So, I should get really dressed up, right?

Assuming we’re talking about what to wear to a classical music concert, such as the symphony, this is a question that is near and dear to my heart.

I can tell you that the question of how musicians should dress for a concert, has been a hot topic among music organizations for the past decade or so.

Why? Well, classical music is seen as a dying art form that is generally only patronized by aging members of society. Additionally, it’s viewed as elitist and seeing a bunch of grumpy symphony musicians on stage in tuxedos only serves to advance that notion.

So the concern among music organizations and presenters has been: how can we cultivate a younger audience?

One of the “solutions” has been a sartorial one: let’s have the musicians dress down – jeans, t-shirt, blazer, boots – so they’re, you know, more able to connect with a younger audience and, like, hipper, dude. Yeah, man.

You can probably tell by my tone what a great idea I think that is… But I digress. So what should you wear to a concert of classical music? Here’s my advice.

What to wear to a concert

In general, I believe people go to classical music concerts to have a cultured evening and an elevated experience, which is why I think it’s a bad idea for organizations to be promoting a casual dress code for their musicians.

If you go to the symphony, you like the idea that it’s a fancy event, that you’re getting a dose of good old high-brow, highfalutin Western culture. We’ve determined over a couple hundred years that classical music concerts are fancy events. And that’s what we’ve come to expect. Nothing wrong with that. So…

Get dressed up!

A symphony concert is a perfect event for a suit. Wear a navy or charcoal gray suit, a crisp white shirt, white pocket square and classic cap toes or wingtips. You can go with or without a tie – it just depends how dressed up you’d like to be.

Be sure to check out the Style Guide for some outfit inspiration.

And make a night of it! Now that you’re dressed up – and presumably have a hot date – have an early dinner at a nice restaurant, go to the concert, then head out for drinks at a nice cocktail bar afterwards.

Chime in: Have any suggestions on what to wear to a concert?

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Need some more advice? Check out the Men’s Style Advice section! What’s that, you say? Your question’s not there? Send it in and we’ll get back to you!

Image via Atlanta Symphony Orchestra


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