What to wear to a punk show?
October 14, 2005 10:24 AM   Subscribe

What do I wear to a punk show?

I've got tickets to see Bad Religion, Pennywise and Anti-Flag. Despite my multiple tattoos and louder musical tendencies, I am a very straight looking college-going woman who works in a library (and more often than not, dresses the part--conservatively). What do I wear and bring--besides a good pair of earplugs--to a punk show at a very small venue (in this case, the Quest Club in Minneapolis)?

Also on a side note, if anyone has been to this venue, is it really quite tiny?
posted by sian to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (48 answers total)
 
I also wanted to add that I have been to concerts before, but basically my entire friend-base seems to agree that small punk shows are usually much, much different than your regular huge venue ticket.
posted by sian at 10:25 AM on October 14, 2005


The Quest isn't tiny, but it's a smaller space than a lot of the other venues in town. The shows I've been to there have been intimate and intense.
posted by Coffeemate at 10:27 AM on October 14, 2005


condoms?
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 10:29 AM on October 14, 2005


jeans, black tank top, and vans would be comfy and you'd fit right in.
posted by miss tea at 10:29 AM on October 14, 2005


I have a feeling there may be some different opinions here, but I say wear whatever you want. Ostensibly, one of the key characteristics of punk rock is individuality. Of course, before my first punk rock show in high school I was heavily coached on what to wear, which was when I shed that illusion. But be truly punk, and anti-establishment, and be yourself!
posted by amro at 10:32 AM on October 14, 2005


"very straight looking college-going woman who works in a library"

This look could work. It's like you're trying to be ironic - but that's such a hipster anti-punk thing to do, so being the real thing is like punk^2.
posted by mullacc at 10:32 AM on October 14, 2005


Don't worry about it. I've been going to punk gigs, large and small, for more than 20 years. I stopped dressing "punk" in any noticable way a long time ago and nobody really cares. Just have a good time.

That said, I'll give you the advice I've given numerous "straight looking" women I've taken to their first punk shows-- jeans and a T shirt always works, or something black but casual.
posted by InfidelZombie at 10:35 AM on October 14, 2005


Just wear your regular casual clothes. (One caveat: comfy shoes--figure that people will be stepping on your feet.)

If you put on some kind of costume, people will be able to tell, and they will not be impressed. Besides, that's not really in keeping with the spirit of the thing, is it?

Alternate advice: wear your oldest jeans, your oldest 'cool' t-shirt and your oldest sneakers.
posted by box at 10:36 AM on October 14, 2005


Anyone there who is younger than you will sneer at you no matter what you wear. Anyone there who's older than you won't care what you're wearing. If you want to dress so you'll "fit in," I think you're missing the point. In terms of practicality for a small space, you might want to wear boots in case someone who's also wearing boots steps on your toe. You might also consider wearing clothes you don't mind getting sweaty and beer-soaked.
posted by scratch at 10:36 AM on October 14, 2005


Your feet may get stomped on if you're up close, so wear appropriate shoes--no open toes.
posted by mds35 at 10:37 AM on October 14, 2005


I have a feeling there may be some different opinions here, but I say wear whatever you want

except the tshirt of the band that you are going to see.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2005


hey, i'm seeing the same concert in New York.

I'm male but what I'm going to wear is just jeans, my worn out addidas tennis shoes, a punk band teeshirt and my punk jacket which is just a black jacket with punk band patches on it.

Just wear what's comfortable. Old and busted looks the best. Don't try looking like a street punk if you're really not one. The other punks can tell.
posted by Stynxno at 10:53 AM on October 14, 2005


Wear a formal ball gown. With steel-toed boots. That would be so punk.

In other words, be contrarian.
posted by arco at 11:03 AM on October 14, 2005


Wear comfortable closed-toed shoes. The rest doesn't really matter; just don't wear anything you wouldn't want to get sweat, beer, and smoke on.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:13 AM on October 14, 2005


If you want to be really punk, you'll wear a business suit.
posted by cribcage at 11:19 AM on October 14, 2005


The only thing I'd think of as far as what to wear is: how can I keep from freezing my ass off outside, while not sweating to death inside? So wear layers, and be ready to tie your outer layers around your waste as the place heats up. If anyone asks, you can say that you're homaging the Grunge era.
posted by COBRA! at 11:20 AM on October 14, 2005


Don't forget your dog.
posted by oh posey at 11:22 AM on October 14, 2005


It's Bad Religion, so jeans, a t-shirt (excluding any of the Bands playing) and a pair of comfortable shoes will work. Boots work better if you've got them.
posted by drezdn at 11:32 AM on October 14, 2005


Black, Black, Black, Black, Black.
posted by VulcanMike at 11:35 AM on October 14, 2005


If you have to ask you shouldn't be going.

But seriously, trying to look punk goes against the entire punk ethos (as many people have said before me).

Of course, if you're going to see New Found Glory and Blink 182 then you should make every effort to look punk so you can conceal the complete punklessness within.

