Myth: Attending a music concert means
that you may wear whatever you want.
Truth: Not entirely. Time to get to some fun things.
The only thing I don’t like about music concerts is that they’re always very loud. There are musicians who think that the young folks like the music loud. Well, I’m one of those young folks and I don’t like when music is loud.
That said, music concerts are a lot of fun and a great way to get out for a short time. But they’re also social and cultural events where you will see and be seen by others. Not to mention that dressing sloppily is so demoralizing, which makes it harder to relax and enjoy yourself.
From me, you get the truth.
There are various kinds of music concerts. Most of us are familiar with concerts of Jewish pop music, but there are also those of us who attend concerts of secular music. And in that realm, there’s pop music and there’s classical music.
In general, concerts are dressy casual events. Getting too dressed up will make you feel too stiff and stodgy, but too sloppy is demoralizing. Either way, you won’t have fun. The goal is to look good but also relaxed. You want to feel comfortable and sing along and even dance a bit (if there’s dance space).
From the ground up…
Concerts tend to be crowded and most people won’t notice your feet. Sneakers or other sturdy and comfortable shoes are fine. If it’s cold out, go ahead and wear boots. If you choose to wear these kinds of sturdy shoes, it’s best to wear good strong socks with them. But keep those socks short - high socks are not flattering or necessary. Wear hose or tights as the weather dictates.
A jeans skirt is perfect for a concert. It has that inherently casual feel to it and that’s perfect for most dressy casual events. I usually recommend that the denim be dark and evenly washed, but for a casual music concert, it’s okay if it’s lighter and/or not so evenly washed. But it still has to be clean and neat with no obvious fraying or tears. Of course, it has to fit you properly and be the right style for your bottom half. An a-line shape is perfect for most women, but straight can work too. JBTK (just below the knee) is a perfect length, but ankle-length can also work. Mid-calf is almost never flattering, so don’t go there. Maxi-length does flatter some women but it’s not necessarily safest here - you don’t want to risk tripping.
I usually recommend wearing a fitted top in a pretty color in the same value (lightness or darkness) as the skirt and I recommend it here too. If you want to layer tops, go ahead and do that. Just make sure there’s a flattering color near your face and that one top is the same value as your skirt. However, there are those who love to wear a t-shirt of the pop group giving the concert. I don’t recommend wearing those in general, but for the concert itself, it’s fine, as long as the t-shirt is in your size or one size larger. If it’s too big, it won’t work.
You’ll probably need a bag, but keep it simple and relaxed. Carry only what you absolutely need.
Accessories can only add to your fun, but it’s best to go with earrings for this. Necklaces or oblong scarves might get in your way. Bracelets can work too, but earrings play up your face and smile nicely.
A basic face of makeup is a must. Even out your skin, conceal as needed, define your eyes, and add subtle color to cheeks and lips. If you want to go beyond that, choose one feature and go a little more dramatic.
If you’re wearing hair, your own or a sheitel, just make sure it’s clean and neat and in a flattering style and color. Then wear it any way you like. I still recommend going with your hair’s natural movement because it’s easier and you’ll feel more relaxed. If you cover your hair and you want a non-sheitel covering, then a hat, beret, or mitpachat are all great options.
Classical music concerts tend to be just a little dressier. For those, you do have to step it up just a bit. Real shoes are best. A denim skirt is fine, but it must be dark and evenly washed. A dark top (neutral or a flattering color) is best to go with it. For some concerts, it’s even better to go with refined skirts and tops that you might wear on Shabbos. A more refined bag is needed. The above hair, makeup, and coverings all apply. But you have more options for accessories. A necklace or oblong scarf will look great here.
For me, great music tends to “soothe the savage beast.” It makes me feel more relaxed but also more energized. For a concert, it’s great to just tap into that. And when you’re dressed right, it’s so much easier to relax and enjoy it.