Top Costumes for Women for BurningMan

You’re going to Burning Man and now the next thing to think about is what are you gonna wear? As you find the perfect costumes, be conscientious of some of the principles the event is based on.

Radical Inclusion:

Everyone should feel included and respected as part of the group regardless of any label society may put on them. A large group of Burners has started the conversation on how cultural appropriation may or may not play into costuming. Will your costume make others feel alienated? Burning Man writer Caveat Magister offers excellent insight for those who are interested in widening their perspective before attending in their article ““Decommodification” and “Cultural Appropriation” – two great conversations that go great together”.


Burning Man is proud to say that they do not have any sponsors for the event or endorsements. Why? Because a central tenant to the event is being able to express the self in a commercialized vacuum. You don’t have to be a consumer to be able to create in this space. When planning a costume, create something unique to your vision rather than purchasing something off the rack. Don’t have any brands showing if you can help it. Read this great article, #PlayaMade: Creating a Community That Goes Deeper Than Economics, that truly captures this idea written by Burner Mia Quagliarello.

Radical Self-Reliance:

Rely on yourself. Simple. That costume you’re imagining up can be created using what you already have lying around your own home. Maybe something from the back of your closet or even in a kitchen drawer. Use what can be seen as a limitation as an opportunity to create something that could only ever come from what you already own.    

Radical Self-Expression:

For once you will be somewhere that doesn’t have any rules to what you can wear. No one to tell you if it’s work appropriate or not. Remember when you were a kid and you thought you were secretly some fanciful creature out of a storybook? Be that! Whatever it was, do it. When going through your own creative process ask yourself, am I wearing this for others or for myself? Let the answer be the latter.           

Leave No Trace:

Don’t wear a costume that’s gonna leave a trail everywhere you go. Part of this week is to exercise the idea of not leaving anything behind in your beautiful desert surroundings. Burners refer to any particle or speck of trash left as MOOP, Matter Out Of Place. Try not to have a super feathery boa that will fall apart or sequence and glitter that are attached well. Anything that will fall off is a no-no.

Lastly, you will be in a DESERT. Weather is crazy. The days can be blazing hot and the nights can be freezing cold. One day you may have to deal with a dust storm another day it may be rain. In addition to your costume bring a poncho, an umbrella, goggles, face mask, and a ton of sunblock. Be stylish and be safe.

10 Women’s Costume Ideas for Burning Man

  1. That thing you always wanted to be when you were a kid. Take advantage of Burning Man and live out your most childish dreams. Use a fitted corset and light fabrics to create a bodice. If you wanted to be a winged creature, use a pair of wings that you may find commonly in costuming shops or from past costumes. Add a dimension to your look with the makeup you wear. Forget minimalist. Go all out. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials to create the perfect dreamy look you want. Add glue on gemstones to your body as well as body paint. Try adding a tutu, super popular at Burning Man, or a pair of fishnet stockings.

2) It’s hot, try to wear as little as possible. Use body paint to make yourself a piece of the art. Creating your own unique design while also following the outline of your own figure lends itself to a very flattering and beautiful look. Adding gemstones that won’t fall off can also be part of your creation.


3) Did I mention its hot? For a minimal night time look for when the temperature is high, use EL wire to outline your costume of choice or forget the costume altogether and rely on an intricate and well-lit pattern. If you’re wearing your daytime look, add EL wire to the fringes and the seams as well. This choice of style can remain simple and yet still pop out of the crowd at night.


4) Fur. Yeah, fur. It’s definitely a trend that most people get into. Plus it keeps you warm at night. Just give it a shot. Why not? Try pairing it with a simple bandeau type top or something similar.

5) Steam Punk. Not familiar with this style? Watch Mad Max and you’ll understand. Pairing industrial materials with leather fabrics or those with a rougher appearance add a dissonance with the desert background. This lends itself easily to stylized goggles that are popular with this trend.


6) Find yourself a nice wig that you vibe with and build the rest of the costume around it. Multiple hair lengths and colors are available in most costume shops and online. Try matching your makeup and eyebrows to the color you choose.


7) Use your own hair as inspiration. Wild braids and updos are a must. Temporary hair paints and chalks can make for a fantastic temporary look that can change daily with your outfit to the time of day.


8) Time period homage. Juxtaposition can be beautiful.

9) Bodysuits can be a great choice for hot days. These can be part of a layered look. Try to mix it up with a pair of thigh high boots and a chunky jacket.


10) Whatever inspires you off of Burning Man People’s page here.      

“You are part of the art – the whole playa is an art scene, and your participation in it is – you’re also art.” – Donna Kaupp

What you wear to represent your part of the event. Have fun with it and be open to the experience of the unknown.