Help dress me up, please.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    New band plays weddings and corporate events. They don't wear tuxedos, and said they want to up their fashion game and start moving away from the traditional black suits.

    I have to go buy clothes this week.

    When I asked for help they advised me to look at what the Jimmy Fallon band is wearing, or Justin Timberlake. Every picture I see of those guys - they're wearing black suits.

    I know nothing about style. I wear black jeans, black T-shirts, and black boots when I play. I wear jeans and Ts for everything else in my life outside of weddings and funerals.

    I know I can ask the band to be more specific, but I'd rather ask the fine folks at Talkbass first.

    Can you help dress me as stylishly as possible? I know absolutely nothing style in 2017. The last time I bought stylish dress clothes they looked like this....


    I need help.
    robinunit, floydman, DirtDog and 12 others like this.
  2. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I'd consider looking on men's fashion sites for the guys, and then find something you like that is current, but also timeless so you're not hitching your wagon to a fad.

    Then find something that matches for any females (if any) in your group...try out Esquire or Gentleman's Quarterly. I'm seeing a lot of fancy blazers with bow ties on But remember, I wear compression shorts, a t-shirt and running shoes all day, even when meeting with volunteers in casual contexts. So, I'm not your top-line fashionista.

    Mens Style and Fashion 2017 - Latest in Mens Fashion

    This is the sort of thing where I would find someone who is really good at fashion to answer this question for me -- and to get options from them. In one of the bands I was in, there was this guy everyone thought was "metro sexual" -- he could talk about fashion all day. We deferred to him on fashion issues a lot. And what he recommended was usually pretty well received and suitable. Give them some good high level criteria (modern, classy, or flashy) and abandon yourself to their talent.

    Metrosexual - Wikipedia

    I'll be there are a lot of women out there that would love to dress up a band with some cool clothing that fits your criteria, whatever it is. Perhaps some of the spouses of band members, or your friends on facebook.
    BluesOnBass and Joe Nerve like this.
  3. That seems easy since they just wear mainly blazers and button downs. I like the blur the line myself between dressy and casual. (note i wear a lot of hats because my head is a wreck up there, however you won't need that ) :)
  4. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    I usually rock the vest with a tie. It dresses up dark jeans, or works with slacks.
  5. I like the look in the @Jimmy4string pic above (except for the denim, no offense, but some upscale clients are sensitive to this). That's actually pretty close to what you usually see with The Roots on the Tonight Show. Those guys are dressed pretty sharp almost every night, even Quest goes for the jacket and bow tie. And they don't wear black head to toe, which is kind of played out.

    A well-cut blazer and dress slacks and shoes are still recommended, but maybe not black all the time. Jackets in greys, tans, browns, they all work if it's a nice jacket. I'm a fan of sharkskin, which is a shiny wool blend that kind of subtly flip flops a bit in the right light. Think A Bronx Tale, and Fallon often wears it.

    Instead of black or white, get your dress shirts in different shades like plum and royal blue.

    If you're mixing up your shirt and jacket colors, basic black for dress slacks and shoes works.

    In case you do an event where tie is expected, you can coordinate tie colors to your shirt and jacket choice.

    It sounds like you guys are going for a classy semi-formal look with the option to go formal, which is great. Way too much black on black on black out there IMHO.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Don't kid yourself... I'll just leave it at that :).

    This is how I usually roll, with clothes:

    Jimmy4string likes this.
  7. Don't want to wear black? Try charcoal. ;)

    I'd go slacks, nice shoes (go to Johnston and Murphy or Cole Haan and pick something black), oxford in a color like blue (get your size tailored, for example, I'm 16/35 but need adjustments), and a houndstooth or subtle plaid sport coat (go to a Jos. A. Bank or Brooks Brothers). I like a pocket square. You may not.

    But that's how I'd roll in that situation.
    lamarjones and Obese Chess like this.
  8. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Some good ideas above, but your band should have some agreement on what kind of look they are going for. Not matching (oh, hell no !), but you should all look like you belong on the same stage together.
  9. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    First, ignore whatever the latest trend in men's fashion is--it'll change in a year or two, and your band outfits will look dated. Avoid stuff that's particularly loose or tight, wide or narrow, etc...
    Second, keep most of the outfit pretty basic, while using a piece or two to add flair (you are a musician, after all, it doesn't hurt to look the part in a classy way).
    Third, buy quality. If you're on a deadline this will likely be more expensive, since you're not going to have as much time to wait for the right thing to hit the clearance rack.
    Fourth, you seem to be in pretty good physical shape, so don't hide that under a shapeless sack suit. Get what you buy tailored to fit you, this will allow off-the-rack clothing to better accentuate your physical strengths and hide your weak points.

    There are a lot of guides online to how to dress, I'd recommend sticking to the ones that emphasize steadier style, rather than the latest fashion. Dressing the Man is probably the most definitive book on the subject. You're not going to dress entirely according to it, but it does an excellent job explaining traditional men's clothing.
  10. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    Also, even if you go with a single outfit that you wear every gig, you'll want a second option in the summer. What's comfortable in January will likely be miserable in July. Personally, I'd suggest rocking a cream 3-piece linen suit during the summer, but that's me.
    BassManKK likes this.
  11. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    My friends band wears a black suit and black t-shirt.
    Another GB band I know has gone to light gray suits.
  12. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    And what is wrong with your....................... black jeans, black T-shirts, and black boots? Keep wearing 'em!
    DirtDog likes this.
  13. Take a friend shopping with you, get them to assemble an outfit for you that looks really sharp (but appropriate for you), do try on all the clothes they suggest, have them take a photo of you in each outfit. Try at least a dozen complete outfits (for comparison).

    Show your band mates your photos, & discuss what works best for gigs. Buy the best outfit and rock out with class.
  14. Tonic suit. Never goes out of style.
    Fat Freddy and wintremute like this.
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  16. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    Grey suit (or vest) + Black shirt. For more casual gigs, grey vest, black shirt, black pants (or jeans). Kerchief in the pocket is a nice detail. Avoid pleated pants -- flat front, the slimmer the better. Maybe check the Express store at the mall? Their stuff is tailored for a younger, hip look.

  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah they gave you bad examples. Hundreds.of Google pics show JT and that band wearing nothing but black suits.

    These days, form fitting is in (assuming you have the physique to pull it off). The Grey options above look sharp. Also, mix it up with shirt colors.
    Jhengsman, JMacBass65 and pjbassist like this.
  18. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    A good key word. Joe, go do an image search for "Tonic Suit".
  19. BroBro


    Nov 26, 2015
    New Zealand
    A contrasting blazer and pants (might be different words to what you use I live very far away...) always looks good if you want to be classy but not too formal. For more formal just match them, like a proper suit
    Any combo of blues/blacks/greys
  20. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I usually wore a jacket with collared shirt or jacket with a nice dress T shirt under it. I keep it dark in color black , grey or brown. I wore black slacks or dress jeans depending on the jacket. I also like the vest with a t-shirt or dress shirt look as well. I always wear a hat from pork pie, fodera, cabbie to set the look off.
    I always try to look apart from the audience, since I'm playing country now its boots, western shirts distressed jeans and my cowboy hats ..YEE HAW!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017