What to Wear to a Concert

Updated on March 14, 2016

What to Wear to a Concert

When dressing for a concert, several factors determine the elements of the perfect outfit. Once you figure out the who, what, when, where, how, and why, you can identify your options. Below are some ideas to get you started.

Keep These Factors in Mind

These are the most important considerations when choosing what to wear. This is not a comprehensive list, so there may be other things to consider such as your own personal style. Use this list to get started:

  • Type of concert (rock, classical, jazz, hip-hop, etc.).
  • Venue (stadium, outdoor festival, club, bar, concert hall, church, house).
  • Type of seating (grass, camp chairs, stadium seating, cramped theater seats, standing only, mosh pit).

What Not to Wear

  1. Any outfit with no pockets. You will need them. ("I know I had my ticket a minute ago!")
  2. Shoes that are uncomfortable for standing or dancing. ("My feet are killing me!")
  3. Shoes that don't protect your feet from people to stepping on them.
  4. Clothes inappropriate for the temperature, for example a warm sweater to a venue that gets hot or a T-shirt and shorts on a cold evening. Keep in mind that the temperature changes throughout the evening.
  5. Huge hats. ("Down in front!")

Don't Wear a Rat Tail

Make sure you wear a shirt to a concert, but don't wear the rat tail.
Make sure you wear a shirt to a concert, but don't wear the rat tail.

Typical Festival Concert Wear

You want to be practical and comfortable first, then stylish. You should be able to find something that will cover these requirements. Notice the comfort and practicality of jeans and a black T-shirt—mainstays of concert clothing. The outfit example below would be great for the following scenarios:

  1. Genre: rock, jazz, blues, country, or festival concerts.
  2. Venue: outdoor or indoor.
  3. Seats: seated, standing, or grass.

Jeans and Black T-Shirt

If you are looking for the standard outfit to wear to a concert, this is it.
If you are looking for the standard outfit to wear to a concert, this is it.

Concert Wear for Classical Music

When attending a classical concert, you will a variety of outfits in the audience. Generally, a symphony orchestra or concert choir attire means a dress for ladies and a suit for men. However, if you are at a university, it is likely that students there will not dress up at all. You might find people wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and flip flops. Here are a few rules of thumb to avoid dressing inappropriately:

  • Formal/semi-formal attire if your ticket cost more than forty dollars, you are in a large city, and the venue is a concert hall or theater. You could get away with more casual, but don't try wearing a T-shirt.
  • Work casual if the classical concert is at a university and was free or very cheap. Chances are the musicians will be wearing suits and dresses, but you probably don't have to wear one. Still you should show some respect.
  • Dress down if the classical concert is an outdoor event, especially if you will be expected to sit on a lawn or bring lawn chairs.

What to Wear to a Typical Indoor Stadium Concert

The venue can made a difference when deciding what to wear, as exemplified by the classical music outdoors scenario. When you are going to a pop, rock, country, hip-hop, or rap concert in a stadium, you don't have to worry as much about weather, which allows you many options. Unfortunately those options aren't all good.

The best bet these days is jeans and a nice-looking shirt. That goes for guys and girls alike. Men can wear a button-up shirt or sweater and ladies can wear anything from a nice blouse to a sexy halter top. You don't have to worry about temperature extremes or inclement weather. People around you may get a little rowdy depending on the show, so you might want sturdy, comfortable shoes and clothing.

Choose your outfit based upon who you're seeing perform. If it's Bruce Springsteen and you wear jeans and a T-shirt, you'll look like The Boss!
Choose your outfit based upon who you're seeing perform. If it's Bruce Springsteen and you wear jeans and a T-shirt, you'll look like The Boss!

Choose a Style to Wear that Fits the Artist

Make sure your clothing choices match the artist. For example, you wouldn't want to be dressed like a prep when attending a hard rock concert. There are certain looks that seem to work for most types of music. For example, the jeans and halter top below would work for most rock, country, blues, jazz, and even hip-hop shows. When you don't know what to wear, you can choose something universal like this.

When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to wear tie-dye. Chances are you won't be the only one with wearing it and tie-dye is timeless. Another classic is a black top and jeans.

Jeans and a boho halter top look great at most concerts.
Jeans and a boho halter top look great at most concerts.
An alternative style will be great for indie, hard rock, and metal concerts.
An alternative style will be great for indie, hard rock, and metal concerts.

