What Should a Modern Guy Wear to a Concert?

Seeing music performed live by a great band is one of the greatest of life’s pleasures, but it can also easily lead to awkward situations and embarrassing social mistakes if you walk into the venue unprepared. One of the easiest mistakes to make when attending a concert is to not be dressed appropriately. Once you walk into a room and your attire doesn’t match the crowd, the damage is done – you’re already feeling out of place, and chances are everyone else in the room thinks you are, too.

Don’t be the guy spotted wearing shorts to a semi-formal event. Check out this quick guide to appropriate concert dress for the modern man.


Casual is the dress code of choice for large public concerts, or for smaller concerts at casual venues. Don’t let the name “casual” fool you, though – no matter how laid back the atmosphere, you still don’t want to look like you just rolled off the couch or wear the dirty old sneakers you wear when doing housework. Casual concert attire can be a nice t-shirt and Bermuda shorts or cargoes, but it can also be a polo and nice jeans. Keep the style of music being played in mind, too; you probably don’t want to wear leather boots and a cowboy hat to a jazz concert. When planning your ensemble, don’t plan it around what you think will make you stand out and impress the audience. Instead, choose clothes that make you look good, but which still show respect for the performers. The audience is there to see the band, not you.


If you’re the kind of guy who prefers classical concerts and events in fancy theaters more than indie shows at the local club, your concert attire should be more on the dressy side. That means dark suit jacket, dress shirt, and subdued tie, paired with black leather dress shoes. While most concerts of this kind won’t be full-on black tie events, it’s definitely best to err on the side of additional formality, rather than less. It’s better to be the guy dressed a little too fancy than the guy who looks like he wandered in from the street without knowing what kind of event he was attending.

Business Casual

For the concerts that are fancier than a performance by your buddy’s bar band, but which aren’t quite a night at the opera, go with a polo or open-collared dress shirt, slacks or chinos for the pants, and a blazer or sports coat. While dark or muted colors are best, it’s okay to throw in a dash of color with a tie or vest, though neither are required. If you have any cool men’s necklaces or other jewelry, those can also add flavor to your attire.

If you’re not sure whether or not a concert calls for casual or business dress, choose business. Too formal is always a better option than not formal enough.

Other things to keep in mind when dressing for a concert:

·       Make sure you have pockets for your ticket and other accessories.

·       Will you be standing or sitting? Depending on the answer, choose pants and shoes that you’ll be comfortable in for the length of the show.

·       Is the concert indoors or outdoors? Outdoor concerts, especially those at night, can get chilly, while indoor venues can get uncomfortably warm. Plan your attire with those conditions in mind.

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