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Back to Basics: How to Dress for a Concert

Smelly band tees: not required.
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Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

"Basic" may have adapted a negative connotation in recent years, but there's no shame in seeking advice on theoretically simple sartorial conundrums. In our latest column, "Back to Basics," we're here to guide you through life's most common (and important) fashion and beauty concerns.

Once Coachella kicks off in April, so begins a steady stream of live music events throughout the summer, from outdoor festivals to arena tours to more intimate shows — each of which requires a different approach to getting dressed. While seasoned concertgoers may have their routines down pat, not all of us are so confident when it comes to dressing for, say, M83 at Terminal 5 or Adele at MetLife Stadium — especially if you don't want to look like you stepped out of a cheesy festival-themed editorial.  

But for those less comfortable with the art of watching-live-music, you're in luck: We've compiled the five must-haves of our concert wardrobes, with shoppable examples for you to scoop up now. 

Danceable Basics

The ultimate goal here is to forget you're even wearing clothes. To let the tunes (and your dancing!) be your full focus, don't don anything remotely fussy by way of easy jeans, breezy dresses and simple tees.

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Comfy Shoes 

The only thing worse than walking away from a concert with a foot full of throbbing blisters is walking away from a concert with a sandal-clad foot that's been broken by a particularly enthusiastic mosher. Keep your shoes practical and subtly protective with a pair of already broken-in sneakers or ankle boots.

Hands-Free Bags 

Keep your limbs free to bust out a hand jive or hold onto your beverage of choice. A tiny crossbody bag is always a safe bet, but a sleek backpack or fannypack should do the trick, too.

Simple, Light Jewelry 

As with the rest of your ensemble, your jewelry should be small and lightweight enough so as to not pose as a distraction to the bopping that will, inevitably, ensue. There's no need to ignore it altogether, though, as thin hoop earrings, bracelets, rings and even — gasp! — chokers can add some flair to an otherwise simple outfit.

Long-Lasting Beauty 

Dancing heavily means sweating heavily, and sweating means your entire face dripping off — unless you've arrived prepared with an arsenal of long-lasting makeup. Waterproof mascara, for one, is a must — you know, in case your favorite artist pulls you on-stage and decides with serenade you with your all-time favorite ballad. 

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