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What to wear? (Read 18370 times)

Offline pianogal86

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What to wear?
« on: April 01, 2004, 12:41:38 AM »
Is there a common dress code for accompanists?  I am doing my first "real" accompanying job and am unsure what the situation demands.

In competition, what is appropriate to wear?  Sometimes I get sick of wearing all black (as most people do in my area) and feel rather morbid.  Is there anything wrong with wearing a beautiful, springy outfit instead of the usual black?  

PianoGal
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the pragmatist would call useless. "
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Offline Bob

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #1 on: April 01, 2004, 01:15:03 AM »
I think you stay as conservative as you can.  I once saw an accompanist in a big, poofy dress that was more extravagant then what the soloist was wearing.  It looked awkward.  Nobody notices the accompanist unless they screw up.  The audience is probably there to hear the soloist more than the accompanist.  People do take note of an accompanist when they've built up a reputation though.  

Maybe try a different type of black dress?

You could check with the soloist and see what that person thinks.  I know some female performers who color-coordinate their clothing with the performance space, the instrument, or their accompanist.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline xenon

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #2 on: April 01, 2004, 03:03:33 AM »
Yeah, try to stay in the background.  Though, sometimes, if I don't like the person I'm accompanying, I'll dress up better than them.  A common arrangement I wear when accompanying my friend is:

Me: Black suit, black turtle neck, black socks, black shoes, etc
Friend: White tuxedo shirt, black pants, etc

That way, I stay subdued in dark tones, and his white shirt makes him stand out.
You can't spell "Bach" without "ach"
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Offline Daevren

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #3 on: April 01, 2004, 03:31:44 AM »
If I had to wear a suit I wouldn't play...


Offline comme_le_vent

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #4 on: April 01, 2004, 04:24:30 AM »
dress codes are bullcrap, they are one of the reasons people are put off classical music.
i just wear the most comfortable clothes i have, all the time, no matter what the occasion im wearing a sweater and sweatpants, not that i do much sweating  :P
http://www.chopinmusic.net/sdc/

Great artists aim for perfection, while knowing that perfection itself is impossible, it is the driving force for them to be the best they can be - MC Hammer

Xelles

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #5 on: April 01, 2004, 05:00:49 AM »
Meh, if there was no such thing as dignity, I'd do all performances butt-naked.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #6 on: April 01, 2004, 10:11:24 AM »
Daevron is right - I see this all the time in recitals - these guys wearing suit coats (usually a size too small) and it looks really uncomfortable, mainly because I keep thinking it would make moving more difficult.  I would think a nice (not cheesy) turtleneck and slacks would be more comfortable and look just fine to me.  BTW I HATE tan suits, and for some reason pianists really like them.  puke.
So much music, so little time........

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #7 on: April 01, 2004, 01:15:59 PM »
Follow in the footsteps of Maksim with leather hand wraps, leather vest only, leather arm bands, leather pants, leather underwear.. ;D

Wouldn't it be great and fun to wear yellow and black while playing flite of the bumble bee?  Or better yet, a bumble bee costume! :D

But what is important is to know your audience.
If they are old and the piece is "classical" then stick with the basic drab atire.  But if it is a somewhat hip crowd, you can be more casual.  But I would warn that your outfit shouldn't distract your playing!  Unless your playing sucks.  Then be as distracting as possible! 8)

Offline Bob

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #8 on: April 01, 2004, 11:23:18 PM »
I think black and white has a classic look -- not stuffy or old at all.  The clothes are just a frame for the person.

An impressive accompanist is one who stays in the background and provides solid support.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline xenon

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #9 on: April 02, 2004, 06:21:24 AM »
True, comfort is also key.  I only wear a full suit for accompanying.  Usually, accompanist-type music is easier than soloist repertoire, so I don't mind.  However, when I solo, I usually wear a sweater or turttleneck and dress pants.

However, one should not insult classical music with innapropriate clothing.  That stuff is reserved for pop and rock and whatnot.  ;)
You can't spell "Bach" without "ach"
-Xenon

Offline anda

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #10 on: April 02, 2004, 01:00:22 PM »
when i have to accompany someone on stage (and i have to do it quite often) i prefer black trousers, high heels and a shirt or an elegant but simple blouse in one colour. also, i feel very comfortable in trousers - i don't know about you.

Offline Daevren

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #11 on: April 02, 2004, 02:42:49 PM »
"However, one should not insult classical music with innapropriate clothing.  "

Huh? Its that stupid culture stuff that limits people.

Where is the insult? You only insult the elite people that come there not for the music buf for being the elite.

