Musicians who wear shorts on stage


Feb 16, 2014
Reaction score
I think there should be strict wardrobe rules for gigging musicians. Please go nuts and hate me for this. They are just my suggestions and opinions.

I've never seen a good band playing good original songs that wore shorts. In fact a band that wears shorts is 99.99% likely to suck. Even if you're playing a 3pm set at Coachella, don't do it. You can scoff at everything else i'm saying, but trust me on this one.

Baseball caps, no. Unless you're a Limp Bizkit tribute band.

Baggy, faded, very light blue jeans, no.
You're on stage, not on a construction site. If you're under 30, wear slim fitting jeans (not ball huggers though). If you're over 30, wear straight leg jeans that arent tight and arent baggy. Again, avoid light blue, faded looking, washed out jeans. The darker the better.

Athletic shoes like Reebok, or New Balance. Even if your on stage antics rival David Lee Roth and Anthony Kiedis, wear nice dress shoes or casual boots. Avoid sketchers, DC shoes, and other bro dude brands. Only wear vans or other skater shoes if you're a southern california punk band on Epitaph or Fat Wreck Chords.

Never wear sandals. Ever. You deserve to be booed off stage if you wear sandals. If you wear socks under the sandals, then a public execution might be a suitable punishment.

Stupid accessories like lanyards, sunglasses straps, fanny packs, or cell phone holsters. A big mess of keys dangling from your belt loop, take this crap off before your set.

Don't tuck in your shirt, regardless of age. unless you have a specific retro look you're going for. Don't have your shirt unbuttoned down 3 or 4 buttons. Unless you're a gigolo with a mustache from 1982 that came here with a time machine.

Avoid t-shirts with logos or branding. Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than a Hollister, or a Volcom t-shirt. Even shirts with Gibson, Fender, or Pearl logo's, avoid them. Non musicians don't give half a crap about instruments like we do. You don't want to project the idea to your audience that the instruments are as important as the music. Wear a shirt of your favorite band instead.

Don't leave your sunglasses on your head. Don't wear jeans with holes in the knees. It's not 1993 anymore. Don't wear polo shirts unless you're Vampire Weekend or David Bryne. Same with all the other preppy stuff like khakis and boat shoes.

Don't wear too much black. Don't wear black pants with a black shirt. Don't have the whole band wearing black, unless your a death metal band. You'll lose character and look generic if you wear too much black.

This should be obvious and known to everyone, but i'll mention it just incase. Your singer should be the best dressed one in the band. If the rest of the band members look lame, thats fine, but for gods sake, let the singer look nice at least.

Regardless of how little you may care for fashion or appearance, the audience does unfortunately, and that's a fact you can ignore, or accept. And while music should always come first, the reality is that appearance is a part of the show. Wearing crap like this will only make the audience perceive you as an amateur band.

A strong majority of the most iconic and influential bands have had a great aesthetic style, and fashion sense to match the quality of their music.

I apologize in advanced for people who have broken these rules and are butt hurt. I'm only trying to help. Get your bands look down.

Feel free to add your own suggestions!


Senior Member
Nov 1, 2008
Reaction score
Black wardrobe?? :hmm: It worked quite well for Johny Cash.

And does this guy meet with your dress code?? I bet not
but do his fans care?? Bet not.


Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
Reaction score

Don't play to loud, or too quiet.

Don't play to fast, or too slow.

Don't bother being original when there are decades of popular songs already written. Learn to play them as originally intended with no deviation.





Senior Member
Aug 27, 2010
Reaction score

OP clearly has missed most of the last 35+ years of music.

Come on now mdubya, you are posting exceptions, most guys in shorts do not look like Rollins at City Gardens or even Angus Young, we look like we belong at a company picnic. I wore shorts on stage, I looked a colossal dweeb in the photos - never again. :laugh2:


Jan 25, 2010
Reaction score
yup.. only lamers wear shorts while on stage..

[ame=]Eric Clapton - Have you ever loved a woman FULL HD 1080p (Crossroads guitar festival 2004) - YouTube[/ame]


So What

Senior Member
Feb 29, 2012
Reaction score
Most guys who play out on this forum are not going to sign a major record deal, and become Rock Stars.

We are playing in our local communities, and dress accordingly.

We know most, if not all, of the people in the audience.

We don't need a band "uniform" and we would look rather strange of we did.

If your music is good, people don't care what you are wearing.

my 2 cents...


Latest Threads