What to wear to a concert

Concert outfit ideas by genre
Concert outfit
Example of a concert outfit

We all know how much fun going to a concert can be. And picking the right outfit for the event is a big part of that fun. You can’t wear the same outfits or style to every concert though, so it takes some work to make sure you have the right ‘look’ for the band or artist you are going to see. However, with a little preparation, and an understanding of what styles work, you should be able to get the right gear for the night. What follows is a guide to what to wear to a concert, and it’s been organized into genres. This means that whether you’re going to a rock gig or a country music concert, you’re sure to be wearing the right styles.

The Festival

Music festivals are always eclectic affairs, and chances are you’ll be seeing a lot of artists and different music styles. Your outfits need to reflect that diverse experience.

There is one way to make sure that you’re kind of hitting all the right notes at a festival. It has a lot to do with your own personal style. The basic advice here is to pick something that signifies how you like to look. If you like denim, wear some denim. If you adore tank tops, then by all means wear a tank top. But because you’re going to a festival, always include one thing that suggests bohemian.

Bohemian can mean many things, but you’re generally looking for soft colors, fringes and even patterned stuff (yes, that does mean tie-dye). As long as you don’t have the Boho look so much that it dominates, you’ll be fine with a festival.

That means if you wear comfortable clothing that says ‘me’, and a hat that has a hint of tie-dye psychedelia in it, you’re ready for the festival.

Country music

Country music is going through a bit of a renaissance right now, and if you’re thinking of heading down to a concert you need to make sure you’re wearing the right stuff.

Country music concert outfits can be a nightmare if you lean into the country feel too much. It’s all about being subtle. If you’re going to wear denim or flannel check (basic country music dress), keep it to a single item if you want to look fashionable. This is not the time to try too hard, and the best way to get the country look is to use one item but make it bold.

If you turn up to a country gig and you’re wearing a denim jacket, you’ve already done enough. The rest of your outfit should be modern and cool. The denim will do the talking for you. A flannel check shirt is great, but as with the jacket, make that your only concession to country, otherwise you just look like you are trying way too hard.

This really cannot be stressed enough. Try too hard at country music style and you’ll look silly. Modern country only requires a signature item, and the rest is down to your own style.

Pop music

If you’re heading out to a pop music concert you can have a little fun. Pop music is diverse and totally aimed at having a good time. The image is all about wearing stuff that is fun and striking. You don’t have to go dressed like an astronaut, but you can certainly bring some glitz and glam to the event with your outfits.

Surprisingly, denim actually works really well at a pop concert. A single item of denim, joined up with fun and glamorous pieces, really helps you to stand out while making sure that you aren’t going overboard. To be honest, pop music is all about expressing yourself and being different. While this doesn’t mean you go dressed in a meat suit like Lady Gaga has, it does mean that you can have wild colors, or muted colors. The world really is your oyster with pop music, and as long as you’re able to make some kind of statement without seeming over the top, you’re fine.

Indie or alternative

You can be a little more daring here with your outfits because the alternative scene totally embraces people who look a little different to everyone else. Basically,if you can be different and bring your own unique style to an alternative concert, you’re going to fit in. It’s by not fitting in that you fit in, if that makes sense.

In other words, you’re looking to go to the concert with some key, colorful items that say ‘quirky’. There is a big difference between quirky and weird by the way, so don’t go too far. You can grab an old tweed jacket and wear it with jeans and you’ll look fantastic. As long as you have your own look there you’ll be absolutely fine. Remember, at an alternative concert, you’re not meant to fit in. So be different.

Rock Music outfits

With rock music, if you can find a leather item somewhere in your wardrobe (preferably a jacket),you’re all set to go. Like most concerts of a genre it’s best not to try too hard. Instead, one leather item and some jeans should see you right.

Rock music is less about being cool than it is about being in love with the style and look that rock bands wear. If you’re stuck, grab some photos of your favorite rock bands and do a variant on the outfits they are wearing. One band that really set the trend for years were Guns ‘n Roses. They used lots of leather and denim, but weren’t afraid to wear hats, lots of jewellery and even feathers. That was their distinctive rock look. Take a look at them and see if you can bring your own style into that look.

Rap/Hip Hop

Rap is pretty much all about attitude when it comes to deciding what to wear. So go for bright colors here and there, and aim for clothing that can’t be missed. A simple white tee-shirt is a great starting place, and if you can get that color in with the cleanest, freshest sneakers you can find, you’re all set to go.

A quick check-list

No matter which concert you’re going to, if you can keep in mind the following pieces of advice you should be fine:

  • Make sure whatever you’re wearing is comfortable. Chances are you’ll be in an enclosed place with plenty of sweaty bodies around you. Are your shoes capable of keeping your feet cool? Is it really necessary to wear those layers?
  • Aim for matching the genre in some way. If you want to look great at a concert, choose an outfit that meets the genre. We’ve outlined this in this article, but you should have at least one nod to the genre in your clothing
  • Try and make things a little personalized too. If you’re wearing exactly what the band wears you’re going to look bad. Have at least one item that communicates who you are
  • Never be tempted to wear outfits that are so weird and so ‘out there’ that you’re simply off-trend. Concerts are fashionable experiences. You need to look like you are a part of fashion, not against it

Essentially, be yourself while also acknowledging where you are. If you only take away one piece of advice from this article, it’s to follow the genre of music and grab that one item that matches that genre. The rest is up to you.

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