What to Wear to a Country Concert, According to a Stylist

Cowboy boots aren't necessary, but they're strongly encouraged.

What to Wear to a Country Concert
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When I was a college freshman, I saw Dierks Bentley with my brother-in-law at the PNC Arts Center in New Jersey. It was summertime, and I was much more concerned about surviving the East Coast heat than I was about what to wear to a country concert. I don't remember the outfit I landed on; it was likely more functional than it was fashionable.

I know now that a happy medium exists — that I can look cute and dress according to the weather forecast. I also now have a very specific outfit in mind when I think about what to wear to a country concert in the future. It consists of a white V-neck tank top, distressed denim shorts, calf-grazing cowboy boots, and a blue checkered flannel tied around my waist. A tad stereotypical, I know, but I've been looking to Luke Bryan and Tim McGraw music videos for inspiration, and I dig the vibe. Plus, I'll use any excuse to wear plaid.

Of course, wearing flannel to a country concert isn't mandatory (just highly recommended). If gingham isn't your go-to, but you're headed to a show, personal stylist Christina Stein has you covered. Ahead, she breaks down her top three star components to southern style in 2022. Wear any or a combination of these three elements to your next country concert and you're sure to make a statement.

Sneak In Some Fringe Details

What to Wear to a Country Concert
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Fringe has been having a moment for quite some time now, with celebrities like Selena Gomez and Bella Hadid incorporating the tassel detail into their wardrobes. Fringe was also hot on the runways this year (see Austalian designer Zimmerman, luxury outlet Etro, luxury ready-to-wear brand Jonathan Simkhai, and Italian designer Alberta Ferretti for reference), but don't let its cameo in couture fool you. Stein says the embellishment can be Down Home and is making quite a statement at country concerts.

"You can have fringe on your boots, denim jacket or top, handbag, or a statement belt to wear over your shorts," she says when speaking about the trend. "The possibilities are endless — and it gives texture and personality to even the simplest look."

Rock a Pair of Cowboy Boots

What to Wear to a Country Concert
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Cliché though it may sound, riddle me this: What is a country concert without cowboy boots? Incomprehensible, that's what.

This footwear option has been popping up everywhere, and celebrities have also been seen rocking the trend with casual, everyday outfits (no country concert required). Back in April, Emily Ratajkowski was spotted taking her son for a stroll down the streets of Mahattan in a pair of cowboy boots from Zara. Shopping editors are also fans of a heeled pair from Larroudé, the shoe, handbag, and clothing brand approved by Jill Biden, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Vanessa Hudgens.

"They add a little edge to softer silhouettes," Stein says when suggesting what to wear with cowboy boots. "Denim daisy dukes and boots are classic pieces to wear, but don't forget that your boots can also be worn with a dress or a romper!"

Top Off Your Look With A Cowboy Hat

What to Wear to a Country Concert
Getty Images

While another stereotypical accessory associated with all things southern, celebrities and high-end designers have definitely been making the case for cowboy hats over the past year.

Beyonce, for example, rocked a blue cowboy hat in a promo for her clothing brand, Ivy Park, on Instagram late last summer (with a fringe facemask and chunky white sneakers to boot), while Jennnifer Lopez was photographed wearing head-to-toe Ralph Lauren at the 2021 Met Gala, complete with a distressed brown cowboy hat. The accessory also peppered the runways this year, with designers from Kim Shui to Gucci, giving in to the Y2K Western staple.

But how can you wear a cowboy hat to a country concert without looking like a walking cliché? Stein says attention to detail is key.

"Instead of doing the typical neutral colors, go with bright colors and some hot accessories like feathers or chains," she tells InStyle. "This will really bring your personal edge to the look. Be bold."

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