Why Do DJs Wear Black? (Explained)

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DJs have many reasons for wearing black, primarily because it is excellent for hiding sweat, and it’s easy to throw together an all-black outfit. Wearing black also provides a blank canvas for the DJ to carry the music in any direction they see fit without sticking to a specific style. 

DJs Wearing Black

Attire varies quite a bit throughout the electronic dance music cultures.

It’s pretty funny how much DJs and fans agree on what the unspoken fashion rules are for each subgenre that they belong to. The deeper you get into your respective subgenre, the more specific the outfits become. 

However, no matter the specific subgenre, all-black getups are always welcomed with enthusiasm. If it is Techno, the enthusiasm will not be shown on anyone’s expressionless face, but I promise you they appreciate it. 

Many DJs in the past have worn particular clothes according to the style of music they play. Still, black has always been a viable option. 

In my opinion, black has become all-inclusive because it doesn’t pigeonhole a DJ into one specific style of music or sound. 

Why Do DJs Wear Black

Wearing Black Has Functionality

There is a lot of physical exertion involved in DJing. Raves are sweaty events, and the DJs aren’t excluded from sweating, so wearing black hides all of that body sweat the best. It also absorbs the light from the event so that you’re not blinding anybody with a brightly colored shirt. 

If a DJ is traveling a lot and doesn’t have time to get clothing dry cleaned or pressed in between gigs, the easiest item of clothing to maintain and pack is a black t-shirt. Better yet, a bunch of black t-shirts!

Wearing black provides this empty, clean slate in which you can bring together any mix with more confidence. The DJ might feel freer in that sense to work with a blank canvas of music and appearance. 

Many electronic music events also have a light show and lots of other visuals. The best thing to wear at these events is black since there is already so much color around you. As the DJ, you don’t necessarily want to be a human reflective panel. 

Black is also a generally flattering color. Whenever I am not feeling like my most beautiful self, I throw on a black shirt and instantly feel like a cool girl. 

Say what you want about that, but I stand by the color black!

Techno DJs Wearing Black

In my opinion, the Techno community has had the most influence on the all-black statement look. 

It still varies quite a bit based on location, but the black color is prevalent throughout. In Berlin, you see a lot of black fetish wear and more harnesses, mesh, leather, and PVC. 

In the New York Techno scene, you see more casual black clothing mixed in with some of those Berlin looks, as well as more upscale or fancy black attire. 

Techno DJs are always sporting a black t-shirt. Charlotte de Witte, Amelie Lens, and Nina Kraviz are the women leaders of Techno. They are pretty much always wearing black and have matching black DJ headphones. 

Evolution Of The Scene & Fashion

Back in the 80s and 90s, you would have seen a totally different sense of fashion among the crowd and DJs at a rave. Bright clothing and a more Acid House look were popular around those times. 

You would have then seen a move to more functional and comfortable clothing in the later 90s, with streetwear influences still popular in today’s scene. A person wearing track pants and sneakers to an event is now quite common. 

We are seeing this awesome moment in the music industry where so much genre-blending and crossover is happening. 

Ravers: A Broad Term 

When I went to my first rave, I didn’t know what to wear, so I asked my friend who had been in the scene for a while, and she told me not to wear anything brightly colored. I didn’t question that guidance then and quickly saw that it is the standard when clubbing in New York.

The term “raver” can bring various images of people to mind depending on your location, frame of reference, etc. For example, in the US, rave goers will wear lots of the classic, colorful rave outfits that aren’t as common in Europe but are the standard for the PLUR crowd. If you go to a rave in Berlin, chances are everyone will be wearing black. 

Unless you are going to a festival, Black clothing is always the answer when going to an event and you don’t know what to wear. 

Generally speaking, festivals offer more opportunities for color and expressive outfits, depending on the festival. 

Related Questions 

Why do Techno DJs wear black?

Techno DJs and fans alike mostly wear black. No one really has a definitive answer to this question. However, I think techno music is dark by nature, so it makes sense that people associate dark colors with the sound. It would be super strange to see someone rock up to an industrial Techno event in bright colors.       

What do DJs usually wear?

DJs usually wear comfortable and cool clothing. It is a simple t-shirt and jeans combination that look nice together most of the time. The T-shirt is often black or white, keeping it super simple and giving a chance for fans to be immersed in the music rather than their state of attire. 

What Does a Female DJ wear?

Female DJs usually also wear black. However, some female DJs are more adventurous with their fashion choices. Most still choose to be comfortable over everything else since it’s a hard and quite physical job. 

How should a man dress for a party?

It depends on the party. For Techno, I recommend a black t-shirt and jeans with some trainers or combat boots. For a daytime party, something more colorful but still casual works—obviously, trousers and a button-down work well for an upscale or fancy dress party. The same goes for a male DJ. A t-shirt and clean and cool jeans work like a charm. 

Where did the word Techno come from?

The word Techno comes from Detroit in the 1980s. Juan Atkins was the first to coin the term in 1981 and released a track called Techno City on his own record label. It has now grown into a worldwide musical genre with particular popularity in Europe. 

Final Thoughts

While the electronic dance music scene has SEEN a lot in terms of fashion, DJs wearing black has been a timeless classic. 

With sweat hiding color technology, effortlessly cool chic vibes, and the ease of packing, you really can’t go wrong wearing black as a DJ. 

Ever wondered why some DJs like Daft Punk wear a mask? Find out here.