The tickets are booked. Travel plans are set. There’s only one detail left: “What do I wear?” What to wear to a concert can depend on a few different things, like the venue, musical genre, seasonal weather patterns, or the length of the event. Don’t worry though—we’ve compiled a go-to guide for creating the perfect concert closet. Check out all these looks and so much more at Lands’ End.
One word: Denim. From George Harrison’s all-denim crosswalk ensemble to Bruce Springsteen’s famous denim-clad album cover, to The Clash’s torn skinny jeans: the history of rock and roll is paved with denim. (We could even talk about Britney and JT’s head-to-toe denim looks … but maybe it’s best to leave those images in 2001). In the 1950s and ’60s, blue jeans evolved from workwear to an everyday staple, due in large part to musicians and movie stars popularizing the look. Straight cut, boot cut, bell-bottoms, flairs, wide leg, or skinny—the resiliency of denim jeans is nothing short of a fashion miracle.
So, which style to wear to a rock concert? You can’t go wrong with a classic pair of skinny jeans. Dark blue washes or black denim deliver an edgy feel; pair with a white or black t-shirt for a streamlined, modern look. Lighter washes and distressed skinny jeans remind us of the bold and brash 1980s, but we recommend skipping the hairspray.
Pair with a crop top or an off-the-shoulder sweater to complete your vintage vibe. If grunge is more your style, try straight leg jeans with your favorite flannel. Another favorite? Denim shorts over tights. Edgy yet feminine, the combo brings epic punk rock inspiration to any concert outfit.
Whether the rock show is indoors or outdoors, dressing in layers is always a good plan. Be sure to bring along a long-sleeved outer layer in case the indoor venue has the air conditioning on full blast – large stadiums are especially known for overdoing the AC. A denim shirt or jacket, flannel shirt, or sweatshirt are perfect additions to your rock and roll wardrobe. Consider items that can be easily taken on and off if you anticipate dancing!
If the concert is an outdoor event, the season will obviously have a big impact on your look. Spring and summer weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared. A classic leather jacket is always on point at a rock concert. Or, take a peek at women’s lightweight jackets for comfy coverage that won’t weigh you down. Think about accessories too; scarves and hats offer bonus style points and act as extra coverage against unexpected rainfall and wind. And don’t even think about leaving the house without a trusty pair of sunglasses – you don’t want an annoying glare to interfere with the action on stage.
The good news about denim: before rock musicians had their turn, cowboys were known to wear blue jeans from the saddle to the campfire. If you’re heading to see your favorite country artist, you guessed it—grab your favorite pair of jeans. We’d recommend bootcut if you’re also dusting off those cowboy boots, or skinny jeans tucked underneath tall boots for some modern flair. If you plan on showing off your two-step moves, however, make sure your boots are fit for dancing.
Country music concerts tend to be casual; pair jeans with flannel shirts for a quintessential country look. Again, layering is always wise. Start with a classic V-neck t-shirt so you can remove the flannel if the honky-tonk heats up. And of course, the million-dollar question, “Should I wear the cowboy hat?” We say go for it! Hats are a great addition to a country concert style. If you’re wary about a traditional cowboy hat, check out simpler options like fedoras or wide-brimmed straw hats. Knit beanies or baseball caps inject a little bit of modern grunge into a country vibe.
If you decide your look isn’t working mid-concert, check out the merchandise table. Most acts will sell t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc. during the show. We definitely approve of expanding your wardrobe with a concert memento.
The sky is the limit when it comes to dressing for a pop concert. Our pro tip: you can never go wrong with a dress. Add heels and a cotton blazer for instant glam, sandals, and a jean jacket for casual cuteness. Maxi, mini, or something in between – a well-constructed dress can go a long way. A t-shirt dress is a super versatile item to include in your pop concert closet; cinch with a belt for a more structured look, or pair with a scarf or bold jewelry.
Mix and match styles that might not traditionally be paired together. Combine sleek bike shorts with a slouchy sweater, or a pencil skirt with a crop top or bodysuit and chunky sneakers. Pairing dressier pieces with athletic-inspired items is a fun trend that allows you to really utilize wardrobe staples in a new way.
And since we’re talking about clothing staples, let’s talk denim. A look we’re loving right now? High-waisted jeans. A style that was big in the ’80s and ’90s is back in a big way, and the look is perfect for pop concerts. Wear high-rise jeans with tucked-in women's tank tops or t-shirts for a streamlined look, or an oversized sweater for contrast and extra warmth. Another retro trend to consider is colorful scrunchies – throw one on your wrist and you’ll be ready for an impromptu updo at any time.
When it comes to purses and bags, be aware of security guidelines set by the venue. Some places require purses to be a certain size or to be designed with a clear material so that security guards can see the contents. The right bag can definitely boost your concert outfit, but getting inside the venue is a top priority. A small wallet or a jacket with a zippered pocket will do the trick if need be.
Music festivals can vary from a one-day extravaganza to a weeklong experience, and they’re typically scheduled as outdoor events. What does this mean for your festival wardrobe? Well, you’re going to have to think ahead. If you plan on attending a multi-day festival, you’ll need to pack versatile pieces that will fair well in all types of weather. This is where layering your look is important; fleece sweaters, flannel shirts, or rain jackets make a great outer layer for chilly spring mornings or cool summer nights.
Blue jeans and corduroy pants are durable options that don’t sacrifice style. Leggings don’t take up much space in a suitcase, plus they’re comfy when you’re on the move or dancing. Often, music festivals mean a lot of standing – and that could mean standing on muddy fairgrounds or unkempt grass.
A quality pair of rain boots or hiking boots will keep your feet feeling fine. In warmer weather, sandals are a nice option to stay cool. As summer turns to fall, remember cold-weather accessories like knit hats, scarves, and gloves. A compact umbrella could also come in handy.
Because musical festivals also involve food and drink, you’ll want your hands to be free. Fanny packs and crossbody bags are a must when traveling the festival circuit. Zippered tote bags or small duffel bags can hold a few days' worth of clothes, money, phone chargers, and other essentials. Women’s weekender bags can be worn on the shoulder or crossbody for easy storage.
Take into consideration the music venue, type of music, and time of year when selecting a concert outfit. But most importantly, choose clothes that you feel comfortable and confident wearing. If you’re going to be heading to the mosh pit, high heels might not be a great choice. If the concert is outdoors in October, your favorite band t-shirt might need to be layered over a thermal or tucked under a flannel. Your clothes should never detract from experiencing music.
The simple answer is: yes! Jeans are a must-have item not only for daily life but concert life as well. Dress up or down to fit the occasion, but rest assured that a quality pair of denim jeans will fit in at almost any live music experience.
There isn’t really a definitive list of what not to wear to a live music concert. Again, it’s all about wearing clothes to fit the experience and your comfort level. Check with each venue to be sure about any site-specific dress codes or security instructions. Often venues will restrict the size of purses or bags, or even bulky coats and jackets that may be used to hide restricted items. For very formal concert experiences, such as orchestras or operas, there might be a strict dress code of eveningwear—in that case, leave the blue jeans at home.