January 13, 2015

Ask a Metalhead: On Metal Concert Fashion Choices

Ask a Metalhead, Kvlt Fashion, Tr00 Metal Life

50s dress beserk

Dear Steff

I have a question, please. I have recently made public that I am a Metal Maiden, and even just came to accept that part of myself after denying it for so long for various reasons – mostly because of religious pressure around me. I have started attending Metal concerts, but I feel like I am viewed as a freak among the participants.

I love Metal (particularly Symphonic, Power, Battle, and even Pirate). I don’t own ANY band t-shirts, and my preferred style of dress is vintage/Pin-up (red lips, cat-eye eyeliner, wiggle dresses, etc.). I’m coming back into the dating scene and would like to meet someone who also enjoys Metal, but I wonder if male Metalheads don’t take me seriously when they see me headbanging in the Mosh Pit with heels on or sitting at a table at a concert enjoying the show just as much as they are.

I have nothing against band t-shirts and jeans, and I wear everyday clothes too, but I feel the standard look is just not for me. I feel like good, genuine metalhead guys aren’t even giving me a second thought because of the way I look, and not taking a chance to get to know me and let me get to know them. Is this normal? Am I being perceived in a negative context, and really have to change something I like just to get a male metalhead to notice me and even see what is on the inside?


50s dress beserk

Awesome Restyle 50s pin-up dress from Beserk – $79.

You go in the mosh pit in heels? That is seriously badass. I can’t even walk down stairs in heels.

Having not being to any of the shows in question and seeing peoples’ reactions to your clothing or talking to them myself, I can’t presume to know what exactly the metalheads in your town are thinking.

What I can say is that, in general, this is a very accepting scene. And, in general, metalheads are kind of used to being judged by their clothing, and so they tend to be pretty accepting of anyone heading along to a show as long as they’re into the music.

I stress in general because there are always knobheads in every scene, but once you become a familiar face in the crowd at local shows, people just tend to see your face and your hair flying through the air instead of your clothing choices.

A lot of metal guys I’ve talk to actually prefer a girl who dresses pretty instead of in jeans and a black t-shirt. Your style probably makes you stand out from the crowd at a show – I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re being checked out frequently. What you perceive as standoffishness about your clothing choices is probably insecurity about walking over and talking to you.

Maybe try an experiment – go to a show one night in jeans and a metal t-shirt. Are things actually any different? I’d be surprised if they are.

Metalhead guys are often the shy, socially awkward, slightly geeky dudes who’ve never had that many girlfriends. I am shy and socially awkward, which is probably why I feel so at home in this scene. They are not used to talking to girls, especially girls who might challenge their preconceptions – such as a pretty girl in a dress at a show. They are probably thinking, “There’s a super pretty girl over there, and she looks like she’s really into the music. But look at me! I’m such a geek. There’s no way a girl like that would ever be interested in me!”

Concerts are often a hard place to meet new people, because it is loud and everyone is there to hear the band, so they don’t exactly want to sit in the bar and have a meaningful conversation. Which leaves what option, exactly? I don’t really know. I’ve made a few friends by going really early to shows, getting on the barrier at the front of the stage, and talking to people around me. There’s also soundcheck, changeover between bands, and milling around in the parking lot waiting for the gates to open.

Instead of waiting for people to approach you, strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you, or while you’re waiting in line at the bar. Ask them how often they’ve seen the headlining band, or what their favourite album is, or tell them you like their t-shirt. In my scientific analysis of this exchange, 60% of the time this conversation will die quietly, 30% of the time you’ll have a fun exchange with a fellow metalhead, and 10% of the time you’ll make a new, lifelong friend.

Or, chat to girls in the bathroom. Girls often travel in packs and will appreciate your outfit. You can hang out with them and then they can introduce you to their guy friends. Bingo!

If you see someone wandering around the library or hanging out at the local cafe wearing a band t-shirt, comment on it. I’ve made several friends this way, even wearing non-metal attire. Also, pursuing hobbies that you’re interested in that other metalheads also enjoy, learning an instrument, Viking and Medieval re-enactment, occult reading groups, etc …

And remember, if someone is snubbing you because you don’t conform to their specific fashion standards – whether those standards are tank tops and miniskirts, or jeans and black t-shirts – they are not worth your precious time. After all, you want to date a someone who respects you for who you are, inside and out, and if a person can’t be bothered to get to know you because you aren’t wearing the right uniform, screw ’em. Wear what you want and what makes you feel comfortable and fabulous – the tr00 people in your life will respect and celebrate you for it.

Be yourself and be utterly unapologetic about it \m/ That is the only metal way.

Do you have any advice or ideas for this fashion-conscious reader? I turn the comments over to you guys!

2 Comments on “Ask a Metalhead: On Metal Concert Fashion Choices

January 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

I agree with the part that if someone is judging you because of your clothing, you shouldn’t waste your time on them. So just dress the way you want to dress.

But I beg to differ that metalheads are often shy, socially awkward, slightly geeky. It might be becuase I live in a country with quite alot metalheads compared to some other countries, but I’ve noticed that there is all kinds of metalheads.
There’s shy and geeky people, playboys who get every girl they want, intolerant assholes, people who never dress like a metalhead etc etc. They can be the nicest people in the world, but they can also be the ones that are going to hurt you the most, and that’s something I can say from experience. Shortly said: there’s not such thing as a typical metalhead. There’s all kinds of people that like metal music.
I advice you to not choose your company based solely on their taste in music. Of course it’s great if you and the love of your life enjoy similiar music, but it shouldn’t be the most important thing. Look into the person they are inside. Some of my best friends don’t listen to metal at all.
And on meeting guys at gigs: you’ll seldom get to know anyone if you don’t talk to people. If you are going to wait for someome to come to you, you are going to wait for the rest of your life. So just try to pick a discussion with someone about anything. If it gets awkward, just go away. You are going to have to go through alot of people to find the ones that you really get along with, metalhead or not.

January 13, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Pretty much 100% what JypeK just said. There are all sorts of metalheads. What I really meant, I think, was not so much that most metalheads are shy (which is not specifically the case – we come in all types!), but more that what you read as an attitude is just as likely to be shyness as it is to be deliberate assholery.

And about looking at what people are like inside is definitely true. It’s nice to have friends to go to concerts with, but it’s not the be all of enjoying the music. Look to all sorts of people to befriend – you have something to learn from everyone :)

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