Did you know that the first official London pride celebration took place all the way back in 1972? It was held the 1 of July because it was the closest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots and it attracted 2000 people. An impressive number for the times but a far cry from the one million it gathers today.
Even though Pride is pretty mainstream nowadays, there are still people who ask me what they should wear for the occasion. Simply put, there’s no dress code. It would just beat the purpose of the festivity since the occasion is about celebrating our individualities. Whatever that may look like.
Still, there are tips you can follow to make your day easier. It is, after all, a long hot weekend and if you’re not properly dressed you may not have as much fun as you should.
First and foremost, wear comfortable walking shoes. A pair of trainers will do the trick or maybe even sensible sandals like Birkenstocks*. Just make sure they’re not brand new. Even if they’re designed for performance, new shoes tend to be uncomfortable and may even cause blisters when worn for too long.
Carry an extra pair of socks in case it rains and your feet get wet. This will prevent bad odours and skin infections like athlete’s foot. Your roommates will thank you later.
Some people think they’re a fashion faux pas, but I like them!
It’s June and you’re going to spend a lot of time on the street – it’s going to get hot. In both good and bad ways. You may be tempted to create or buy a costume for the day – Pride parades are known for their creative outfits, but keep in mind the fabric of the garment.
Cotton is always a good idea since it breathes better, but if there’s a chance that you might get wet (ahem) then you may want to consider a synthetic fabric that dries up faster. If you want to find out more about synthetic fabrics and their effects, we wrote a blog post on the subject.
White or Clear Coloured T-shirts
We all love the colour black, it’s elegant, slimming and it goes with everything. The only problem? It’ll make you hot faster — and not the kind that brings all the boys to the yard. We’ve all heard that dark coloured garments absorb more heat than clear coloured ones but the reality it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Not to get too scientific, but what’s being absorbed it’s not heat but light instead. We see colours because materials absorb light wavelengths and only bounce back the ones we see. When it comes to black, it absorbs them all but it doesn’t bounce any. The light that has been trapped is then transformed into another type of energy which is usually heat.
So, basically, if you’re going to spend a long day outside under the sun, you’ll be far more fresh and comfortable with a white or light-coloured T-shirt.
Everyone knows that when you go to London Pride, you have to wear something rainbow related. The rainbow flag has been a symbol of pride since the late 70’s when Harvey Milk encouraged gay activist Gilbert Baker to design a symbol for the LGBTQ community.
If you don’t want to wear a personalised T-shirt with a rainbow on it, you can always paint yourself with the colours of the flag. Or, if you don’t like the feeling of cracking paint on your face at the end of the day, you can always complete the outfit with cleverly themed accessories.
Vogue made a list of high-fashion-rainbow-themed looks but if your budget does not meet Anna Wintour standards, you can always check out brands like Pride Shack which design rainbow-inspired jewellery for a more affordable price.
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May it be a baseball cap or a fabulous headpiece, don’t forget to bring a hat to pride. A hat will protect you from those harmful UV rays which can cause premature skin ageing and give you one more accessory to play with. Decorate it with something as subtle as a flag pin or as extravagant as a feathered boa could.
The day is long, hot and there’s a lot of drinking involved so bring your own to avoid dehydration. If the size is an issue, you could try with a collapsible water bottle which will take a lot less space.
Some Kind of Bag
You not only will be carrying your stuff around (like your water bottle) but will also receive lots of merchandise. London Pride is famous for handing out condoms and pamphlets throughout the day so, unless you want to go around with your hands filled with souvenirs, you’ll need something to put them in (ahem).
There’s no need for something fancy here, a tote bag or a drawstring bag will do nicely. Or how about a bum bag? They’re cool again — as long as you wear it sideways across your chest. Check our catalogue for inspiration.
Just whatever you do, promise me you won’t forget…
It’s June, it’s hot and you’ll be spending a lot of time on the street. Take care of your skin! Trust me, your future self will be thankful for it.
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