To be honest, I'm entirely unpunk and I kind of like Blink
posted by Octaviuz at 11:41 AM on October 14, 2005


Only teenagers and losers "dress up" for shows. The above advice is perfect.
posted by Eamon at 12:01 PM on October 14, 2005


COBRA! kind of got what I was asking--screw dressing for trends, I can't even do that when I'm acting "normal". The only basic "punk" (the trend, of course, not the genre) item of clothing I own is a pair of beat up, black, high-top Chucks. Comfort tips, how to not freeze my tootsies off in the November Minnesota cold, and how to look hot in the meantime would be great things to hear.

These are some great answers, though. Thanks very much everyone!
posted by sian at 12:21 PM on October 14, 2005


Where whatever the hell you want. That's punk.
posted by trbrts at 12:27 PM on October 14, 2005


You could be rocking 4-foot chaos spikes, skin-tight leathers and 40-hole docs and still be identified as a poser wannabe assbag dilletante by the one thing you said you definitely are wearing: earplugs. Now THAT is not punk at ALL.
posted by ChasFile at 12:38 PM on October 14, 2005


do you think the bands are asking anyone what they should be wearing?
posted by dong_resin at 12:39 PM on October 14, 2005


What amro, Octaviuz and trbrts said. Whatever you feel right in is what you should wear.

For a very, very short while punk was about not wearing a uniform. Boy, did that ever change quickly...
posted by Decani at 12:41 PM on October 14, 2005


And also what ChasFile said. Nothing screams "colossal wet" like a pair of earplugs at a punk show. Actually, something does: telling people at great length how you're only doing it because the music's so loud and tinnitus is a real risk, you know, I mean Pete Townshend...

If your ears aren't ringing the next day it wasn't punk.
posted by Decani at 12:45 PM on October 14, 2005


And also what ChasFile said. Nothing screams "colossal wet" like a pair of earplugs at a punk show. Actually, something does: telling people at great length how you're only doing it because the music's so loud and tinnitus is a real risk, you know, I mean Pete Townshend...

If your ears aren't ringing the next day it wasn't punk.


Some non-punk advice: I'm totally fucking useless in large-group conversations and noisy rooms now because I was too hardcore to wear earplugs to shows in my twenties. That's one of the very few things I'd change if I could travel back in time.
posted by COBRA! at 12:49 PM on October 14, 2005


Oh, Jesus. I'd like to keep my hearing.

I think I should have phrased my question a little more clearly--what do I wear so I don't end up with clothes ripped, shoes smashed and everything beer stained? Efficiency is key here. I couldn't care less if someone thinks I'm not punk enough. I like Coldplay too
posted by sian at 12:49 PM on October 14, 2005


Wear whatever you want, but wear those earplugs. Hearing loss isn't punk, and your ears will thank you!

As for not getting stained, etc. wear things that you wouldn't mind getting accidentally trashed if it comes to that. Stay away from 'the pit'. I haven't been to this club in question, but at very similar venues, if you hang towards the back, you'll be just fine. Same if you hang around some of the merch tables, etc. If there's a bar, you might actually get a seat and be able to see the show at the same time.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:55 PM on October 14, 2005


I'm with COBRA. One of the things I wish I did more was wear earplugs at shows. And I've seen a lot of shows.
posted by klangklangston at 1:03 PM on October 14, 2005


You could be rocking 4-foot chaos spikes, skin-tight leathers and 40-hole docs and still be identified as a poser wannabe assbag dilletante by the one thing you said you definitely are wearing: earplugs. Now THAT is not punk at ALL.

Yeah, well take a look at the musicians up on the stage. Odds are, they are wearing earplugs. They must be poser assbag dilletantes too, huh? Puh-leeeeze.
posted by jdunn_entropy at 1:42 PM on October 14, 2005


Advice from a girl here - wear your chucks, some dark comfy jeans, and a zip-up hoodie with something fitted and comfy (tank top, t-shirt, long-sleeve thermal, whatever you need to stay warm and look cute) underneath it. Make sure all of the above are cotton and machine-washable. You won't look like you're wearing a costume, you'll "blend" just fine, and you should avoid any lasting damage to your wardrobe even if there's a beer spill or a stampede.

Old Navy has hooded sweatshirts available for less than $20, should you lack this essential clothing item.
posted by junkbox at 1:48 PM on October 14, 2005


This whole conversation is so UNPUNK it's amazing me and here I am commenting. wtf. Besides what 'Octaviuz' had to say, I would have to go with what 'Oh Posey' said with "Don't forget your dog" simply because Posey obviously knows "who" is real punk.
posted by BMF at 2:09 PM on October 14, 2005


Earplugs are a good idea.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:01 PM on October 14, 2005


I would suggest wearing jeans, a black shirt and comfy shoes.

Take the earplugs.
posted by whatideserve at 3:44 PM on October 14, 2005


I've been to a lot of punk shows, and the only people with earplugs are in school for sound engineering. You should still bring them though, a show isn't hardcore unless you're risking permanent hearing loss.

