The coolest style sheet for concerts, live gigs, and performances

If you are a live-gig enthusiast, some big international acts are planning to make India debuts this month, popstars are on world tours, DJs are back behind their decks, and cool concerts are happening around cities, every week. Can’t decide on what your style statement should be? Let’s help you out!

While the pandemic was a death knell for live performances for two years, gigs are back, baby! And this year’s calendar already looks fabulous. If you love concerts, EDM & Techno nights, boiler rooms, arena performances, or even small intimate unplugged and acoustic gigs, 2022 is definitely going to be a fun year for you. But wait, there’s a more important question that I need to ask you right now — do you know what you are going to wear?

For starters, there are three rules to dressing up for music gigs. Rule one: Always dress up according to the genre of music. If you are attending a metal concert in a sequined jumpsuit with seven-inch Louboutins, do so, by all means, but you will stick out like a sore thumb.

Rule two: It is important to take the weather into consideration. Music gigs, generally, get hot and sweaty. Decide on layering accordingly, because a packed venue might not be the right place to show off your new bomber.

Rule three: Dress according to the vibe. This one’s tricky. It could be a casual unplugged scene, but the venue is a plush cocktail bar — what’s your OOTD? Harry Styles is playing at the Royal Albert Hall — do you pull out your shawl collars and fur?

Fashion, live gig, concert, music
What you wear can add to the fun vibe at a live do. Image: Shutterstock/Pressmaster.

Here’s an easy cheat code to help you out. Dress according to the more dominant entity. If a talented-but-lesser-known band is playing at the city’s most popular pub, dress for the pub. If a famous singer is performing, generally dress up like the fandom and ignore the venue. The more dominant entity sets the vibe. Be a part of the vibe!

Let’s kick off with cool, intimate gigs and unplugged evenings. It’s a great date-night idea, and you should definitely dress up. Also, the gig can be your pre-game plan, followed by dinner and dancing maybe? So, stylish cocktail dresses should do the trick for the ladies. Keep it flowy and summery or go high-fashion, depending on what your plans are for the evening.

Prada and Valentino should definitely be on your list, along with designers like Gauri & Nainika and Nikhil Thampi from closer home. Gents can keep it sharp in lightweight suits, or just easy dinner jackets over a linen shirt, and trousers. Throw on a jacket for the gig, and you can always take it off, roll up your sleeves, and party hard later in the night. Tommy Hilfiger and Paul Smith would be the right places to pick up your selects. Brooks Brothers makes stunning blazers and suits.

Fashion, live gig, concert, music
Keep it classy for intimate gigs. You can always roll up your sleeves and let your hair down later. Image: Shutterstock/David Tadevosian.

If you have plans for all-day concerts, Coachella-style, it has to be edgy and cool casualwear for you all the way. Retro and 90s fashion is really hot right now, so imagine a lot of tie dye, crochet, knits, grandmother fashion, maximalistic prints, vintage-style shades, pearls and charm bracelets. For starters, don’t be afraid to be shocking or statement. Coachella and Glastonbury, or even NH7s in India, are gigs to flaunt the hippest selects from your wardrobe.

Play with colours and prints, and feel free to mix-n-match. Cropped tops, oversized tees, co-ords, dramatic skirts, and knit dresses are definitely on the menu. Shop Gucci for the perfect ensembles. Boys can keep it simple with tees, sweatshirts, drop-shoulders, and tanks, all of which are live-gig staples. Just turn up the fashion quotient with statement prints. While there are a host of international brands that you could shop from, check out the collections at Scotch & Soda, and oh-so-edgy Indian brands like Urban Monkey and Midnight Law for the coolest drops.

Fashion, live gig, concert, music
Basic denim can be so much more than basic, especially for an outdoor concert. Image: Shutterstock/Time Remer.

From BTS to Harry Styles, some of the biggest pop acts in the world are touring countries right now. These concerts happen at vast stadiums and arenas, and to say that it is a messy affair would be an understatement. But that doesn’t mean you should compromise on your style game. Turn to trusted easy casuals and denims. Stick to basics — tees and shorts or skinny jeans, maybe a light jacket. Denims have forever been concert favourites.

For both men and women, Calvin Klein, Uniqlo, and Diesel would be the best bets. Load up on cool tees, style them however you want, and pair them with denims of your choice — flared, ripped, distressed, skinny, your pick. Women can also check out denim skirts. If you want to pair a jacket with your outfit, look for softer and lightweight options rather than the classic trucker. Or maybe choose a denim shirt or a shacket? Rugged and edgy, but also, very stylish.

EDM, Techno, and House fans, it’s your turn. We know you are dying to get out there and dance till you drop, and the upcoming season looks like it has some crazy lineups. Also, even if you aren’t travelling to different countries for gigs, party animals also need fresh outfit ideas for every weekend, right? And I have two options for you. Firstly, streetwear is always a great idea. Joggers, tanks, fitted tees, stringers, vests, and zipper jackets, look ultra-cool, and give you the freedom of movement. Also, if you have plans of hardcore dancing all night, choose sneakers over everything else.

Fashion, live gig, concert, music
Streetwear and kicks blend style and comfort for that dance-off. Image: Shutterstock/Anastasiya Aleksandrenko.

For both dudes and dudettes, shop cool drops from Indian streetwear designers like Jaywalking, Capsul, and Six5Six Street, or keep an eye out for special editions and collabs by Puma, Nike, and Adidas. Secondly, if streetwear doesn’t work for you, light resortwear should do the trick. Casual shirts, paired with trusted denims, slick dresses, flowy spring-summer styles, or cool tops with shorts or slim trousers. Keep it, light, fun, and easy-breezy, so that you can have the grooviest time in the world!

Now, let’s discuss accessories. For boys, neck chains, in metal, pearls, or stacked charms, are hot right now. Wear multiple if you are a fashion pro. Painting your nails in statement shades or edgy black would be fun too. For a day concert, shop cool shades. Either go chunky and OTT with Louis Vuitton, or cool retro styles. Tinted Story is a fine Indian brand to shop fashion shades. Same goes for the girls too. If you are pulling a Woodstock vibe, charm bracelets and flower crowns are your jam. Take inspo from Euphoria for makeup — glitter is never bad for you — and, for footwear, stick to chunky sneakers.

So, go out there and have the time of your lives, and look drop-dead Instagrammable while you are dancing the night away!

Arnesh ghose
Arnesh Ghose is an experienced fashion, food, film, and lifestyle journalist, brand consultant, and film writer. When he is not busy chasing clouds and sunsets, he can be found in kitchens around the world, cooking grandmother recipes. Sustainability should become an everyday verb for everybody, according to him. He likes his wines red and dry, coffee black and iced, biryani with potatoes, and prefers the company of canines over everything else. 

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