a week or two a year, so most likely the danger is trivial.
Better science may differ, and I'm willing to hear it.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby FossaFerox » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:01 pm

I'll just leave this here.

[media]


Oh, and N95 masks work fine. N100 are overkill, are more expensive, and are MUCH harder to breathe through. If you stop wearing your mask because you can't dance with it on it is worthless. ;)

Edit: In case you doubt me about the 9211 filters working DAMN WELL as opposed to being "worthless paper masks" please remember that N95 masks are OSHA approved for people who work with gypsum which is what makes up the finest particles on the playa, the ones which bypass some filters and cause playa lung in the first place. http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebse ... SeSSSSSS-- Page 29
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby Elliot » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:58 pm

Good information in that video. Thanks, FossaFerox! I may be lucky that I have never noticed any such symptoms. No two people are alike. Luckily, the video said that the problem is easily cleared up with simple treatment.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby trilobyte » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:13 pm

Pro tip: you don't have to worry about the model number so long as you're looking for something that's made for putting up drywall). But let's steer this back in the direction of playa wear. Dust masks feels like a whole other topic for discussion.

Back onto the subject at hand, I'll add a +1 to the idea that having to patch stuff on playa is a huge pain. Don't bring anything that's been done up with fabric glue or that iron on fuser stuff - it'll come apart and you'll lament the loss of something that probably was perfectly awesome for home. You also get bonus points if your different bits of clothing work well in layers. In the last few years the weather has been really really warm at night (dropping to maybe the low 60's farenheit), but there have been years where it gets down to the upper 40's. Not only is that cold, but it's a 40 degree drop from the daytime high.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby VultureChow » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:38 pm

Work clothes and gloves.

Bring something you're comfortable setting up camp in. For me this means jeans and a long sleeved shirt. Though I have seen people set up camp totally nude, if I'm going to be kneeling and hammering and hauling, I want to be covered.
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Re: favorite playa wear

Postby FossaFerox » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:43 pm

It sounds like he'll have civvies covered from his camping trip, so comfy clothes to build camp in shouldn't be an issue. But yeah, work gloves are invaluable. I put mine on mid-build and boy was that a mistake. I should have had them on from the start. My cuticles bled for most of Monday and Tuesday. Took a dozen rounds of lemon water and coconut body butter to convince them to be fingers again...
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