While every artist has their own style, the performer should always be the best dressed in the room. No audience member should be asking themselves “why is that random person walking across the stage?” Au contraire, mes amis, they should be thinking to themselves “Ahh, there is the highlight of the night.” This aura can be projected via wardrobe, and calm confidence. This article discusses do’s and dont’s when it comes to garments – or as I like to call it: the 10 commandments of onstage fashion.
Thou Shall Not Wear Saggy Pants While Playing Guitar
Simple enough. I can honestly say from an audience’s perspective that the guy standing up to play a set with his acoustic guitar, and stopping after every song to hitch up his jeans is very distracting – but not for his music. Please invest in a belt, so that the focus can be solely on what really matters.
Thou Shall Not Constrict Thyself in Stiff Skinny Jeans
On the other end of the spectrum, if your pants are so tight that you’re worried that bending over to pick up a dropped pick or sheet music will rip a seam, then maybe a happy medium will be better.
Thou Shall Check If Thy Clothes Are See-Through Before Wearing Them
Especially important for pieces that are white. While deciding what to wear, take that shirt or pair of leggings and hold it up to bright light. Can you see details of your furniture through it? Either layer it, or be prepared for everyone to see what’s underneath.
Thou Shall Not Wear Stuffy or Scratchy Dress Shirts
If your movements are inhibited, you have the buttons on the cuff banging into the guitar, or feel so scratchy that playing your set is hard, you won’t be able to put on the best show you really can.
Thou Shall Not Wear Very Short Skirts or Low Tops Without Tape
Trust me, confidence is sexier than any outfit that you are worrying about sitting, turning, bending over or clapping your hands in.
Thy Face Shall Remain Shine-Free
While in real life, the “dewy glow” look is beautiful, onstage, it makes your skin look very oily and sweaty. Best to apply a pressed powder with your makeup instead.
Thou Shall Not Play Guitar Wearing Shirts with Long and Loose Sleeves
May you be playing a fretted string instrument, or piano, no one wants to be tugging up their sleeves in the middle of the song.
Thou Shall Not Overheat
It’s hotter onstage under the bright lights and adrenaline than you may think. If in doubt, dress for it being a little warmer than it is right now.
Thou Shall Keep Thy T-Shirt Simple
Like a PowerPoint presentation from school, if you have busy writing all over your shirt, the audience will focus on reading it, as opposed to listening to the beautiful lyrics you wrote yourself. Also, unless you have an endorsement deal with a big-name brand, avoid distracting logos. Just keep it simple.
Thou Shall Wear Comfortable Shoes
Maybe the part that is the most often overlooked, you rest entirely upon them. No matter how cool those heels look, if you can’t balance and will topple over in them, forget it. Same goes for flat, leather oxfords: if you’ve never worn them before, don’t make the big show their first time. Wear a trusty old pair instead. At the end of the night, comfort and practicality always win. Trust me on that one.
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