Bush Doof couture… what do people wear?

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A Vague Discussion of Doof fashion

Australia has the best doofing scene in the world. Bar none. Ask anyone from Berlin, London or the States…We truly have it made.

And maybe it’s our large expanses of land with little vegetation allowing us to doof, doof, doof the day away with such vigour.

Or perhaps it’s the fact that we’re located on the arse-end of the world. Our thirst for international acts probably matches no other.

But I reckon part of it’s the sheer colour of our crowd. You can see it on the face of any big-name DJ gracing our doofs’ decks – they’ve never seen such a motley crew of smiling, happy faces!

You can’t deny we’ve made a name for ourselves.

Of course, an exception to this rule is Burning Man. While not exactly a doof, some of the costumes those burners wear are insane.

But the steam-punk goggles, faux furs and sexy leathers were born out of functionality well before they became a fashion. After all, the bitter winds and below-0 nights require stealthy gear to weather the terrain.

So how did our exotic peacocking about…well, come about?

The history of “doof-wear”

Back in the day, “doof-wear” was literally whatever the hell you had time to throw on before your mates told you a doof was happening up north.

And “doof-wear” was not always necessarily whatever you wanted to wear, but whatever you had on hand.

For the most part, clothing that was easy, earthy and a little bit ‘hippie’ seemed to be the go.

Think floaty Aladdin pants and tie-dye shirts. Or old denim shorts. Again, whatever.

But regardless of style, the focus seemed to be on function over form. In other words, comfort.

I doubt many old-timer doofers can remember budgie-smuggling spandex outfits or the painstakingly curated walking artworks we see with their parasols and posses.

Those guys used to just throw on something colourful and comfy and then forgot about it for the rest of the night because Infected Mushroom.

Then one day, doof fashion became a whole genre of its own.

Perhaps the winds of change have been blowing for a longer time, but personally, I’ve only noticed a huge difference in the last four or five years.

It started with some sparkly bum cheeks. Maybe a sparkly headpiece, here or there. Then out of nowhere, BAM! Doofs became spectacular runway shows.

So what on earth do you wear to a doof these days?

Well, whether you want to stand out in style or simply stay cool, there are a few fail-safe tricks I keep in my secret doof drawer that I’m happy to share. And they always seem to work for me.

So before you pack for your next doof, try to keep the following ideas in mind:

Know who you are

It’s undeniable that how you dress says a lot about you. And this is pretty important! Be yourself and show who you truly are in the way that you dress. That way, you’ll attract your authentic tribe (judgmental folks, begone!)

You’ll also feel confident that you’re participating in the scene as yourself and not as someone else.

And it has to be said: the liberation of genuine self-expression is a pretty damn sweet feeling. 

Play with your look

But remember, a tremendous part of the excitement in a doof lies in the freedom. Dress silly, wild, sexy or for laughs– but for the love of doof sticks, have fun with it!

I’d warrant a guess and say most doofers don’t dress how they normally would in their real lives. Because there’s no better place to take a few fashion risks than at a doof. Think about it. Everyone’s happy, high on life and sunshine and feeling their most non-judgmental selves.

In the heat of a throbbing dance floor, is anybody really going to care if you’re wearing a Pokémon-themed T-shirt and your face is covered in mud?

Pop culture is fun

There’s nothing like inspiring a few laughs on the dance floor. Whether it’s a Bunnings apron or apocalyptic Mad Max attire, don’t feel afraid to take inspiration from the world around you.

Tasty snags are just the beginning

It could be everyday stuff or even your favourite film’s merch. Donning something that people relate to can be a great conversation starter.

In all my doofing years, I’ve seen a wide range of pop culture marvels, from gothic lolitas to cosplay cuties…

But you do you, babe!

Always, always, always prioritise comfort over cute!

I don’t know about you, but for me, longevity is an important consideration.

For that reason, I always make sure I’m comfortable before going on a wander.

Granted, some things can be comfortable and cute like the fluffy red slippers I often wear on my late night psytrance expeditions. So if you can achieve both, go it. But if a clothing item falls into one category or the other, prioritise comfort. You won’t regret it.

When I’m sweating my boobs off in 40-degree weather to an ecstatic dance workshop, the last thing I’m going to worry about is how pert my derriere looks in my new six-inch platform boots.

Make the ethical choice and dress consciously

Above all, it’s important to remember that doofing is all about coming together and having fun in a conscious, loving way.

If you really want to get your glitter on, make the effort to buy an eco-friendly brand. And avoid stick-on accessories that are likely to create MOOP (matter-out-of-place) in the environment.

Another idea: instead of loading up on fast, cheap fashion before a festival (and then throwing it out), why not check out your local thrift store? There’s often a range of sweet pre-loved picks that would look super interesting for doofing.

Finally, don’t get so excited about your favourite DJ’s next drop that you forget about the 3am temperature drop. Bring something warm and woolly. Just don’t blame me if everybody asks you for a cuddle!

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After her first 'death pit' mosh at 14, Lauren became spellbound by the power of immersive music experiences. Except these days, she prefers deep doof conversations under a tree and the electronic grooves of a bangin' D-floor. But no matter the space, Lauren's always been drawn in by that sweet transcendent feeling of collective togetherness music can inspire. As a research writer, aspiring bedroom producer, transformative healing enthusiast and darling of her diverse doof crew, Lauren hopes to enrich the important conversations that blossom from one of the greatest party cultures in the world.

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