Dressing for Concert/Festival Season

Austin and I saw Dave Matthews Band a couple weekends ago. We’ve become something of a couple live music junkies -rarely do we not have a some sort of concert on our radar (from Avett Brothers, to A$AP Rocky, to Elton John, and literally everything in between.) Given the range of opportunities, I’ve seen unicorn suits with body paint to gowns fitting of Miss America. Wherever we go, there will always be gorgeous, fabulously dressed girls who make me question my own whole wardrobe. Unfortunately, there will also always be gorgeous girls who make me question what went through their minds as they got ready for the event. (Usually, these girls belong to the Club who buy really expensive concert tickets just to take really hip Instagram selfies. If you belong to the Club, this is me telling you there are cheaper, less annoying ways to get super hip Insta-worthy selfies.)

Some girls, however, don’t belong to that club. Looking around on the lawn at DMB, I saw girls who really just haven’t figured it out yet. At the height of concert and festival season, I realize that packing for a weekend getaway is one step more difficult, and choosing an outfit for a concert can sometimes be really hard.

You’ve heard it:  just be comfortable. The sad truth is though, if I feel ugly, I’m not comfortable. Nestled in my couch with Netflix and a bowl of popcorn, I am perfectly comfortable lounging in my baggy happy-pants. Walking through the mall dressed like that, I would feel really, really uncomfortable .It’s all about the occasion, and it’s okay to want to look nice. Finding line between looking cute though and losing the comfort zone for where you are should always be important.

Shoes. If you’re climbing the stairs at Red Rocks or planning to dance on an amphitheater lawn –why would you wear 4” pumps? With your feet and legs killing you or your heels sinking in and aerating the grass, you are probably not comfortable, and may look awkward going up the stairs. (Also, you more than likely look kind of like an idiot.) If you need the height, think wedges -if they’re really cute and broken in well. Usually more comfortable, and at least you won’t sink into the lawn. Your feet will thank you.


These shown above have become something of my “concert boots,” and have made to almost every show I have since 2010. I didn’t buy them with this intention, but they’re easily the most comfortable shoes I own, and I’ve always been a sucker for fringe (plus if I don’t carry a bag, I can store my keys or phone in the shaft and have free hands. Also, the Amazonian I am, I don’t need the height.)

Bottoms. Imagine the stance you will be in throughout the event. Sitting on the lawn, it’s safe to err on the side of modesty and not wear a mini-skirt/dress. If you plan to stand or know you have a seat, a breathable skirt might feel perfect, and you’ll probably look great. I’ve seen too many girls forget they’ll have to sit in the grass for an hour and a half before the band  goes on though, awkwardly squeezing their knees together, balancing a text message and a beverage while holding down their hemline. Not enviable.

If you’re thinking shorts and dresses are your only two options here, think outside your closet. On trend for spring/summer 2014, rompers (like here at Target, or here at Anthropologie) are comfortable alternatives consistent with the draping or all-over pattern effect you may have been going for with a dress. If you’re feeling really quirky, overalls are also making quite the comeback. (I get it, some of you don’t believe me. But by next summer when you’re shopping at The Gap, I bet you’ll wish you hadn’t sold them in that yard sale 12 years ago.)

Fabric/Color. For the sake of your friends and to save personal humiliation, don’t wear a heather-grey fitted tee at an outdoor southern concert in August. You are likely going to be sweating in places you don’t want to share, and we’ll all know it. Choose appropriate colors (i.e. not white in chance-of-rain conditions or if your tush might get unsightly grass stains.) If it will be hot or muggy, think breathable fabric. If it’s an indoor theater and you chill easy, a light cardigan will look better hiding your goose bumps than the wrinkled band tee you just picked up at the merch table.

And always, always:  just be yourself. If you wouldn’t wear it in real life, please don’t buy it just to imitate the artist singing. Chances are real high you look like you’re playing dress-up. I’m addressing you a final time, Club:  your Insta-following will not be impressed.

Do you have any special pieces you always wear to concerts, or maybe advice? Comment!

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