Projected to reach $2330 billion by 2026, the global events industry is booming in the best of times. If you’re excited to head to parties, concerts, and other casually awesome gatherings, you probably have wondered what sorts of flashy outfits you can wear to make a statement.
As it turns out, the flashiest garments are literally flashing. Read on to learn how to make light up clothes that give you the fashion glow-up of the decade… no pun intended.
Step 1: Decide on a Light Up Clothes Design
The decision to make light up clothing isn’t a tough one- these outfits are fun, fabulous, and freakin’ awesome. The decision on what your design should look like is a little tougher. You need something that will help you express yourself while still being practical, wearable, and DIYable.
Pick a garment made from a material that’s right for EL installation. Denim or leather jackets are a favorite, as are thick cotton and polyester blends. Just stay away from lightweight or stretchy fabric and you’ll be fine.
Make sure that you pick an outfit that looks good in your personal style. You want to actually like the glowing clothes that you decide to wear! You also need to determine where you want to put the LED lights.
Around the seams of an outfit is usually a good place, as are collars and sleeve cuffs for a more subtle look. Try lining a jacket with vertical lights around where the zippers are if you’re not sure where to start. This will make sure that the lights are in even lines and that the right parts of your garment are accentuated.
Step 2: Pick Your Fave Lights
After picking the garment that you want to make glow, it’s time to choose the LED lights that you want to illuminate it.
Some people choose to make their own lighting circuits and attach them to portable inverters. This process means that you need to cut and strip a long and uncut piece of wire before you solder it to the power source.
If this is something you’re down for, then power to you. For the rest of us, though, there are easier ways that you can attach lighting to your outfit.
You can order pre-soldiered string or fairy lights from ellumiglow.com. They come in tons of awesome colors from bright white to electric blue to blood red. This means that you’re sure to find the perfect hues for the specific event that you plan to wear your outfit to.
You also need to get lighting that’s the right thickness for your individual needs. While some strings are as thin as angel hair pasta, others can literally be as thick as your pinky finger. Make sure that you consider all your options before ordering.
Step 3: Plan Your Lighting Layout
Once you have a rough idea of what you want to do and have gathered both the garment and the lights, it’s time to get a more specific plan for the actual layout of your clothes.
If you want to get started before your lights come in the mail, take a photo of your garment, print it out, and grab a Sharpie. Sit down and begin to plan out where you want your lights to be sewn onto it. It’s best if you measure the garment and check how much string lighting you ordered online for a more accurate estimate of where you can actually put lights.
It may best to wait for your lights to actually come in the mail, though, unless you’re in a serious time crunch. Lay your garment on a flat surface, grab the lights, and lay them out where you’re thinking of putting them.
Step 4: Attach the Wire to the Garment
Put some scotch tape down to gently keep the wire in place. Don’t put the tape on top of the wire- you’ll have a tough time getting it off. Make little loops that sit on the garment instead and place the wire on top of them.
Once your wire’s all laid out and taped in place, you can begin to permanently attach them to the garment. There are two ways that you can do this. The first and easiest is to put a thin line of fabric glue where you want the lights and press down. This will keep the string lights on your outfit when it dries, especially if you choose to use thin lighting.
If you’re feeling bold and brave, you can also sew the wire in place. Tightly loop some thread (that matches your outfit) around the string light every few inches. This is much more time-consuming than gluing it down and not really worth it, but if these are the materials you have, you can make do.
Step 5: Make the Lights Glow
Now comes the hardest part of making light-up clothes- making them glow. Since you don’t have an outlet, you’ll need to make do with a portable battery pack. You can get these online and have them sent directly to your doorstep.
Make sure that you get one that can sustain a USB-like cord ending. If you don’t, you’ll need to get a little pronged outlet pack so that fits in your portable pack.
Fasten the battery pack to your outfit by sewing it into the interior of your garment. You can also just carry it in your pants pocket if you don’t want to sew. Securing it is the better choice, though, so it doesn’t fall out or get lost.
Now that you know how to make light up clothes on your own without breaking the bank, it’s time to get some more awesome fashion tips for 2021.
Check out the “lifestyle” tab on our home page for more ideas on how you can stay stylish in clubs, at concerts, and while heading off to your favorite conventions. You’ll learn all about the coolest accessories to wear with your glowing clothing and how to rock layers while showing off your new garment.