The clothes make the fan

Your guide to the genre-specific threads of the local music scene.

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge SPARKLE IS ESSENTIAL: The author as the Flittering Glitter Mistress, complete with above-the-knee tank dress hanging over jeans. - Phil Bardi
Phil Bardi
SPARKLE IS ESSENTIAL: The author as the Flittering Glitter Mistress, complete with above-the-knee tank dress hanging over jeans.

Hit any local concert event and you’ll notice the symbiotic relationship that exists between music and fashion. Each genre dictates a uniquely recognizable trend clearly demonstrated by its devotees, from the snapback caps, designer shades and iced-out chains of hip-hop, to the pomade-slicked locks, vintage bowling shirts and wingtips preferred by the rockabilly sect. I’ve focused on four style trends by way of the stereotypical personality types found at various genre-specific concerts around town, the bands most likely to attract these types, and the threads you’ll most likely find them sporting.

Preferred sonicsphere:
funk, jazz, soul, jam-rock, jamtronica — anything danceable and upbeat

Shows you’ll see her at: Phish, Medeski Martin & Wood, The Meters, Perpetual Groove, Wanee Festival

Her style: She’s a modern bohemian who’s usually in high spirits, dancing and swaying and flittering through the crowd, and spreading good cheer and glitter in her wake. Her clothing is as whimsical as her personality — eco-friendly bell-sleeved blouses, swooping hand-woven dusters over bright camisoles, flowing skirts and long halter dresses with trippy prints, fluttering above-the-knee tank dresses hanging over jeans or embroidered yoga pants, a pair of Tevas or moccasins on her feet. Sparkle is essential — eye make-up dazzle, face glitter, skin shimmer, rhinestone-studded sunglasses with light tint, a fedora embellished with a shiny ribbon or iridescent hand-crafted princess-style hair piece holding back au natural waves. She tops it off with scarves, dangly dreamcatcher earrings, a mess of beaded necklaces and silver-glinting chains with pendants of natural amber and moonstone, silver rings with matching stones on her fingers, chiming bangles on each wrist, and a hefty hemp or crocheted bag slung over her shoulder.

Retail of choice: Revolve, Sunshine Thrift Store, Ramblin’ Rose,

Preferred sonicsphere:
anything indie rock or pop and approved

Shows you’ll see him at: Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, Bat for Lashes, Sufjan Stevens

His style: He cops a generally blasé attitude — the less he looks like he cares, the better, and his threads seems like they haven’t changed much since he graduated college, though everything he owns is fine quality even if it doesn’t look it. His penetrating stare is framed by square black-rimmed spectacles (which he may or may not have a prescription for), his lightly mussed hair falls in a shag on his pale forehead, he has a neatly-trimmed hipster-chic mustache, his rumpled short-sleeved Oxford button-down gapes open over a natty T-shirt so that you can just see the obscure band logo on its front, and he leans to well-worn straight-leg chinos or designer cutoffs that fall right above his knees, with perfectly worn Converse standards or Varvatos suede chukkas, though he also has a pair of boat shoes he busts out when he’s feeling adventurous.

Retail of choice: Urban Outfitters, American Apparel,,

Preferred sonicsphere:
alt rock, emo, punk pop, post-hardcore

Shows you see her at: 30 Seconds to Mars, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, We Are the In Crowd, Senses Fail, The Killers

Her style: She looks sullen and chain-smokes Marlboro reds, she flirts with razor sharp wit and huge eye rolls, and she’s probably judging you harshly right now. Her eyes are caked with thick black eyeliner and clumpy mascara, her lips pout in cherry red gloss and she has a small gleaming stud that pierces her upper right lip like a birthmark along with small silver hoops running up and down her lobes. She has a black rose tattooed on the back of her neck, and her stylishly choppy jet black hair is treated with chunky highlights in scarlet and indigo — the only colors in a mostly black-on-black aesthetic. She owns a stockpile of black tunics and shirts, many with logos repping stuff she doesn’t necessarily care about, like an oversized Jim Beam tee shredded and cut so it falls off her shoulder to exposes a thin wife beater and the black bra underneath. Black skinny jeans or cut-offs so short the pockets hang from the bottom, a black utilitarian belt, and Doc Martens combat boots or a torn pair of black Chucks completes her ensemble.

Retail of choice: Anarchist Closet, Salvation Army.

Preferred sonicsphere:
Dance music, dubstep

Shows you see him at: Zedd, Break Science, Nero, Excision, Steve Aoki, SBTRKT, Ultra

His style: He steers clear of the dance scene’s usual outrageous costume leanings, but his style is just as recognizable. He has a hoodie for every occasion, in every size and color (the grey and yellow-striped zip-up is his favorite), and he owns dozens of baseball caps and truckers hats with single-word slang descriptors emblazoned across — “Swag” “Womp” “Rockstar” “Filthy” “Legit” — that he wears with the brim skewed slightly to the side above dark-tinted neon-rimmed Wayfarer-style shades for night or day, inside or out. He also has a ready supply of oversized cargo shorts, tatty jeans, and baggy Phazon pants he busts out for special occasions. For footwear, he prefers high top sneakers, jumping between Nike Dunks or Adidas Top Courts. He completes his look with some sort of lighted accessory — LED gloves with glowing fingertips, a foam saber glowing in pulsing hues of neon, or a lighted multi-glow flashing mouthpiece.

Retail of choice:,

Scroll to read more Music News articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.