Wear Earplugs to Protect Your Hearing at Loud Rock Concerts

Going to concerts can be hazardous to your health in many ways. One of those ways is hearing loss. You might enjoy the concert, but find that everything sounds muffled afterwards. You may burst your eardrum, which will heal itself, but inner ear damage can lead to permanent hearing loss.

Protect your hearing with earplugs. Foam earplugs that form a tight seal in your ear canal can save you years of hearing loss or even the need for hearing aids in the future. These are extremely inexpensive and can be kept in your pocket. Noise reduction of around 30 decibels with earplugs in could make a big difference to your hearing later.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the way you look at it) foam earplugs will muffle the high frequencies at a rock concert. Some people like the music dulled, but others insist on hearing the equalization that they would hear without plugs. There are other more expensive options, but at a minimum invest in a box of foam earplugs. Use them and then throw them away, at a few pennies a pair.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Me 

        17 months ago

        What to wear to a Spanish concert from a totally white girl

      • profile image

        pam 

        3 years ago

        what should i wear to a steve wonder concert in a stadium

      • profile image

        kelsey 19759 

        5 years ago

        what shoud i where to a bone thugs n harmony consert??

      • profile image

        who am i 

        6 years ago

        going to a rehersale tomorrow (May 2nd) and i dont't know wat to wear??????????????????????

      • profile image

        maria 

        6 years ago

        a white top at a concert seems like a mistake--especially if there's alcohol. white clothing is like a magnet, and you will get spilled on.

      • profile image

        Who I Am 

        6 years ago

        I did also think that the flare jeans were weird! I am going to a rock concert and am gonna wear dark barely boot cut jeans (skinnys are 2 small) and the concert VIP shirt.

      • profile image

        tweety love 

        6 years ago

        heelz r a no no for a concert.... It realy jst tkes alota imagination to b a rock chik,a pair of blak skinnies,a hot blak top,chuncky silvr chains (nt too many),chuncky bracelets,a funky hair style n half boot all star sneakrs..... Crazy funky make up to top da look..... Dnt like pants? A nyc short skirt or bum shorts with fish net stokings wud to da trick....hve fun

      • profile image

        christy 

        6 years ago

        tie die, really? ehkkk. The rest is helpful but not sure about the wide legged jeans with white top. I'd wear white top and some sexier jeans to certain types of concerts but not a metal concert, which is what I need help with. Just tired of the black tee and jeans look and I want to look sexy for my husband who has just got back from Iraq. We're going to the concert together.

      • profile image

        janey 

        6 years ago

        What should I wear to the snow patrol concert (I'm 14 years old)

      • profile image

        Jp 

        6 years ago

        What about example. Dunno what to wear.

      • profile image

        rachel 

        6 years ago

        jade

        ive seen chase and status live all i can say is you are going to get hot so make sure you dress cool.

        its a lot of jumping and moshing hope you enjoy it.

      • profile image

        Jade 

        6 years ago

        What shall I wear to a chase n status concert??

      • profile image

        Jennifer 

        6 years ago

        Going to a metal concert. Purple striped jeans and a black shirt ?

      • profile image

        debby 

        6 years ago

        what do i wear to a selena gomez concert no helpful

      • profile image

        Brodie 

        6 years ago

        Cool. I'm gonna be 14 and it's gonna be my first ever concert. Sorta helpful but at the end of the day, I'll wear whatever the Hell I want to.

      • profile image

        ninky 

        6 years ago

        How about...

        Wear what you want? You should be dressing for you. It's not like the lead singer is going to call you out and say "HEY! I thought this was a rock concert...not a tea party!"

      • profile image

        maya 

        6 years ago

        anyone else find it weird 2 wear the boho halter top and wide leg jeans to wear to a rock gig? sorry but i started laughing as soon as i saw tht. but apart from that,this was really helpfull!

      • profile image

        Loly 

        7 years ago

        bout to go to a Bruno Mars concert!! sooo exied and thnx it relly helped!!!!!hehe:D

        Xoxo

        A

      • profile image

        ed  

        7 years ago

        am going to see take that and i just dont no what to wear please help its my first ever concert i am 39yrs

      • profile image

        tony 

        7 years ago

        Pretty helpful. Thanks. :)

      • profile image

        happy 

        7 years ago

        thankyou

        really helpful!!!

      • profile image

        Mary 

        7 years ago

        what the hell so did i.wow.

      • profile image

        emma 

        7 years ago

        wow.what the hell

      • profile image

        shannon 

        7 years ago

        abit useless..

        do you think a dress and heels would be too dressy for a JLS concert in january?

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