What to Wear to an EDM Concert

By Kathryn Walsh

Go electric: How to dress for a supercharged music event

What to Wear to an EDM Concert

Flannel or a fairy costume? Either works for an EDM concert. Electronic dance music is a hugely popular genre, and it's hugely broad, too. From a small show at an underground club to a sprawling summertime festival with thousands of attendees, EDM concerts attract audiences that want to dance and celebrate. (That means they also tend to be sweaty, so if you're traveling to a show, don't plan to wear your concert ensemble again without washing it.) Dress for comfort first and fashion second, but don't be afraid to be bold. If you're ever going to wear your fairy wings and body glitter out in public, know that an EDM concert is the perfect place for it.

Rock some comfortable casual wear

If you would wear it to a cookout on the beach, you can probably wear it to an EDM concert without looking or feeling out of place. Shorts and T-shirts are fine for most events. Even in cold weather, it's wise to dress in lightweight pieces, because these concerts tend to be hot and packed with sweaty, dancing revelers. A significant portion of the typical EDM crowd dresses in styles reminiscent of Woodstock: think floral head crowns, bandanas and batik prints. You may see others dressed in head-to-toe black. The bottom line? Feel free to don the duds that make you feel the most comfortable.

Skip anything formal

"EDM" and "dressy" really don't go together. If you would wear it to a particularly formal family gathering or dinner with your boss or grandparents, it's probably not the right choice for this outing. You will see women (and maybe some guys) wearing skirts and dresses, but of the short-and-tight or long-and-flowing variety – never really formal.

Tip

Planning a trip to an outdoor summertime EDM festival? Think about dressing way, way down. The unspoken dress code varies from event to event, but it's common to see people dressed in nothing but bikinis or short-shorts at an outdoor event. You can strip down to your swimwear, too, or cover up a little more with a tank top and shorts. Don't forget sunglasses, a hat and plenty of sunscreen.

Rock big, bold accessories

Expect to see plenty of neon, glitter, headpieces, studs and chains at an EDM show, and feel free to express your own sense of style through bold accessories. Bring some glow sticks and experiment with neon makeup if you'd like. Be on the lookout for bright-colored beaded jewelry. It's called kandi in the rave community, which is part of EDM culture.

Rock your dance-ready shoes

Plan to be on your feet for the entire concert. Wear closed shoes to protect your toes from getting stomped on in the tightly-packed crowd of dancers. Opt for flat, comfortable sneakers or boots.

Skip bulky layers

No matter the venue or weather, you probably won't be comfortable wearing jeans, sweaters and other thick fabrics. It's a good idea to bring a long-sleeved shirt that you can slip on when you leave the club or when night falls at an outdoor show. There may not be a safe place to stow a parka or other change of clothes. If the weather is cold, leave warmer layers in your car so you can be warm on the trip to and from the show, without having to carry heavy items around all night.

Tip

It may seem counterintuitive to wear earplugs when you're going to hear music, but EDM concerts can be overpoweringly loud. Stash a pair of plugs in your pocket in case you end up near the speakers. They'll spare your hearing without ruining your ability to hear the music.

Rock something outlandish (if you feel like it)

You'll see tons of fellow concertgoers dressed in casual garb, and you should feel free to dress down too. But if you've always craved the chance to dress in a skintight neon onesie or stomp around in knee-high studded boots, you won't look out of place at most EDM concerts. Just be mindful to choose an ensemble that won't restrict your ability to see, walk steadily or drink from a water bottle. Staying well hydrated is a key part of enjoying a wild, sweaty concert.

Some annual EDM events, like Houston's Something Wicked festival, are known for being more costume-heavy than others. Before you head to an EDM festival, check the website's FAQ page for info about the dress code.

About the Author

Cooking, travel and parenting are three of Kathryn Walsh's passions. She makes chicken nuggets during days nannying, whips up vegetarian feasts at night and road trips on weekends. Her work has appeared to The Syracuse Post-Standard and insider magazine. Walsh received a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.