Welcome back to our Dress for the Gig series! In days 1 and 2 of Ireland, I brought you how to dress for a professional meeting, outdoor traveling and historical venues. Days 3 and 4 will show you how to dress for a celebration, studio/label tour and upper-level venues.
Photos provided by 1923 Photography.
Day 3 was one of my favorite days for one reason only: my birthday! There comes a time when you want to look a little better than you usually do for a grand celebration– whether it’s playing a wedding (Like Cleto Cordero at Josh Abbott’s), getting engaged on stage (like Justin Lusk of Copper Chief) or it’s your birthday gig. How are you supposed to elevate your style when you still want to look like you didn’t even try?
The trick is simple clothes but BIG statement pieces. For my personal celebration, I wore a simple brown suede mini dress and over-the-knee mustard socks from Forever 21. They’re cheap, simple and easy to style. Since most men don’t go around wearing dresses to gigs, a plain t-shirt and a little hint of color (in your socks, shoes or glasses like Mike McClure) will suffice.
Now the fun part: the jacket! I was sooo stoked to wear this mink fur coat I finessed out of my grandmother’s old coat closet. There is a certain excitement that runs through your bones when you come across a statement jacket. Leather or denim, a beat up old jacket with patches and pins and grit all over takes your plain tee to the next level. Finding a jacket that makes you feel like you could stage dive into a crowd without breaking your nose will ALWAYS come in handy. I’d suggest checking out Mike Stanley’s denim jacket for reference.
So you have a cool jacket? Next is cool accessories. Here comes my all time favorite squash blossom from the Texas Silver Rush. This killer 15 stone squash caught the attention of one person after another. The squash is to Country as the gold chain is to Rap. Although a few heavy chains would definitely be embraced, there’s something about this kind of squash blossom that screams punchy and unique. No one wants to be another pop country copy in your long white tee and skinny gold or silver chain.
Oh, but one squash is not enough. This is a celebration remember?! We’re trying to look like we have VIP tickets to hang out with George Strait in the back of Vegas’ MGM hotel. I stacked up some more turquoise from Three Wolves Trading Post to pack a punch. A long nugget necklace of a different turquoise hue compared to the squash gave me a fuller look. If Steven Tyler only wore one necklace at a time, it would be an outrage! A crime against his nature! Because I wanted a little more of the rock-n-roll vibe, I added a mini naja and nugget turquoise choker. That’s the piece that did it. That Three Wolves choker took me from being a nicely dressed Red Dirt dame to THIS IS MY PARTY, PEASANTS. And indeed, it was my party.
Day 4 brought us to Teeling’s Whiskey Distillery. We had rented a private tour and listening room for musicians like Jesse Jennings, Mike Webb, Matt Hillyer and TJ Broscoff to play in. This tour is a perfect example of touring a new studio or record label. You want to look like a professional, not some run-of-the-mill musician who spends more time at the bar than rehearsing and writing.
My suggestion to you is a collared shirt or collared statement jacket. If you came looking to sign with my label and you were in last night’s tee from the dive bar you played in, I’d be extremely apprehensive about the lack of care for yourself. I went ahead and wore my TMP denim button down. It’s not too formal but still collared. An open flannel over a tee will do fine, as well.
Lucky for you, holey jeans are widely appreciated in this scene compared to the looks you’d get at your grandpa’s house. Pairing your collared shirt with some rugged jeans is cool and all, but we want to be elevated from the crowd. I tucked my shirt into white corduroy bell bottoms. If you wanna know a burly, bearded man who rocks the actual hell out of some bell bottoms check out Rio Tripiano. They don’t have to be girly or super flared. The pants will speak for themselves, and you’ll have no problem hearing what they’re saying.
Later that evening we moved to a really cool club for some full band shows. Tramline had a freakin’ sweet green room with a full bar and private viewing of the stage. The stage had security gates but was still intimate enough for fans to get your sweat on them as you shred. Tramline is exactly the place you want to book when you’re bigger than your local bar but not yet ready for Billy Bob’s.
Since I knew this is where we’d end up, I didn’t go too heavy on the accessories. I knew playing punchy music means sweating and flailing. The bell bottoms would do the right job when you undoubtedly kicked that leg up during a guitar solo. The Texas Silver Rush squash blossom would shine in the stage lights without literally choking you out while you head bang. As easily as it’s thrown on, the button down you layered is easily removed. Always think ahead. You never want to be uncomfortable on that stage.
Below is the Tramline stage, hosting Mike McClure in a denim button down and black t-shirt with bassist Caleb Shirtum in an Aztec button down and black graphic tee. I couldn’t have asked for a better real-world example!
(Photo by Rosie Bones photography)
BUT WAIT– We’re not done! This has no fashion importance. Consider it a fun bonus. After Tramline and the Annesley’s pre-game Cowboys party, most of our musicians ended up frantically searching the 2 a.m. Dublin streets for a place to watch the Cowboys football game. With a little sweet talk and firm Texas hand, we got the hotel bar to play the game. I felt it necessary to include this piece because of our darling Texas Country musician Aaron Copeland. If you want to talk about Texas fashion, check out how absolutely awesome Copeland and his adorable girlfriend Bailey Williams matched for the game (and TJ Broscoff both photo and outfit bombed!)
(Cowboys group photos by Bailey Williams and Justin Ross)
1923 Photography: https://www.facebook.com/1923photography/ Instagram: @1923_Photography
Three Wolves Trading Post: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThreeWolvesTrading Instagram: @ThreeWolvesTrading
The Texas Silver Rush: https://thetexassilverrush.com/ Instagram: @The_Texas_Silver_Rush