When you think of raves and music festivals, you usually think of girls in sparkly bras, endless flower crowns, shirtless men in neon rimmed sunglasses, and every top cropped. Whether you’re an old school raver throwing on those fuzzy boots and fishnets or a trendy Coachella-goer in your high-waisted shorts and Vanessa Hudgens-inspired everything, you tend to think that you’ll be warm at a music festival or you just won’t care.

Sure, we all think of Coachella or EDC or any other massive event as a staple of a music festival, but those are all in the spring and summer (perfect weather for wearing nothing). But what about those Halloween raves and festivals, or the ones on New Years Eve? Will you ring in the new year in style, or will your phone be ringing because your friends are telling you that they’re too cold and they’ll be waiting for you in the car?

Fear not! Here are some tips and tricks to stay warm and still look cute for those winter music events!

1. Thigh-High Socks 

I gotta stay (thigh) high, all the time, to keep the cold off my mind.

When surveying men on what they think of thigh-highs, I got, “What are those?” and upon description, I got, “Sounds good to me. Better than high waisted shorts.” (Sigh.)

Ladies, you understand the greatness of thigh-highs. They keep much more of your leg warm than just socks or even knee-high socks. They make you feel like your legs are infinite, and somehow their length plus the high-waisted-ness of shorts and a crop top feel aesthetically and symmetrically pleasing — it’s like a fraction that’s been split up, but together make a whole outfit.

Also, according to science (the internet), when your extremities (hands, feet, and head) are warm, YOU’LL feel warm! So pack on those layers of socks underneath the thigh-highs and no one will know what’s hiding underneath those those boots except for your warm self!

BONUS: You can wear sheer black tights underneath the thigh-highs, which keeps that extra part of your leg warm and prevents your thigh highs from drooping down.

2. Layers

You may not need 7, but you’ll sure need thin layers, so dip into your closet for something useful!

To normal people, layers are the OBVIOUS answer. Bring a light jacket or a flannel and tie it around your waist when you don’t want to wear it because that’s trendy now (luckily)/stuff it into the one person’s backpack who wishes he hadn’t brought a backpack anymore. Problem SOLVED!

However, have you ever been in jeans and a long sleeve or a jacket when it started to pour? Everything sticks to you, and you can’t get dry even under a hooded location because your clothes are wet. At least if you’re in shorts you can dry yourself off by acquiring a few paper towels and wiping down your skin. (Disclaimer: Do not wear shorts if the weather is so cold that pneumonia becomes a possibility.)

An easy solution is to bring a THIN layer. A leather jacket will probably save you from a snow storm rather than a small, long-sleeved cotton shirt, but if the weather is that unpredictable where it could go from sunshine to blizzard, I suggest you question what you’re even trying to accomplish at that music festival. A thin long sleeved shirt or even a thin pair of leggings can save your life, and if you have a fanny pack you can learn to roll your clothes and stuff it in there (I’ve done this and can assure you that a $5 long sleeve shirt has fit into a tiny American Apparel fanny pack with room to spare).

And fellas? You can actually WEAR the shirt you came in! I know! What a shocker! All of those #ravebody selfies were for nothin’! Darn! Save yourself the workout and pack on those pounds to keep yourself warm; it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters anyway. PLUR.

3. Spirit Hoods

What happened to Spirit Hoods?

Perhaps we have passed the stage in our lives where sparkly bras and straps wrapped around our thighs/neon man thongs and invisible shirts are acceptable, but where did Spirit Hoods fall into that mix? You remember, they were those animal hats with the long sides that you could put your hands in, the fuzzy headwear you saw naked girls and guys wearing. (Again, it’s that fraction of thigh-highs, shorts, and cropped tops that makes Spirit Hoods, bras, and spandex shorts somewhere make a whole outfit.)

Making themselves popular in 2000 and late, Spirit Hoods were all the rave (hah) at music festivals, but slowly became endangered and are on the verge of extinction. The concept is smart, in the sense that it keeps your head and hands warm (extremities people!), but you might feel a little culturally inappropriate.

If you are an avid Spirit Hood lover, I suggest you DIY it and make it a very non-culturally tied animal, say, a cat. Everyone loves cats!

4. Gloves

As Beyonce might have said, “Baby glove me, lights out.” #XO

As socks are to feet, gloves are to your wonderful hands, so don’t forget it! And if you feel like you’ll look like an idiot because, well, who really wears gloves? Fear not! Here’s an easy solution to that self-esteem issue. Just invest in a pair of light show gloves, that way you have an excuse to keep your hands warm.

Although, if you don’t know how to glove, and someone asks for a light show later on, well… you might find yourself in a pickle. Glove at your own risk people.

5. Emergency Blanket (Seriously.) 

STOP, DROP, AND ROLL… into an emergency blanket!

Ok I’m going to need you all to think back, way back, before your first kiss, before your first crush, before your first pet “got sent to a hamster farm to run free.” Think back circa kinder-3rd grade, when emergency preparation was extremely important. You had those drills to hide under a desk with your hands clasped behind your head to protect your neck, you had to walk out in a single-file line to your designated meet up spot until all the classrooms were check. At one point, perhaps you were graced with the presence of an emergency kit, with a ton of “useful” things that just looked like a lot of foil, including this huge foil “blanket” that was apparently supposed to save your life. Scoff, as if a piece of foil could save your life.

Flash forward to the present, when a friend of mine heard the weather at a rave we were going to attend would drop below 50, and we were all planning on lacking in the clothing department. He bought these emergency packets in bulk on Amazon and handed us one before going in. They’re smaller and thinner than my phone and came in a plastic bag, fitting perfectly into my fanny pack stuffed with a long sleeve as well, but we all laughed at the thought of using it. However, at the end of the rave, people were getting desperate as the walk back to the car was longer than we once remembered, and they busted out those blankets… AND TO EVERYONE’S SURPRISE, THEY WERE EXTREMELY WARM, LARGE ENOUGH TO FIT TWO PEOPLE IN, AND INCREDIBLY USEFUL.

Elementary school me felt satisfied, knowing that these “foil blankets” were actually useful, and present me is now recommending them to everyone. And though you may not think being wrapped around in foil is cute or trendy, just channel your inner Gaga and work it. They come in gold or silver, perfect for all the hottest fall and winter trends. (Talk about a statement piece.) Or perhaps you can just refer to yourself as a Chipotle burrito. Who doesn’t love Chipotle? Exactly.


In our music festival culture, you’ll have those ravers who love dressing up in nothing, rain or shine, and you’ll have those people who really don’t care what they’re wearing and just go for the music. To each, their own. If you’re 35 and want to wear an animal onesie, who am I to stop you? No matter what you wear, just make sure you wear a thick layer of confidence; it’ll keep your ego warm for a few hours, if not the whole night!

RELATED: Why are we writing about staying warm at music festivals? Because there are a ton coming up! Read our roundup of the Top 2015 NYE Music Festivals

About Kim Christina

Christina is a writer based in Palm Springs, Los Angeles, or at any given Starbucks. Having majored in English and minored in Film and TV Studies, Christina graduated from UCLA with a Summa Cum "Meh" and with a 4.Ever Alone GPA. When she's not making every life situation into an applicable online article, she is usually dancing, solving Rubik's Cubes at average speeds, Snapchatting videos of her dogs. Christina's main goal in life is to be the next Carrie Bradshaw - with straighter hair. When asked to describe herself, Christina replies, "indescribable."

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