Offline comme_le_vent

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #12 on: April 02, 2004, 06:21:25 PM »
exactly

the only thing besides comfort that should come into your mind - is distraction , try not to be too distracting from the music itself - i wear black sweats.
http://www.chopinmusic.net/sdc/

Great artists aim for perfection, while knowing that perfection itself is impossible, it is the driving force for them to be the best they can be - MC Hammer

Offline bitus

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #13 on: April 02, 2004, 08:28:46 PM »
The purpose of us playing the piano is not to show how good we are, but to show how nice piece that composer wrote. Therefore, dress so that you don't put the light on yourself, but also stay at the high standards of the audience. I would go for classical style tuxedo in most recital circumstances...
The Bitus.
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Offline anda

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #14 on: April 03, 2004, 05:24:57 PM »
Quote
The purpose of us playing the piano is not to show how good we are, but to show how nice piece that composer wrote. Therefore, dress so that you don't put the light on yourself, but also stay at the high standards of the audience. I would go for classical style tuxedo in most recital circumstances...
The Bitus.


i'll second that!

yes, there are outfits that can get the public to watch you instead of listening to what you're playing! 2 examples (i have seen with my own eyes):

1. a young violinist (female) - playing brahms, very good looking, wearing a red very tight dress, deep clivage and all... after the concert, all (male) violinists i asked "what do you think about the concert" could only answer "she's sooo hot!"; also, male violinists in the orchestra sitting just behind her could take their eyes from her ... (i'm old fashioned, i think they should have been looking at the score :)

2. a not so young pianist (also female, i guess women are proned to dressing inapopriated) dressed as for carnival playing beethoven 1st - when she entered the stage the public didn't immediately applaused - they first checked to see if it's not the genitor coming to move the piano :)

Shagdac

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #15 on: April 04, 2004, 08:42:55 AM »
I think you need to take several things into consideration....Where you are playing...is it a wedding, anniversary party, somber event, etc. What kind of dress is expected of everyone else? Is this a serious affair, or more of a party atmosphere. Are you being hired to accompany? If so, I would ask what type of attire they would like you to wear. If not, I would wear something comfortable, but by all means not something where you will stick out like a "sore thumb". I don't think you necessary have to stick to solid black, but I would show up in a bright yellow/ dress with hugo flowers either. I think common sence will dictate what you wear, and when in doubt, simply ask whomever you are playing for what would be most acceptable. You may be able to go for a more "springy" colour, however keep the design of the dress simply and CLASSY....nothing to low cut or slit too high. Moderation is the key, unless you WANT to make a statement!
Hope this helps....just my opinion.

Shag :)

Offline Sketchee

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #16 on: April 04, 2004, 07:06:31 PM »
Quote
Is there a common dress code for accompanists?  I am doing my first "real" accompanying job and am unsure what the situation demands.

In competition, what is appropriate to wear?  Sometimes I get sick of wearing all black (as most people do in my area) and feel rather morbid.  Is there anything wrong with wearing a beautiful, springy outfit instead of the usual black?  

PianoGal


I think a woman can successfully wear a number of different types of dresses as long as it's something simple. A simple white, cream or navy blue dress would be perfectly fine, IMHO.  If you really want color, a black skirt with a colored blouse would be perfectly appropriate.  It does also depend on what type of performance this is and the level of formality expected.  I've seen women in orchestras wear all kinds of gowns while the men are still typically in the traditional black or black and white.

Although I would wear formal wear to my concerts and recitals, I wear other colors and it's fine with my professors as long as its formal.  Discuss your clothing with the soloist(s) prior to the event.  If they're fine with your clothing then great. The soloist may want to coordinate with your color scheme for unity's sake.
Sketchee
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Offline trunks

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #17 on: April 09, 2004, 11:41:53 PM »
Comfort comes No.1 in my criteria. No.2 is that any outfit should not hinder the performance. No.3 are neatness and tidyness.

A shirt with a necktie/bow-tie should do fine. During hot, sticky summers, a short-sleeved shirt should also do fine.

I never, ever go for the suit/tuxedo thing. I could never figure out why people out there are so much after that sort of stupid, outdated tradition. They're clumsy, hot and downright uncomfortable on any occasion, let alone a recital. A recital or accompaniment requires adroit, delicate movements in the arms and fingers. Such movements can be significantly impaired by wearing clumsy things.

So why not let's go the comfy way? After all a recital is to be appreciated by the ears not the eyes!
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline bernhard

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Re: What to wear?
«Reply #18 on: April 10, 2004, 01:35:30 AM »
I agree with Peter HK.

A few years ago, on the wake of the "Shine" success, they had a documentary with David Helfgott on TV, and his concert attire seemed excellent. It was very elegant and yet very comfortable. It was a "Chinese style" silk shirt with long sleeves and very loose. It was at once formal and free.
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