There is nothing like live music and seeing your favorite band in person. During the warmer months? We love love love that there are so many outdoor events for music, and I think you do too. I've been getting a ton of questions about what to wear to an outdoor concert, so it's safe to say……. music festival and concert season is in full swing!
I'm writing this the day after what may be one of my favorite concerts yet……I drove up to Orange County to see the Backstreet Boys concert, and let me tell you…….those guys have still got it, I had a great time! It was so much fun to see them perform old favorites, at a fun new to me outdoor venue (the Five Points Amphitheater for those of you who are local).
I actually went back and forth quite a bit on what to wear to an outdoor concert this time of year. Did I want to get dressed up? To be casual? Was comfort the most important (spoiler, it was to me). What about shoes? A bag? Concert venues have a lot of requirements these days….and I wanted to be sure I had all the accessories I needed.
Summer Concert Outfit Ideas
Truth be told, I wasn't exactly planning to be in the middle of a mosh pit (and let's be honest….the Backstreet Boys don't even HAVE a mosh pot)…..but I did want to prepare for being in the midst of a crowd. I wanted a sweater that was comfortable and easy to take on or off. I wanted shoes that I could walk (and dance in)……and I wanted a small bag that held all my stuff.
Whether you are headed to a rock concert, a hip-hop concert, a country music concert or one of the many pop concerts that are touring this year……these ideas will help you figure out what to wear to an outdoor concert that is cute, comfy and functional (because no one wants their evening ruined by uncomfortable concert attire).
What to Wear to an Outdoor Concert: Simple Outfit Ideas
Let's start with clothes. For me? The perfect outfit for an outdoor concert is layerable, comfortable, and cute. The thing about outdoor concerts? Depending on the venue and location, the temperature can vary greatly from day to night…..for instance, we go to concerts at The Shell here in San Diego, and it's on the water.
So once the sun goes down? It's definitely cooler. In fact, the temperature can drop by 20 degrees (which makes a huge difference when planning what to wear to an outdoor concert anytime of year)…..so I always plan outfits with an extra layer. An extra layer can be a sweater, a leather jacket, or a flannel shirt, but trust me when I say….you need to bring something.
my favorite summer concert outfits:
- mom jeans and a graphic t-shirt: this is what I wore to my last concert and…..it was definitely the right choice. I wore my favorite mom jeans with wide legs (bonus that they're a killer price and mega comfy), a graphic tee (a band tee in this case, gotta love my Backstreet Boys…plus when will I have the chance to wear a tee with their faces again?) along with comfortable sneakers (a must). The venue I was at had a VERY specific clear bags only policy, so I made sure the sweater (use CARLY15 for 15% off this one) I brought for the cooler part of the evening had pockets. Instead of a larger clear bag, I brought what I needed in my pockets and it worked out perfectly!
- flowy dress and a denim jacket (use CARLY15 to get 15% off this one): want to wear something with a more feminine touch? I love a great flowy dress with a jean jacket (there's that extra layer). I wouldn't suggest wearing thinly soled sandals to a concert (unless you're at a venue that is more of a calm vibe)…..you're sure to get stepped on. If you do want sandals? Fisherman sandals are a great option for protecting your toes. I invested in a GREAT comfortable pair, and…..they've been worth every penny.
- a great fitting pair of jean shorts and a flowy top: heading to a country concert? Country concert outfits are a WHOLE other genre, right? My favorite look for a hot summer night and country music floating through the air? Jean shorts, a pretty blouse and a pair of cowboy boots (cowboy hat optional). For a chill? Add a flannel or a boyfriend cardigan.
What to Wear to an Outdoor Concert: Shoes
Now, regular concert goers will tell you that the perfect shoes will totally change your concert experience (I saw this about Disneyland outfits too). Why? COMFORT IS KEY. Nothing will ruin your best concert outfits like uncomfortable shoes (or your entire concert experience). My suggestion? NO NEW SHOES and no high heels. This is not the time to figure out what shoes are and are not comfortable.
perfect shoes for a concert:
- sneakers: sneakers are usually my go to when planning what to wear to an outdoor concert or sporting event. They're comfortable, protect my toes, and they're always in style (plus they go with EVERYTHING from a floral dress to boyfriend jeans and a tee shirt or tank top). Air force 1s are my favorites, they have seriously stood the test of time for me (plus are sturdy and easy to clean).
- fisherman sandals: if you DO want to wear sandals, they need to be sturdy (so should have a decently thick sole). I invested in a nice pair of fisherman sandals, and I have to say…..they're GREAT for long days on my feet. No blisters, and they're supportive enough to leave my feet happy at the end of the night.
- ballet flats: want something different? I'll recommend Rothy's all day, everyday. They make great ballet flats and loafers. All their shoes are machine washable, so no biggie when someone spills their drink on your shoes. They're also cushioned and comfortable, plus come in a ton of great colors. You can pair ballet flats with anything from straight leg jeans to a t-shirt dress.
What to Wear to an Outdoor Concert: Accessories
Now, let's talk accessories. When you're planning what to wear to an outdoor concert, you also need to plan what to bring and how to carry it. First step, check the rules of the venue. Some have size restrictions for bags. Some concert venues have clear bag requirements. Trust me, there is nothing worse than parking at your concert, walking ALL the way to the line, going through security, and then having to bring your bag back to the car. So, CHECK FIRST.
best options for bags:
- Fanny Pack: I love a fanny pack as a smaller bag option. Be sure you check the dimensions of yours (my fanny packs were too big for our most recent concert venue by a few inches but they're fine for the baseball stadium here in San Diego). A fanny pack will hold your basic: phone, battery pack, lip gloss, powder, car keys and wallet easily) and of course, it can be completely hands free (or used as a small crossbody bag).
- Clear Backpack or Clear Fanny Pack: If you are heading to an outdoor music venue with clear bag requirements…..then, its good to have one on hand. If you're going to a longer concert, you will want something with a little more space like a backpack. I have to admit, I was sort of mad at myself that I didn't have one in my closet for this last concert. These are inexpensive, and if you're planning on heading to concerts regularly……it might be worth investing in one.
- Clutch: Now let's talk smaller bags. For a lot of venues, you are able to bring in a small clutch or mini-purse. I'd suggest something that is easy to clean, because let's be honest……concerts are a bit crowded. People have food and drinks and they DO spill.
- Sling Bag: Now, y'all know I love my sling bags. They're a little bigger than a fanny pack, and can carry more (I can even roll up a sweater or sweatshirt and keep it in mine). Plus, I love wearing them as a crossbody. My top recommendation? Always? I love Logan and Lenora's sling bags. They're machine washable, made from recycled plastic water bottles and come in a ton of colors (you can also use code CARLY15 to get 15% off any of their bags).
outdoor show outfits
So, are you ready for warmer weather, outdoor shows, and fun music events? Whatever your personal style, there are so many fun options for cute outfits that are perfect for outdoor concert venues……and are sure to keep you comfortable for the WHOLE night. My question for you? What is YOUR top suggestion for What to Wear to an Outdoor Concert? Drop yours in the comments!
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