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A rock fan. A thinker. A psychic empath and a channel, a Tarot reader. A polyandrist; The lover of men, kings, and gods. An eternal romance analyzer.  A romantic pervert. Generation X Rebel. A psycho-spiritual life coach.

Fashion is a language, “a look” is a lie

The fashion crimes committed only by the fashionistas

It would be wrong to assume that just because you are unfamiliar with the etiquette of another culture, sub-cultures included, that there isn’t one. What is in common to all sub cultures is that you do not dress in their clothing unless you share their ideals and belief systems.

Every real rock fan and I am sure every punk fan, every goth, and every member of a sub culture have seen this happen; someone turning up at a show, an event, or a club wearing a get up you’d NEVER see a hint of otherwise. These people who gleefully post tutorials on “how to dress to a rock concert” or “how to create that ‘rock chick look‘” 1)Every rocker and metal head that followed that link and watched the first 15 seconds of it just vomited in their mouth a little. The fashionistas always fuck this up, the lipstick most commonly. on YouTube blissfully oblivious to the fact that a rock show is not a fucking costume party.

Normally, nobody from the inner circle would actually say this out loud, because explaining this out loud to an outsider is a… Not entirely the done thing. Achieving the right look is an intuitive process and if you can’t figure it out on your own it simply means you don’t get any of it, as what it looks like is the easy part.

When a non-rock fanatic with no other sub culture alignments attends a rock concert, the socially correct “look” to go for is smart casual in jeans. Something like this. NO embellishments that you wouldn’t know what they mean to you on a deeper level should someone happen to ask. Rockers are philosophical, so if you happen to wear something interesting, they might want to hear the story behind your accessory, and if there isn’t anything but “I just like it”, they’re going to be bitterly disappointed. Although no rocker actually puts that much thought to what they wear, if you’d ask them why they wear this piece or that, they’d have an answer for you, even though they pick their pieces intuitively rather than “to achieve a deliberate look”. Each piece says something about the wearer, so if you expect to blend in by wearing “the right stuff”, you’ve got that one figured out wrong. If you want to be left alone and to not offend anyone, jeans and a T or other simple shirt will be the right thing to wear. Dressing in rock gear to a rock show when you don’t really listen to rock otherwise is about as big of a faux pax as female guests wearing white to a wedding. Dressing heavy metal to a rock concert if your primary genre is heavy metal is fine. You can come in wearing disco get up if you like, as long as disco is what you love.

I hear an objection from the crowd: “But what’s the fun if you can’t dress up to a rock show in rock gear anyway?” If the clothes are your only form of fun, attend costume parties where dressing as who you are not is the entire point of the party, but these crowds want to see you wear something that means something to you personally, or they want to see no personality at all if you prefer it that way, but nothing fake, ever. If you want to have fun at a rock show (or any other sub culture event where individualism is a high value, gothic events in particular) with fashion, figure out which pieces in your closet say the most about who you are as an individual and wear that, even if you’d wind up looking like your closet just vomited on you. There’s nothing more rock or goth than that. Wear your pain, wear your love, or wear your experiences… But in most cases, if you don’t want to cause a major scene… But fashion is NEVER the point of these events, therefore, only talk about what you wear if you’re asked. If unsure, go with blue jeans and something you’d normally pair with them, something you’re comfortable in. A leather jacket would be about as rock as you’re allowed if you’re not really a fan.

In individualistic sub cultures, you are more than permitted to mix and match stuff, but you have to know why you’re doing it. This morning, I woke up to a scene in my head in which I was at a flea market and someone told me they “know just the thing that would go with your poncho”. I had just been talking about the girl friend -thing of “the it-girl showing the tragic fashion victim how to dress to make them a part of the crowd” and I think she wanted to do me a favor and show me how to dress like a real hippy. So… I corrected her on her misconception. “I am not a hippy, therefore, I do not wear a complete 100% hippy outfit. I honor the nostalgia of the 60’s ideology of free love, drugs sex and rock n’ roll, but I barely listen to psychedelic rock, nor am I in any way aligned to the modern hippy ideals of natural living and ‘being a feral’ as we derogate them in Tasmania, therefore, I cannot wear a full hippy outfit. It has to have rock elements to it in order to be authentic.” She was asking for the wedge shoes (that I have always hated with venom) and flower bandanas, and I’m like “what do you take me for, and who are you to educate people on sub culture fashion, you probably think real flappers wore a fringe dress, too, don’t you?” I do have a flower choker, but I would never combine it to the poncho because that would be too hippy, but I might wear the flower choker with a biker jacket instead, to make a note of my very gentle, approachable heart, while I still have that tough exterior of a freaking warrior. And trust you me, signs like these are not missed by the gentle hearts in rock, either, no matter how many layers of black or red leather they’re wearing.


References   [ + ]

1. Every rocker and metal head that followed that link and watched the first 15 seconds of it just vomited in their mouth a little. The fashionistas always fuck this up, the lipstick most commonly.
2. But I should point out that hair metal is a derogatory term and not a real genre of metal. What they mean is glam rock, heavy rock, or hard rock, the piss-weak genres of metal, or rock, to be more accurate, that I personally love, but we’d never call it “hair metal” ourselves. Funk metal and love metal are also self-labels of bands who would fall under “hair metal” bands by someone’s standards. Even though we’re all for love for each metal head and rocker alike, I still derogate some bands as “pantyhose rockers” myself… Hey, you gotta know what you stand for in this crowd! This is no place for snowflakes!

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