Concert fashion is not a new concept; back in the day, Guns and Roses merchandise was worn at their concerts, cowboy hats and boots were donned at country concerts, and Madonna fans dressed in tulle skirts, lace gloves, and boots. The difference was that at that time, these fashion moments were exclusively for concertgoers, there was no Instagram or Tik Tok to share them with the world. Today, thanks to social media, the entire fandom can collectively participate in this wholesome experience. It also helps fans who cannot go to the concert feel included. For fans, it is more than just dressing up, it is about being a part of a tribe and feeling in sync.
A 1975 concert is like walking into a boardroom, scores of fans are dressed in suits, complete with a blazer and tie, while The Weekend’s concerts are normally a sea of black.
Taylor Swift has shattered the glass ceiling and left no shards behind; she is paved the way for aspiring singers and given hope to a whole generation. Her ongoing Era’s tour has become Nirvana for her fans. Tik Tok and Instagram have been absolutely flooded with content surrounding her. We saw girls go miles to thrift the perfect outfit and then painstakingly bedazzle in it. Friendship bracelets made a comeback thanks to the lyrics from the song ‘You're On Your Own Kid,’ "Make the friendship bracelets, take the moment, and taste it," followed by stadiums full of cute beads and love. Exchanging bracelets at the concert was a way to create unforgettable bonds with like-minded people.
Similarly, before Swift, Harry Styles was on his Love On Tour. Styles is known for his eclectic fashion, complete with sequins and feather boas. His fans reflected just that, with oversize sunglasses, boas, crazy prints, and, of course, watermelon print outfits inspired by his song ‘Watermelon Sugar.’ For a Harry Styles concert, the only memo is bright, bold, and shiny.
We are seeing this fashion cult even at Beyonce’s Renaissance tour currently. Her tour also added an air of mystery since she had not released any music videos for her latest album, so fans were eager to find out what the vibe was. It was not long before fans donned home-made, gorgeous replicas of what Bey wore on stage. We are seeing metallic breast plates, one-leg sequin catsuits, shimmery cargos, and bustier tops.
Concert fashion is not artist-based, it is based on the aesthetic of the album. Bad Bunny’s El Último Tour Del Mundo Tour saw futuristic fashion with darker colours and materials like leather and latex. His second tour, World’s Hottest Tour, later in the year saw the complete opposite, with a beachy vibe full of prints and bright colours.
Apart from the fans, concert fashion is also a brilliant marketing tactic. Tours are announced well in advance, allowing fans to slowly create a hype on the internet through DIY videos, hauls, 'Get Ready With Me’s' etc. Now, we are also seeing more and more sustainable fashion, with lots of thrifted outfits and self-made looks. Fan fashion is bridging the gap and allowing the entire fandom to have a collective experience.