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Concert Dressing 101

festivals_posterThis poster isn’t lying–Philly really is a great place for music lovers and general concert enthusiasts.

Already this summer I’ve been lucky enough to see artists like Kenny Chesney, Frank Ocean, Coldplay and New Found Glory, not to mention all of the free shows like the Philadelphia Orchestra series and PW’s upcoming Concerts in the Park.

But before you can get to the screaming fans, copious amounts of Miller Lite and blaring tunes, there’s always the age old question of what to wear. Figuring out how to dress for shows can be difficult, especially when factoring in outdoor vs. indoor, comfort vs. style.

Personally, I like to keep things simple and usually stick with a pair of skinny jeans, a cute tank and colorful flats. But in case you’re wondering what other attire might be appropriate for your next concert, I’ve got you covered.

Chelsea Festival

Chelsea and friends at Firefly

One of my best friends, Chelsea Sproul, loves ditching her new spot in Washington Square West to go festival camping all over the country. “I always want to be cute, comfortable and not in fear of losing clothing items in the Porta Potty,” she laughs.

“A go-to outfit for me is a long skirt, bright bandeau top and tank top. If we’ll be outside, I’ve got to have my cute broad-brimmed hat.”

Over the years, Chelsea had been to both Firefly and Bonnarroo and notes that she’s pretty much seen it all–from people running around completely naked to fields littered with orphaned flip flops. That said, she recommends always keeping track of your shoes (and clothes) as well as buying a pair of cheap shades before the trip.

My 31 year-old co-worker, April, has some similarly practical suggestions when it comes to jam band concerts, festivals and all other “gathering of the vibes.”

April concert

April & Miller Lite a Phish concert

“I use a little back pack to keep my hands free so I can drink and dance,” she says.

The South Jersey native is a certified Phish-head and reincarnated hippie who believes in dancing shoes, long skirts and lots of hand sanitizer. When it comes to rocking your favorite band tee, she offers this very firm piece of advice: “NO! NO! NO! It is only acceptable when cold and you need new attire warm you up.”

“Please do not be that person.”

A handful of other random concert-goers I’ve stumbled into recently all agreed on a few other tips including, don’t wear big bulky hats, stay away from heels and beer is the most important accessory for every show.

Ultimately, the most important rule is to have a good time. So regardless of what sort of concert you’re going to, just remember to dress comfortably, accessorize appropriately and stay away from Porta Pottys.


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David Golden  says:

Am I to understand that, while I am encouraged to support my favorite touring band by purchasing their merchandise, I am “that person” if I wear it to a show? Do I lose all my heady points for doing so? Does this extend to the creative lot shirts that parody commercial logos (but don’t provide any financial benefit to the artist)? Will Philly music fans throw snowballs at me if I wear a Santa Claus shirt?

Aug 10 11:44 AM

Kelly Fields  says:

Thanks for the comment, David! In all honesty I received conflicting views on the topic of wearing an artist’s merch to their shows but the majority of responses strongly advised against it. Personally, I think you should wear whatever the hell you want as long as you’re comfortable. Be warned that this advice, unfortunately, is not snowball proof.

Aug 10 2:57 PM

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