Pride Fashion: You Do You in Rain or Shine

feature image by Mark Constantini

Pride is suddenly upon us and I’m sure you’ve already got your outfit all laid out. Right? Well, I hope so. I’m not going to Pride this year because I booked a badly timed vacation, so you’re going to need to look extra good for both of us.

The best way to plan your outfit for Pride is to start with your absolute favorite look. Nothing too dressy; something that is casual but totally cute. The outfit you might wear to see your ex because you know you look particularly hot in it. Don’t consider season/weather, just really pick the outfit you looks absolutely your best in. You’re going to want to wear your hottest look because, well, I know you and you’re probably going to see a cute girl you want to kiss on. For me, that’s high waisted skinny jeans, a v-neck, a silk scarf tied like a bandana around my neck and my navy blazer. If you have a significant other, this is a great time to ask them what their favorite thing you wear is. Even if you’re not out cruising, looking hot at Pride is a source of…well… pride.

possible pride outfits

Once you have your all-time favorite outfit picked out it’s time to tweak it to be Pride ready for all sorts of events. You need to assess for weather, longevity and gayness.

Check the weather report religiously leading up the parade. If there is a chance of rain you should add in a raincoat and swap out whatever shoes you were planning on wearing for either rain boots or other boots you don’t mind getting wet. Plan on bringing a few items as possible, maybe just some cash, your phone, ID and your debit card. Carrying around a wet bag will just get grosser and grosser as the day progresses. If the weather is going to be hot, make sure you eliminate any jackets or sweatshirts from your look. Carrying around you hoodie under your arm all day is not cute or fun. In complete contrast to a rainy day, for a super hot day you’ll want to equip yourself with some sort of backpack/shoulder bag. Something large enough to carry a bottle of water for you (and maybe one for your sweetheart) but small enough to not be bulky/heavy. You’ll be a real Pride super star if you throw an extra white ribbed tank top in your bag to inevitably loan to a less properly dressed friend.

Next, assess your outfit for longevity. If you plan on going straight from the parade to a club/party, you’ll want to make sure your outfit is consistent with our rules for how to have fun at a gay bar. Generally you’ll want to aim for close toed shoes and leaving home any valuables you can’t shove in a corner. You probably should have on an outfit that neatly fits a flask. Just sayin’. Alternatively, if you have the opportunity to go home before going out at night you might want to plan one outfit optimized for the parade (weather, rainbowness) and one optimized for partying (bringing your hotness). I’m gonna go ahead and say having a flask on hand in this case is also preferable.

these are also possible pride outfits

Finally, you’re going to want to get your gay on. Normally I’m not a fan of rainbow shit or pride slogans, but obviously Pride is your chance to let go of notions like “tacky” and just go with it. Do you have a rainbow bow tie? Rainbow suspenders? Rainbow kicks? If you do run in to inclement weather, you can absolutely rock rainbow wellies or a big old rainbow umbrella that says “Lesbians Do it Wetter.” Alternatively if it’s hot, you can take this opportunity to wear rainbow sandals. While Pride is the one time you don’t need to worry about being mistaken for a straight chick, it’s still a fun opportunity to flag as you can. That being said, if you are able to go home in between the parade and party, you might want to ditch your gay-gear in lieu of an “oh, is it Pride again? I look this good all the time” type outfit. The choice is yours and yours alone.

The most important thing you can wear, though, is obvs your pride! (And also maybe sunscreen.) It comes but once a year, so take the time to cherish how great our community is, and how proud we have reason to be. (Also, for real, don’t forget sunscreen.)

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. The link for “our rules for how to have fun at a gay bar.” doesn’t work and I’m going… alone… to a gay bar in an hour and some change. I need help! Imma be eaten alive!
    … actually, being eaten alive doesn’t sound so bad.

  2. yes, for fuck’s sake, sunscreen! having sunscreen with you is even better than the obligatory lighter even non-smokers should carry to help out fellow queers.
    on one point I told people I’d name my firstborn after them if I can get some sunscreen

    • Lighter? I’m sorry, are you fifteen? Book or stick matches (preferably from an upscale hotel or restaurant) gets attention. And by attention I mean action. And by action I mean… you can do the math.

      • dude if you can open a bottle of beer w/ matches you’re my hero. if not, let me and my cheesy puppy lighter take care of it

        • It’s all about zippos.
          Or if you can open a bottle of beer with your teeth and not damage yourself.

