Whether you prefer classical music or heavy metal, chances are you will attend a live performance at some point. Finding the right outfit for concerts is not always an easy task. Before you purchase tickets, take a few minutes to consider the best ways to demonstrate your appreciation for the performers through proper dress etiquette.
Although semi-formal attire is not always the rule, there are occasions, such as classical concert openings or dressy concert benefits, in which it is most appropriate. Men’s semi-formal clothing typically includes a dark business suit, dress shirt, subdued tie, black patent leather dress shoes and an optional vest. For a high-profile orchestra opening, you might wear a dark blue, black or charcoal gray suit with a black silk tie and a white dress shirt.
Business attire is often appropriate for less formal musical concerts, such as orchestra matinees or live performances that take place in high-end venues. If you are unsure about the dress code for such occasions, err on the side of caution and dress business casual. Business casual includes a blazer or sport coat; dark slacks, khakis or chinos; casual button-down, dress, polo or open-collar shirts; dressy slip-on shoes, such as loafers, and an optional tie and vest. An ensemble for a daytime concert in the park might include chinos, a plaid button-down shirt and brown penny loafers.
Dressy-casual attire is most appropriate for more intimate local performances. Although many men believe that they should dress to impress other audience members, they should in fact dress in way that demonstrates respect and appreciation for the performers. Nothing says disinterest at a local concert quite like a worn T-shirt and ripped, sagging jeans. Although dressy casual and business casual are very similar, the manner in which you wear your clothes will make the difference. For example, wear dark-wash jeans instead of khakis and pair them with a dark brown or black button-down shirt, a matching belt and dressy leather loafers.
Casual attire is appropriate for large public concerts, or small concerts that take place in casual venues. Contrary to popular belief, casual attire does not include the clothes you wear when lounging in the privacy of your home. Appropriate clothes include well-maintained jeans, clean sneakers, polo shirts, T-shirts, casual button-downs and open-collar shirts and cargo or Bermuda shorts. Although comfort and tidiness are necessary aspects of casual attire, keep in mind that your attire should also suite your personality and style. For example, you might wear black jeans, a white V-neck tee and fedora to a local indie concert or boot-cut jeans, a rodeo shirt and cowboy boots to a see a country music band.
Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.