Concert Attire Ultimate Guide:
What to Wear for Your Successful Music Performances

By Rose Park 5/21/21 • updated 1/9/23 • 4 min read

Choosing the right concert attire could be exciting for some people. Others might find it rather stressful, though.

So, what’s a good concert attire and why should you care about it?

To put it simply, the best concert attire is clothing which helps you perform comfortably. Another thing to consider is whether the clothing represents your character to the audience clearly and formally.

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Choosing appropriate clothing is important because it’s essential for you to feel physically comfortable while performing instruments. It’s also important for the performers to visually represent themselves in a suitable way so that the audience can focus more on the performance, not on the performer’s face or the body.

In this post, I will explain some helpful tips to consider when choosing a good performing outfit. The clothing tips are categorized in three parts based on the performer’s age and levels.

How to Choose the Right Concert Attire


A live performance takes lots of energy and body movement. Your body temperature might be elevated by stage fright, stage lights, a long concert program and weather.

Your body temperature might drop down if you’re wearing thin attire under a strong air conditioner which freezes your body, hands and fingers.

Make sure you check the temperature and weather for the performance day. Always bring a jacket or a blanket in case of the long waiting time. Check HERE to see other must-have items to bring to your recital.

Concert Attire Guide For Music Performance

Check the size of your attire. Is your dress tight around the shoulders? Are your dress pants uncomfortable when you sit? Can you move your arms freely in your suit coat? Try to avoid wearing clothing that makes you feel uncomfortable while you’re performing.

Some musicians prefer wearing concert attire that covers the arms entirely. Some feel more confident by exposing more skin. The more you perform, you’ll get a clearer idea what type of clothing will make you feel comfortable and confident for performance.


Clothing defines who you are as a person. Likewise, concert attire can represent you as a performer. Depending on the theme of the concert program or the piece, you can choose what you’re going to wear for the performance.

Concert Attire for Children

Concert Attire Ultimate Guide - Lesson With You - Concert attire for children and adults

For girls: Knee-length or longer skirts/dresses or dress pants.
For boys: Knee-length or longer dress pants and buttoned dress shirts. Suits and ties are welcome.

Tip: Avoid wearing casual clothing such as tight shirts, t-shirts, jeans, shorts and hats.


If your child has long hair, pull their hair back with tight hair ties and away from their face. Long hair could cause accidents in playing and takes away the focus for both performer and audience.


Avoid wearing any accessories (stud earrings are acceptable). No rings, no bracelets.


Avoid wearing tennis shoes, flip-flops, sandals and high heels. Shoes with noise or music and glowing effect will distract the audience.

Tip: Check if the shoes make any disturbing noises. Make sure you’re wearing the right size of shoes.

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Concert Attire for Adults


For women: Knee-length or longer skirts/dresses or dress pants. Choose formal and comfortable clothing.

For men: Formal clothing such as suits, dress shirts and dress pants. Make sure you feel comfortable wearing them. Avoid wearing a long tie if you’re playing piano.


Avoid long or messy hair. Pull the hair away from the face so you can focus on your hand, body and the instrument.


Avoid dangling earrings. Short necklaces and light wedding rings are acceptable depending on the instrument. If you play piano, strings, woodwinds, percussion or brass, avoid wearing bracelets. For singers, rings and bracelets are acceptable as long as they fit tightly.


Avoid wearing tennis shoes, flip-flops, sandals and high heels. Make sure you can feel and control the pedal if you’re playing piano. For string players and singers, avoid wearing shoes that make noises to avoid distraction on the stage.

Concert Attire for Advanced Musicians

Assuming you know a lot already about performance outfits, I will share some helpful tips with you.

Think about the program you’re playing. What pieces of music are you playing? What is the theme of the program? You can choose concert attire based on the theme and mood of the program.

Purpose of the performance

Is this for a recital or competition and audition? If you’re playing for a competition or an audition, a bright colored clothing can help you stand among the competitors. Try to wear a fancier dress than usual. A good performance and unique concert attire can give an impactful and lasting impression to the judges.


If you’re traveling to give a performance, try to take light and easy-to-carry concert outfits. Additionally, make sure the dress doesn’t wrinkle easily.

Additional Tips on Choosing Concert Dress

Practice in your concert attire

You can avoid surprises by practicing in your recital clothes at least once before your performance date and by always choosing clothes in which you will be physically and mentally comfortable.

When to wear concert dress

Make a plan for when to wear the dress on the day of performance. Things to consider are distance to the venue, waiting time and bathroom trips.

If it takes a long time to get to the performance venue or you have a long waiting time, then wear the dress at the site before the performance. If your dress takes time to put on, avoid wearing it for a long time for easy access to the bathroom.

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Learn how to prepare for your performance or recital at Lesson With You. Our award-winning music teachers at Lesson With You can help you choose the right concert dress for you and teach you to prepare for recitals in a professional way.

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Rose Park

Rose Park

Rose Park is a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where she studied Piano Performance and Arts Administration, receiving both Bachelor's and Master's degrees before co-founding Lesson With You. As a pianist, Rose was a prizewinner in many international piano competitions and performed at  various summer programs and festivals across the United States, Italy, and Japan.