Concert Dress - Staying cool under the lights
Finding Fashionable, but Functional Concert Wear
For most of you these two words mean next to nothing.
Good, you’ve come to the right place; on this page I will address every aspect and question you may have about proper concert attire.
By the time you finish reading this, not only will you be an expert on performance apparel, but you will also be armed with the right information to look like a ‘classy’ musician at your next violin recital.
Basically, ‘Concert Dress’ refers to the style and standards of clothes that musicians wear while performing. Typically it consists of black dress clothing; for men: tuxedo style clothing, for women: longer skirts or dresses.
Fashionable Concert Dress At an Affordable Price
I have shopped around for concert dress, believe me I have. There are some really unique great botiques out there that sell black dresses. If you can find one you like, great! But just two quick tips before purchasing. First, check the sleeves. If you can't lift your arms, you can't play the violin! Little cap sleeves often make this hard, and many orchestras do not allow sleeveless. Second, beware of sweat marks. Different styles of fabric can show sweat easier than others and some can even permanently stain or discolor the fabric...yikes!
That is why time and time again I come back to the same dress I have had since I was 14, my simple but elegant stretchy velvet dress. Oh yeah, it still fits me! (Don't tell anyone the reason is because it's "stretchy"). They are the best, and usually pretty affordable to boot! Stretchy velvet dresses don't show sweat marks, they stretch and move with your arms, they are wrinkle free after being packed in suitcases or backpacks, and they drape elegantly in seated position (I have actually been told that specifically by audience members after performances). They really are the best out there, oh wait, I already said that! Trust me on this and go buy one today. I know stretchy velvet comes and goes in style trends, but I promise, you will love your stretchy velvet concert dress even when it's not in season with runway models. Besides, who cares as long as you are comfortable while playing, and believe me you will be.
Look through the list below for more in-depth related topics.
Professional Standard Concert Dress-
Professional Standard Concert Dress-Not quite sure what exactly your orchestra teacher wants you to wear? Can’t go wrong with this detailed list of do’s and don’t. Did you know that orchestras and performers can get marked down in competitions for sloppy appearance? When in doubt…check this out! Get proper professional dress etiquette for your next concert.
Performance Basic -Are you a member of a middle school orchestra or band? Then most likely this is the guide for you. This list gives you the affordable, fancied-down version of standard dress.
Casual Classic-Men and Women wear all black (example, black slacks and turtlenecks), or toned down colored blouse with black dress pants on bottom. Learn how many performing groups are adding a little bit of spice and variety to the classic concert attire.
Concert wear for the full-figured woman-Women musicians come in all shapes and sizes. Find tips and strategies on flattering your curves while still meeting ‘concert dress’ expectation.
Tuxedo Tips–I think the only thing that could be more uncomfortable than performing in nylons and high heels is a tuxedo. There’s a reason that Joshua Bell doesn’t always wear one while performing. Tuxedos are hot and restrict your movement.
Keeping the focus on the music- Remember it's important to beautifully accessorize without stealing the show. Keep it simple and keep it within the guidelines of your organization's dress standard. The accessory should never hinder your playing or affect the sound quality. This can sometimes happen when the jewelry is right next to the instrument.
Tired of dealing with sweaty pits?-Goodbye embarrassing underarm sweat marks….hello beautiful music. Are you so self conscious about showing sweat that it hinders your ability to play? It’s time to call in the big guns! See what doctors and researchers have to say, and the little things you can do that will make a big difference.
Tips for playing comfortably- Make your performance dress work for you, not against you. Watch out for stiff restrictive sleeves; make sure that you can lift your arms up to play before you purchase any blouse or dress. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in. If you always have to pull it up at the neckline or push it back down at the hemline, you won’t be able to put your heart into your playing, and guess what….. the audience will also be distracted!
The Great Debate-Should we continue to require formal concert dress? Some performance groups are moving towards more casual dress. Read what critics and fans are saying about the change in trend.
Concert Etiquette-- Read this before attending your next classical concert. This article if full of tips that will help keep your kids undercontrol, your 'seat' neighbors happy, and save you from any embarrassing concert blunders.