Thanks to decades of evolving rock and roll, concert outfits have a deep well of aesthetic inspiration. You’ve got the hard edge punk of the ‘70s Brit anarchists, the tight-fitting leather looks favored by ‘80s hair metal bands, the threadbare flannel feel of the ‘90s grunge movement, and the bubblegum and black aesthetic of Y2K pop punk, just to name a few.
Even so, considering your concert venue is equally as important as matching genre energy when it comes to outfit planning. From massive stadiums to outdoor festivals — along with different music genres, you've got an overwhelming range of rock concert outfits you could wear. Luckily, we're here to narrow down the options.
Outdoor Concert Venue
When listening to great music in the great outdoors, we highly recommend making weather a top priority. While outdoor concerts generally call for a more casual look, you’ll want to consider location and time of day as well. If you’re heading to an all-day music festival or a concert that takes place at night, plan to include outerwear and layers you can shed or pull on, depending on the temperature. Regardless of the forecast, you’ll want to ensure that your shoes are sturdy, comfortable, and ready for mud, rain, and everything in between.
While you might be on your feet all night or sitting pretty in plush velvet chairs, it’s safe to say that this is the venue worth going glam for. If you’ve scored box seats, you can go all out with a look that’s fashion first, function second. Regardless of your tickets, be sure to check the venue’s attire rules and restrictions before falling in love with a ‘fit, especially for a rock concert. This writer knows from experience that hardcore spikes and even studs can be off-limits at certain venues.
Stadium concerts are something of a wildcard. You might get rained on, no matter how much you dropped on tickets, so weatherproofing your ‘fit should be taken into account. More than anything else though, you’ll want a look you can see from a mile away, whether you’re in the VIP section or the nosebleeds.
Whether you’re looking for fresh concert ‘fit inspiration or need ideas for a specific concert venue, we’ve got you covered with the 20 rock concert outfits below.
Steel toes are a must for the mosh pit. Even if you’re not a metalhead, a sturdy pair of combat or hiking boots with thick treads are worth working into your concert outfit, especially if you’re headed to an outdoor venue. Combat boots are especially rock-and-roll coded. A great pair instantly adds rocker vibes to everything from a teeny clubbing dress to a flouncy mini skirt.
A Bit of Bling
An all-black ensemble is a no-brainer for a concert, but you don’t have to sacrifice style to meet the brief. To add a bit of bling to your look, try a denim skirt with a diamanté-embellished hem or a rhinestone-studded accessory.
Mix in Metallics
Add interest to classic black by adding a pop of metallics. This can be as (relatively) understated as swapping out a dark wash denim jacket for a silver one or as over-the-top as wearing a fully metallic matching set.
Focus on Fringe
Fringe is back, babes. Bring an element of '70s rock-star energy to an outdoor concert by featuring a fringe-adorned jacket or top. The Daisy Jones & the Six vibe is definitely retro-inspired, so you'll want to add more modern pieces to keep this concert 'fit from looking like a costume.
Add a Sequin Centerpiece
If you’ll be rocking out from box seats rather than the mosh pit, you can opt for a more glamorous vibe. A sequined miniskirt makes a great centerpiece for a more elevated concert outfit. Tone the sparkle down with a black tee and blazer or amp it up with complementary colors and metallic accessories.
Add a Leather Layer
We like to think of a leather blazer as a more refined version of a leather jacket. If you're headed to a rock show in a vintage theater and want to toe the line between high-end and hardcore, a leather blazer is the perfect outerwear layer to balance the two.
Try Textured Tights
Another way to highlight your personal aesthetic while sticking to the rock-approved all-black color palette is by slipping into a pair of textured tights.
Not only does a vibrant color or wild print break up the monotony of the ensemble, but keeping a few pairs on hand is a great way to switch up your go-to concert uniform so it feels fresh each time you wear it.
Paint the Town Plaid
A plaid, pleated miniskirt can easily go from prep squad to punk when worn with the right accessories. Studded belts, combat boots, and spiky jewelry turn this simple skirt into a concert-worthy uniform.
Slip on a Statement Coat
When in doubt, let rock band Cake aid in your outfit planning and opt for “a short skirt and a long jacket.” Not only does a statement coat deliver deeply ‘70s vibes, but it’s a one-and-done rock concert outfit solution. Since the jacket is the focus, what you wear underneath matters very little, be it bike shorts and a tank, leggings and a tee, or a basic jersey minidress.
Feature Fishnet Tights
Fishnets — torn or pristine — hold a spot in the rock and roll fashion hall of fame. If you're planning on wearing a skirt or dress, adding a pair of fishnet tights, along with any of the other accessories we've mentioned, will add an instant party vibe to your look.
Throw on a Biker Jacket
Adding one of these iconic jackets is an easy way to transform a casual ‘fit into a concert outfit. When it comes to this look, size truly doesn’t matter. Whether cropped or oversized, the rocker energy is strong with this staple.
Tear It Up
If your aesthetic leans more towards elevated separates rather than edgy statement pieces, you can infuse a bit of punk-rock energy into your 'fit by swapping out your usual jeans for a pair of distressed ones. The more shredded, the more rock and roll.
Harness Your Inner Baddie
Adding vegan or genuine leather harness into the mix can unleash your inner rock star, even if you're wearing a sophisticated midi dress or long-sleeve top underneath. To create cohesion, work in accessories with a similar texture.
Working a flannel into your rock concert outfit is a surefire way to make your look read rock. But grunge isn’t limited to flannel: Other staples of this aesthetic include baggy jeans, oversized tops, combat boots, and faded thrift store finds.
Subvert a Slip Dress
Take a cue from rock legend Courtney Love by turning the idea of sultry femininity on its head. A lingerie-leaning slip dress can be transformed into a rock concert outfit when worn with torn tights, combat boots, and studded accessories. If you’re headed to an outdoor concert, try layering a sheer long-sleeve top underneath or a baggy flannel on top.
Tell Me About It, Stud
Spikes and studs are instantly recognizable punk rock elements. Layered studded belts, spiky purses, and hardware-adorned cuffs or chokers can be the cherry on top of a rock concert outfit. Adding these accessories is especially helpful if you’re worried your look is otherwise too tame or mainstream. If you’re on the fence about what pieces to include, remember that more is more in this case.
Slip into Something Sheer
While sheer dresses might bring celeb-studded red carpets and fashion week front rows to mind, they work equally well in concert context, especially when frayed or otherwise distressed. Add even more rocker energy by choosing undergarments that are meant to be seen, like a plaid bodysuit.
Have a Maxidress Moment
A fitted maxi dress brings a bit of goth energy to a rock show and is a perfect backdrop for more dramatic accessories. If you're heading to a concert hall, a maxi dress hits the perfect balance of elegance and edge.
Go a Little Goth
If you're looking for a more glamorous rock concert outfit, we recommend letting Jenna Ortega's Wednesday Addams aesthetic serve as your fashion inspiration. With the help of her stylist Enrique Melendez, Ortega has perfected the art of going goth with a touch of glam rock. Channel her vibe by wearing layers of lace and tulle, a long skirt with a high slit, or visible lingerie.
For more InStyle news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on InStyle.