I’ve been to a lot of shows in my life. Mostly some type of punk or garage band is playing, which means that I’m going to hit the pit. I can’t tell you how many girls I see who get fucked up at shows because they decide to wear heels and mini-skirts. I mean- did you really think you could see The Black Lips play without getting thrown into a pit one way or another? What’s worse is when they bring big-ass purses. It’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll punch you first because you decided to bring your gucci bag and are now upset because it got thrown over the railing.
So I thought I’d do a nice little write-up on how to be pretty and practical at a show!
This is a plus-sized edition [anytime I post outfits they will be plus-sized] but the rules apply to every girl. And let’s get one thing straight: Dress however you want. I’m just trying to help you avoid the stresses of dressing badly at a gig. And also- don’t dress pretty to get guys. Dress pretty because a feminine punk is badass and you know it.
1. The top. It doesn’t matter if you wear a dress or a two piece outfit. I prefer the two piece because my arms will be flailing, and that means that if I wear a dress, it’ll lift and show my ass. And because I don’t give free shows, I avoid that. When choosing a shirt, I try to go for something that will air me out in the pit. Something sheer, or sleeveless. Loose is okay too, but wearing a shirt that sits closer to my body means that I’m less likely to get caught on some studded belt or bracelet. Which are quite often gracing everyone at a show. This vest is perfect, the denim protects me a little bit more from chest bruises, and it looks tough. Find your own at a local thrift shop. They are seriously everywhere. Bonus points if you add studs or safety pins. But not a dead kennedys patch. Just don’t.
2. The skirt. The femme way to go is the skirt. But I don’t mean some flimsy skater skirt, or some other shit that will either get pulled down, or pulled up at a show. I’m talkin’ leather. Or vinyl. Opt for a semi-tight fit; just enough lee-way to kick around. The leather look is sexy, tough, and protective all in one. I’ve seen chicks at shows fretting over flowy mini-skirts, trying to make sure that they don’t get hiked up. Avoid being that girl. Plus size leather pencil skirt available at H&M.
3. The leggings. Although they aren’t necessary, I find that it’s just one less thing I have to worry about: my legs getting nicked on boot buckles, etc. It also covers my ass in case something DOES happen to my skirt. I’m not too fond of my bare legs anyway, and these plus-size printed leggings from H&M add a little something extra to the outfit.
4. The shoes. I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear the right shoes. The number one thing you should look for? Ankle support. If you get into the pit, you will fall. Your legs will twist in unnatural ways. You will do running-head-butts into people across the room. Think you can do that in heels? WRONG. Look for lace-ups that you can tie a little tighter at the ankle. Extra points if the boot has a buckle to cover your shoelaces so they don’t come undone. A small [rubber] chunky heel is okay, and I actually find that having that little heel provides more support and helps my balance. Another shoe to avoid? Open-toed. I will purposely smash your feet if you wear that shit. Boots from ASOS.
5. The bag. I won’t deny that you’ll need something to carry your stuff in. I’ve tried stuffing my bra with my keys, cash, lipsticks, etc and they will get lost. The one time my keys fell out, someone in the pit held them in the air so people could see them, which was very nice and I got my keys back. [Mosh pits seem intimidating, but if you fall, people pick you up. You lose your shit, people return it. It’s pretty brotherly.] You can avoid that all together though by wearing a wristlet. A wristlet can be slid onto your belt if you don’t want to wrap it onto your hand; it can also be a great accessory: This Marc Jacobs has a place for your cards, cash, keys and a little zipper pocket for small makeup items. Plus, the pop of pink is a perfect girly addition to a mainly black outfit. Another option? Make a badass fanny pack.
6. The jewelry. Wearing tons of jewelry to shows is fun. But there are a few styles your should avoid for your safety and others’.
Anything that can puncture skin. No sharp spikes, 3D rings, etc. You don’t want to ruin someone’s face because you decided to wear a two-inch spike bracelet. Mosh pits aren’t meant to bloody people via accidental stabbings. Not to mention you could easily stab yourself. If you need spikes, try pyramid studs or 1/4 inch round spikes.
Anything that can choke you. I’ve made the mistake of wearing long necklaces in the pit. You WILL get choked, not on purpose, but it gets caught on everything. If you want a neck accessory, try an actual choker or something that doesn’t fall below the collarbone.
Long earrings. I swear I’ve seen so many girls with ripped earlobes at shows. It’s blood as fuck, and you will likely have to leave to go get stitches. If you need earrings, try studs, earcuffs [with no chains], or mini-hoops.
Stacked rings are a great way to get your heavy jewelry fix without risking yourself. Try these from Charlotte Russe.
7. Makeup. Your makeup will run, get smeared, and look crazy by the end of the night. This is unavoidable, but the hot mess look is just a badge of being at a show. Why not start the night looking a little crazy anyway? Go for a crazy lip color, [black is a safer bet!], glittery eyes, 80’s blush- the one thing to avoid? False lashes. You’ll sweat enough for them to fall right off your face.
So that’s all there is to it! The less your have to worry about how you look, the more time you get to spend punching and kicking. Enjoy the show, ladies >: )