How much thought do you put into what you wear at a gig?


Gold Member
I have a gig coming up in November playing with an indie praise and worship artist and I've never been more confused about dressing myself in my life. Do I wear a vest? Stick with plaid? Jeans or dress pants? Do I need to buy a pair of Clark's Desert Boots? Which cape?

How do you decide how to dress for gigs?


Gold Member
If it's a new venue for me and there's no direction from whoever's in charge, I'll usually wear all black.

He's coming to my venue as a guest so it really isn't that big of a deal, but I feel like my standard polo shirt, slacks, and dress shoes wouldn't fit.


Platinum Member
If I was doing a country gig, I wouldn’t show up in pink and tight shorts. If I was doing a pop gig, I would. Okay I just scared myself with that visual!!!

for a praise and worship gig, I’d say something simple and comfortable. For my church gigs I always wore nice jeans, a simple t-shirt Or polo and whichever pairs of shoes I could play in. We’re not up front, but can’t scare the kids either.


Silver Member
My standard uniform:

Black button down shirt.
Black jeans.
Black boots.
Black stick bag.

Worked for Johnny Cash. Why mess around?


Platinum Member
Polo Shirt -> Tie. ???????

I am probably going to do the tie/vest combo. Maybe not cut of my sleeves like Thomas Lang.
Definitely not a Polo shirt and tie. I was talking about going full blown with button up and tie, since you mentioned polo is not enough. Drummers back in the day did it all the time. I'd be sweat from head to toe in a tie. I usually wear stretchy, breathable polos or t-shirts. Everyone on the team wears the same. I think you're over thinking the dress code. Business casual at most should be good enough for the gig. Most audience members will be similarly dressed. If you were doing a wedding gig where everyone is dressed up, I could see dressing up a bit more. I'd just go with darker colors.


Platinum Member
I prefer to dress casual-so I like sandals so I can drop to play barefoot. So I guess I need at least one sock 😇


Senior Member
We have standard dress codes: bars are slacks or jeans w/ collared shirt; private events slacks & long sleeve dress shirts, weddings & corporate events are suit & tie, and then Diner en Blanc, gets this:87733


On special occasions at church I always wear my pink shoes. Plus jeans, a tee and an untucked short sleeve dress shirt. I wouldn’t want to get arrested for only wearing my pink shoes now would I.


Bo Eder

Platinum Member
OK - next level stuff - but I wear what the band leader or client wants me to wear. So I actually own a tuxedo, regular suits, blue jeans, Hawaiian shirts, dress shirts and ties.... I always ask what the dress will be. Lots of times I get the "it's casual" response where anything goes, but when I was younger and did a lot of weddings or high-end events, people get specific. Country? Better have a cowboy hat. Luau? Most likely Hawaiian shirt. The working musician is a chameleon. Be ready.

I remember in my younger days I kinda complained about having to wear certain things. Then one of my college music teachers told me, "shut up and wear the tie. What you have to say musically is more important than whether or not you're wearing a tie". I took this to mean that it's better to be playing and getting paid rather not playing out at all.


Platinum Member
If I'm depping, whatever the rest of the band wear.

Black or white shirt, black trousers and/or various coloured ties.

I can get away with smart trousers and shirt for the regular band. We do the "everyone wear something different but the same" approach to quote Cheech and Chong.


Silver Member
Black or white shirt or polo. I try to stay away from shorts or Bermuda. And we have a code in the band, started from a joke : we all wear red shoes or red boots : so I wear red All Stars.


"Uncle Larry"
I try not to look nicer than whoever is leading the band, but it's hard. I'm just so damn fetching. I usually dress down/ugly myself up, or no one would hire me. Who wants to compete with their drummer? Jeans and a plain colored non pocketed T shirt, and I don't shave or wash my hair.


Gold Member
If it’s a club with low lighting: black shirt with collar & short sleeves, or black t-shirt, jeans.
If it’s an outdoor stage event with open lighting: Any t-shirt, jeans. If it’s over 85˚ I wear shorts.
If it’s a church gig: light-toned shirt with collar, jeans.

Back in the day (c.1972), the band I was in auditioned for Disneyland. I was 17, everyone else was 22+. I wore short hair (‘cuz it’s easier when surfing) and the other four guys had very long hair. The Disney guys loved our audition tape and asked us to come up and check out the venue he had in mind for us. The stage was the one that came up out of the ground (I forget its name) and as the band came up out of the ground (playing a current pop hit) they were all wearing bright red jumpsuits with white trim, and shiny black shoes. They were killing it, too. Really tight, great singing, lotsa showmanship, but those jumpsuits were a dealbreaker. Then our lead guitarist point out the other issue: everyone had short hair, coiffed like Donny Osmond. We declined any further auditions.