What to Wear to a Concert
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
- Any outfit with no pockets. You will need them. ("I know I had my ticket a minute ago!")
- Shoes that are uncomfortable for standing or dancing. ("My feet are killing me!")
- Shoes that don't protect your feet from people to stepping on them.
- 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.
- Huge hats. ("Down in front!")
Don't Wear a 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:
- Genre: rock, jazz, blues, country, or festival concerts.
- Venue: outdoor or indoor.
- Seats: seated, standing, or grass.
Jeans and Black T-Shirt
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 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.
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.