Nuit Blanche is tomorrow night! It’s one of the events I get most excited about every year. It’s an all-night-long, FREE “art thing” where you can experience all sorts of odd art installations, from looping sheet music being folded into thousands of origami pieces to an all-night dynamically inclusive birthday party. It is simultaneously surreal & magical to walk the streets of downtown Toronto at 4AM & see throngs of people having their minds continually blown.
Dressing for Nuit Blanche can be a challenge. You want to look quirky & artsy, because it is, after all, an arts event - but at the same time, it takes place in October so you want to dress appropriately for autumn temperatures. Here are some basic tenets of how I like to dress for this wonderful event every year:
Layers for warmth. Preferably, layers you can fold up small enough to toss in your bag if you get too hot - you don’t want to be lugging around a giant puffer jacket all night. I plan on wearing a thin cashmere sweater under my dress, & a hat to bottle in the heat. I’ll also put a pair of mittens in my bag just incase.
Bright colors, or brooding shades. One year, I took the melodramatic-artist route & dressed in all black. It’s also fun to go all out with color (particularly if your outfit fits the theme of your friends’ outfits!). Whatever “artsy” means to you, dress like that. Remember, most people are only going to see your outfit for a few minutes at most, & usually in low lighting, so you want to be able to make a quick, bold impression!
Something light-reflective. Okay, I’ve never even come close to getting hit by a car on Nuit Blanche - there just aren’t that many people out driving at 3AM, y’know? - but I still like to wear sequins every year, just incase. You might consider neon orange bike-safety wristbands, copious amounts of sparkly jewelry, or hell, even a tinfoil hat.
Comfortable footwear. My first Nuit Blanche, I wore cowboy boots; all subsequent years, I’ve worn Doc Martens. Trust me, when you’re practically comatose at 5 in the morning, the last thing you’ll want to worry about is sore feet.
The outfit I’m planning to wear, which is highly subject to change:
-thin black sweater
-blue sequinned prom dress
-knee-high Doc Martens
-black boyshorts (to preserve my modesty incase I decide to strip off the dress at any point)
-hat & mittens & maybe scarf, depending on weather forecast
Other things you might consider bringing:
-an umbrella, particularly a small one that fits into your bag (it might not rain, but you might, like me a couple years ago, get stuck subwaying home alone at 5:30AM, in which case you’ll want some kind of anti-rapist talisman just to feel safe)
-sugary snacks for a late-night pick-me-up
-cash, for Starbucks, hot dogs, etc. (although most, if not all, of the art installations are free)
-a map of the zones, & notes on the events you want to attend
-a TTC Day Pass (they make special ones for Nuit Blanche, which are probably sold out by now)
-your glasses, if you need them
-a camera with flash
-paper & pen, incase you want to write a letter to a stranger
Have fun & be safe, Toronto!