- Published Jun 1, 2013 in On Stage
- Read time: about 3 minutes
If you want to make a splash, explore your inner diva and go big. If you’d rather just fade into the background and let people listen to your voice, muted and monochrome is the name of your game.
Dressing for a show isn’t just fashion; crafting your onstage look is another tool to communicate. In the right outfit, the minute you step on stage, the audience already has a feeling for the story you’re telling. Genres have associated styles for a reason; punks’ black and spikes scream “angry” just as loudly as the music. By all means wear baby pink and then break out the death metal, if you want to keep your audience off balance. Don’t be ruled, be aware.
One size does not fit all.
You can’t just copy some famous artist’s style. Even a gorgeously matched outfit—if you aren’t committed to it—can look like a suit of clothes someone stuck on you. It has to come from the heart. So a stylist dressing you should be as much your interpreter as an artist in their own right. A musician is not a model, serving as a hanger for some designer or fashion editor’s vision. You have the vision, write the songs or construct the perfect bass line. The style has to be yours too, even if you're not sure what that means yet.
Do your homework!
Spend a little time considering your look. You may not think instantly, "Tonight, I’ll pair my grey Levi’s with my emerald green Chucks," but you do know what you like when you see it—or at least what you don’t like. So, (though I just said not to ape a famous look) sometimes checking out a magazine or noticing other musicians’ outfits can be the easiest way to discover your own style. Be inspired or learn—OMFG I’d never wear that!
Remember, style doesn’t have to mean cutting edge trendy, just thoughtful. So—unless you’re actually in a glam rock or 80s tribute band—try not to distract from your music with an excessively outrageous outfit. Your wardrobe is part of the show, not the show.
Strut your stuff.
Bottom line, it’s all about confidence. Half the time I notice a girl walking down the street in NYC, it isn’t just the outfit itself; it’s that she owns it. If you feel good, you’ll look amazing. So take your time to consider your stage costume, but don’t squeeze yourself into a look that’s not you.
Being true to yourself will make you feel relaxed. And if you’re not comfortable, you’ll never play your best music.