          • Not gonna lie, people opening beer with their teeth makes me so anxious.
            Dental work is scary expensive.

  3. omg also bring snacks. snacks are the best. no really, the best. snacks are an excellent way to make friends. “oh hey, have you been drinking in the sun since 10AM? would you like an apple…and my phone number?”

    ta-da. (you’re welcome.)

    • i think this is excellent advice, only on some level i already know i will just eat all the snacks before i can offer them.

      • bahaha i feel like i’d do the same since i decided to take public transit which like triples the actual time it takes to get there.

      • you guys can run with me at toronto pride, then, because i have all the snacks. in fact i just bring meals and portion them really small and then tell everyone they’re snacks. i’m sneaky. or, “snacky”, as it were.

        • Maybe this is a Toronto thing…I’m going to be bringing food to Pride too, a picnic lunch because the math works:
          picnic = fun
          Pride = fun
          therefore picnic + Pride = super dee dooper fun.

          So if anyone sees a couple of gladies having high tea in one of the parks at Toronto Pride, just say hi!

          • haha perhaps Torontonians have had this instilled in them, for I bring snacks ALLLLL the places

    • I wore my autostraddle shirt to pride, so I say yes. I might have forgotten enough sunscreen though…

    • I wore my Unicorn Plan-It shirt and it certainly got a lot of attention! Of course, I would suggest altering the sleeves, neckline, etc to your liking….You Do You.

  4. bahaha, totally got burnt at pride this weekend, not making that mistake this next weekend though (i’m fortunate enough to live within a 15 mile radius of two cities that hold pride.)i will say though i thought i ended up looking pretty cute all day, though much femmy-er than i had originally intended.

  5. Wear a cute bandeau bra because sometimes you get brave and take your shirt off in public. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

  6. Does anyone have any advice for going to pride for the first time for us babyqueers? Especially the ones that can’t get into like clubs or whatnot?

    • haaay babyqueers, here are my tips:

      – don’t be afraid to talk to people. in my experience everyone loves babies/firsttimeatpride gays because we’ve all been there.
      – wear sunscreen
      – bring vodka in water bottles

      that’s about it.

    • oh and bonus tip – trying to organize a huge number of people is not worth it. either make a commitment to stick together, or find one spot to regroup at the end of the day and break off into pairs or something but definitely discuss this before you end up fighting with your best friends about whether to go to the drag queen pageant on the north stage or the vogueing demo in the parkette and miss both of them because you promised someone you would “do pride with them”. jus’ sayin.

  7. New Zealand doesn’t really have Pride festivals … =(
    But even if we did, y’know that thing about snow? Well, it’s the dead of winter here and may actually snow down to sea level again like it did last year … so no-one would do big parades in June anyway, because (like your sound advice) we would all stay the fuck inside. So maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all =)
    We do, however, have a festival called ‘The Big Gay Out’ (name stolen from an ex-music festival, ‘The Big Day Out’), that takes place in January (height of summer for us, all sunscreen rules apply! Specially since we live under a hole in the ozone) which I’ve never been to but is apparently quite good. Also we have Out in the Square, at the same time, which is a kind of festival thing as well, and is OK. Nothing on the scale of what you guys have though … :/

  8. Sooo my mom doesn’t like my gayness too much, but it’s also my birthday season, so she sent me a package. With two pairs of Chacos and a black tank top with a rainbow heart. She said “cute stuff, plus a nice jammie shirt!” Ummm…that shirt got me two flashes at Pride yesterday, which made me want to get in my jammies and do naughty things. Thanks, mom!

  9. lmao most of this is like “how to wear clothing for dummies”

    “if it’s gonna be hot, don’t wear a sweater”?

    also if you’re gonna wear a hat, don’t put it on your feet

    this should be more like a list of creative ways to make your outfit tacky, rainbowy, and pride-y, none of that “wear a raincoat if it’s gonna rain” shit lol

  10. I’m personally focusing on crazy cleavage and Chuck Taylors this year.

    You can’t go wrong with boobs and colorful sneakers.

  11. I cant agree more, dress like you want to meet the future Mrs. Right. I don’t get the whole idea of wearing stickers and thongs. I want to see how well you can pull a sexy outfit together, not all your goodies. . . until later of course.

    Dress to impress ladies!

  12. OH MY GOSH, Y’ALL.
    I might actually get to go to Chicago Pride for the first time tomorrow! Anyone want to be friends? :3

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