When I first started going I tried to dress for it, but usually a hoodie and jeans is all you need. Last few times I've had to come directly from work in khakis and cardigans but nobody gave me any shit about it.
posted by sgrass at 4:01 PM on October 14, 2005


Earplugs are AWESOME. I always bring extras to give to people I know at shows. They are always grateful.

I have gone to punk shows in everything from jeans 'n' T-shirt to jacket 'n' tie. Nobody has ever given me a hard time about what I was wearing. Ever.
posted by 88robots at 4:38 PM on October 14, 2005


Earplugs are great. Every decent venue sells them at the bar, but I try to remember to bring my own.

I've gone to punk shows in a polo shirt and khakis (came from work) and got some minor hassling for it. Screw 'em. Wear what's comfortable.
posted by Vidiot at 5:13 PM on October 14, 2005


I go to punk shows as often as I can, which is, sadly, not frequently enough. Your choice of dress should be based on how "engaged" you want to be at the show. The bands you'll be seeing have rabid followings, so the best way to not "end up with clothes ripped, shoes smashed and everything beer stained" is simple: plan on standing in the back of the club. Seriously, unless you know the lyrics and will be singing along, fist in the air, or unless you're planning on being in the pit (which I doubt), you probably won't want to be anywhere near the middle/front of the audience. The perimeter should be fine, although the speakers/amps might be there, and that'd be bad for the ears. Speaking of your ears: absolutely, absolutely, absolutely take earplugs. Even in the back of the club, it'll still be awfully loud. sgrass's clothing suggestion is solid, but I disagree on the earplug bit. Junkbox had some good thoughts, too. The Chucks, while "punk," might not give you a ton of ankle support / squishy padding underfoot, so ... just keep that in mind if you'll be in the pit at all. They'll probably be fine. I'd wear 'em.

As far as not freezing while waiting outside, here are a few thoughts: Wear jeans, a Duofold-style top, and a knit cap. For the "Duofold-style top": basically, a sweat-wicking thermal long-sleeve shirt. It'll keep you warmer outside, and you can push your sleeves up when you're inside. The hat will allow you to stay warmer (maybe not the "hot" you're looking for), and you can take it off and shove it in your pocket when you're inside. Also, think about going to the show late. The bill has a fourth band on it, Murphy's Law. You could get there late, miss them, and still see the other three bands. You wouldn't have to wait for the doors to open that way.

Also, you might think about taking a bottle of water and leaving it in your car for after the show.

... and ...

If you want to be really punk, you'll wear a business suit.

No.

If you want to be really rude, you'll wear a business suit. Another show. Another day.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:06 PM on October 14, 2005


I'm totally fucking useless in large-group conversations and noisy rooms now because I was too hardcore to wear earplugs to shows in my twenties.

Me too, mate. And I don't regret it for a second. Eh? Speak up!

Also, bands were louder when I was young. So there, ya pussies. What?
posted by Decani at 8:38 PM on October 14, 2005


ear plugs, shoes and clothes you don't mind sweating in... and a studded belt

don't worry about what the kids are wearing

it's a relatively mainstream punk show at that - not something a little more hardcore like the show a week before (11/4) - so i wouldn't worry about it unless you're trying to be seen/scene. (oh pun!)
posted by whatitis at 8:54 PM on October 14, 2005


don't bring a purse. pull out your id, ticket, a lil cash for drinks or merch or whatever, and stuff it in your deepest pocket. before you leave, put your purse and everything else in your trunk or glove compartment (DONT do this IN the lot where you're parking, that's just asking to get your car broken into!).

and wear the damn earplugs. if you're not used to them, try out a few kinds before (personally, i hate the foam ones, and use the squishy wax kind).

oh and since you live in a super-cold city, the place you're going might have a coat-check. in san francisco i just freeze outside cuz i know i'll sweat inside, but then again it doesn't snow here.
posted by radioamy at 12:51 AM on October 15, 2005


arco writes "Wear a formal ball gown. With steel-toed boots. That would be so punk.

"In other words, be contrarian."


Heh - now I've worn that get-up to a gig, and I'm a bloke!

Punk is as punk does, so do what you does and you is, see?
posted by benzo8 at 2:16 AM on October 15, 2005


Hearing protection.
posted by joeclark at 6:41 AM on October 15, 2005


From an old, jaded punk-rocker: Jeans and a t-shirt.
posted by punkrockrat at 6:47 AM on October 15, 2005


WHAT! Extra earplugs? Sorry! I don't have any extras! What !? No, I've never used extra earplugs as an excuse to flirt with someone! Whatsthat!? I should bring an extra set !?! Ok good idea! These guys rawk, huh!!!
posted by Triode at 4:16 PM on October 15, 2005


I agree with everyone who says to bring earplugs. If there's any background noise, I have trouble making out conversation now. Then again, I was in wisconsin's second loudest band for three years.

Now I play a double bass.
posted by drezdn at 7:31 PM on October 16, 2005


« Older Go to Napa   |   Illuminated Shoes Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.