What do I wear to the Pride Parade/Festival/Events?

Have you ever thought about it? Bet you have… The whole Alphabet family in one location and likely during the daylight hours… yikes! Never fear, we have some direction that will undoubtedly help you determine what to wear for each situation.

Open the closet door, and yes, you will have to go back inside the closet to successfully emerge, perhaps for the first time in public. Why do we even have Pride. Not the article to discuss that, but check this one out if interested: Rainbow Pride Flag Meaning

Back to the closet… I remember this place. The feeling of being hidden and not quite the person I feel on the inside. So with that, here is the first tip.

  • Wear what feels comfortable. If that is a black t-shirt and shorts, then mission accomplished. However, if you are ready to embrace the full rainbow of color deep within you, then something colorful would be perfectly acceptable. And note: everyone else will likely be wearing something even louder than you, so blending in is still a possibility.

Tip #2 is one that is important. Function should rule over fashion for this next wearable. Comfort will insure you last the whole day.

  • Wear comfortable shoes. You are going to be walking a lot and you will be out for an extended period of time and believe me shoes do make the outfit, so depending on accessibility to extra accessories during the day, just opting to just wear a nifty pair of sneakers would make most sense.

For my next tip, I know you will thank me later for this one. During the whole day, you be guaranteed to want to buy something, take home some pamphlets on services, giveaways, or an extra something.

  • A lightweight backpack or side satchel to carrying your bottled water, pre-mix drink, sunscreen, and/or that lip chap you will need as you see so many friends. You will be amazed at all those kisses of love you pass out. Some people you will realize you are seeing for the first time in actual daylight of public.

So right about now you need to think about getting close to people, because during these times, a lot of love and positive vibes are going around. This leads to a lot of hugs.

  • Plan to be crisp (iron that shirt/shorts, byotch), clean, and smelling good. Get to the barber or salon (for my LA / NYC friends) ahead of the day to put a nice clean look around your face. As much as you think they will remember you in that radar red and orange shirt, what will be the lasting impression is your face, smiles, and laughter of you expressing yourself with all that is LGBTQIA+

Many people will show up with, well, less… when some come out of their closets, they really want to feel that freedom. A lot of skin, painted bodies, clever costumes, and some wild stuff will be walking around, especially at the parade and night dance parties. So, for night dance parties here is a tip.

  • Wear breathable or removable lightweight clothing, so as the temperature rises, you can stay cool. Minimize the expensive accessories too, as jewelry could get lost. The lighter the clothing, the easier it will be to neatly fold and tuck in the waist of your shorts. If you want to have accessories, opt for glow in the dark glow bracelets/necklaces and glow in the dark temporary tattoos.

Because the weather is often warmer, events revolving around getting wet happen and having a new swim suit will show off your best parts.

This next one has nothing to do with what you put on, but a result of what you take off.

  • A little lawn mowing and trimming to give your body a fresh feeling could be in order. Now as much as I suggest trimming, Please note that the bushy bear look is just as sexy… *growl*. Just think about that if the moment hits you to take something off, you feel great about what’s underneath.

What is underneath? Body positivity is something I want you realize is a healthy approach to the conversation you have with yourself. At Pride events, feeling self-conscious is not unusual, but your attitude about yourself can determine if you have fun or not. As much as you desire this opportunity to be the real you, understand that you are perfect exactly how you are today and with that my last tip the most important of all on what you should wear.

  • Wear the Pride you have for yourself. You have been on a journey and today is a moment celebrating that journey and a mere blip in time helping you continue to move towards to an even better YOU.

As you explore all that Pride represents, remember that the only thing about it is that you get out there and meet OUR people, embrace ALL of them, no matter how different they are from you and appreciate and learn from them. Use it as a stopping point to realize who YOU are in this moment and the bigger picture of your adventure in life.

Ken Dickison

Ken Dickison, owner of INVI

INVI Expressionwear


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