Year-Round Rainbow Inspiration: Because Pride Season’s Never Really Over

Pride month has just winded down. In most parts of the U.S., you’ll have to wait another year for another parade or festival. But, wherever you go, whatever you do, or wherever you happen to be, Pride attire tends to be fairly uniform – lots of rainbows, including flags as capes, accompanied by glittering accessories.

Yet, this is far from the only way to get dressed up and show your pride or allyship. For a few ideas, we’ve compiled some Rainbow flag-inspired looks: Some on the nose and others off the well-tread path:

Lena Waithe at the 2018 Met Gala

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Waithe – the first black female comedy writer to win an Emmy and an actress with roles in Master of None and Ready Player One – went against the Met Gala’s 2018 theme – Catholicism, to be exact – with a tuxedo and accompanying Rainbow flag cape draped on top. Wes Gordon for Carolina Herrera designed the ensemble, intending it to be a political statement at an event known for its glittery, ornate gowns and typical pomp-and-circumstance vibe.  

Janelle Monae at the 2018 BET Awards

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At the 2018 BET Awards, held last June, Monae appeared on the red carpet in a full-length rainbow dress designed by Nicholas Jebran. At the time, the dress served as a multi-faceted symbol: One, it celebrated Pride month, two, the singer officially came out as queer not long before, and three, she had shed her android-based alter ego and accompanying aesthetic on recent album Dirty Computer.

Christopher Bailey’s Last Burberry Collection

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While the seminal British brand known for its plaid and raincoats has since gone off in a more streetwear direction, former creative director Bailey closed out his time with a Pride-themed collection. While Cara Delevingne wearing a furry rainbow cape ended up going viral, the pieces themselves took a subtler approach. Specifically, Bailey wove the Rainbow flag colors into Burberry’s traditional tartan checks. It’s a fairly low-key touch, but one that adds a lightly prismatic quality to a fairly mundane pattern.

Versace Fall/Winter 2018 Presentation

How many ways can you rework a rainbow? Following the fashion house’s ‘90s print revival, Donatella Versace decided to create another retro-based collection, this time using the rainbow as a symbol of inclusion. The result here straddles a seemingly contradictory dichotomy of subtle references and bold color and print choices, and feels futuristic while nodding to the fashion house’s quintessential era.

Henry Golding at the 2019 Met Gala

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This year’s theme was camp, and with it came a whole bunch of questions about what camp is and isn’t, and the proper way to execute it. Compared to the rest of the red carpet looks, the Crazy Rich Asians star’s shimmering ombre suit was relatively subdued, but the colorway comes with some clear Pride references – the lower part of the Rainbow flag, as some have called out, or even portions of the Bisexual or Genderfluid Pride flags. Ultimately, the interpretation’s up to you.

Jonathan Van Ness' DIFF Charitable Eyewear Collection

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Featuring the Rainbow flag in gradient form, this eyewear collection captures that flashy early ‘00s oversized style without being over the top (no rhinestones here), and gives us total vacation-in-Miami vibes.

While the Queer Eye star, who came out this month as non-binary, has no shortage of his own out-there (and more understated) Pride getups, this particular collection goes toward a charitable cause: For every pair sold, a person in need receives an eye exam and a pair of reading glasses.

Tituss Burgess at The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative Celebration

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The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s breakout star, spotted at this event in June, knows how to combine his own individual style with a fairly conventional and recognizable symbol. All of that comes through this custom tee, designed by DKNY, featuring the colors of the Rainbow flag in uneven lengths.

Kameron Michaels at the 2018 NYC Pride Parade

Photo Credit: VH1

Photo Credit: VH1

Rainbow pride boas? Been there, done that. The Season 10 finalist on RuPaul’s Drag Race presented an elevated version at last year’s Pride festivities that can best be described as a ruffled tulle boa-cape fusion.

Billy Porter at NYC Pride in 2018

Photo Credit: VH1

Photo Credit: VH1

Never one to just walk the red carpet – as we saw at this year’s Oscars and later at the Met Gala – the Pose star got ready to celebrate in a Rainbow-referencing ensemble. Based on the vertical print on Porter’s palazzo-style pants, it’s not a perfect flag – more like an indirect color allusion – but the fit and accompanying cross-front shirt are made for a day of dancing and socializing in New York City’s humid summer weather.


Thinking about a rainbow colorway, whether for a shirt, suit, or accessory? Bring your ideas to Kipper, where we’ll help realize your vision. To start, set up a 15-minute consultation today with one of our stylists.