What to Wear to a Drag Show: A Guide for All Occasions

Attending a drag show can be a thrilling, exciting, and empowering experience for people of all genders and ages. Drag shows have a rich history and have become a celebrated form of entertainment around the world. While drag queens and kings are known for their extravagant outfits and makeup, many attendees are left wondering: What should I wear to a drag show? In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about dressing for a drag show, including understanding drag show attire, dressing for different types of shows, outfit ideas for attendees, and tips for dressing respectfully.

Understanding Drag Show Attire

When it comes to drag show attire, the sky’s the limit. Drag performers often go above and beyond when it comes to their outfits, incorporating bold colors, glitter, and elaborate accessories. Drag fashion is rooted in a history of pushing boundaries, challenging societal norms, and expressing one’s identity. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dressing for a drag show, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind.

The History of Drag Show Fashion

The history of drag fashion is vast and nuanced, dating back to the 1800s in both Europe and the United States. Drag queens and kings often used clothing as a form of rebellion against societal norms and expectations. From the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to the drag balls of the 1980s, drag performers have used clothing to express their identities, challenge gender norms, and make powerful statements.

In the 1920s, drag queens in Harlem began to dress in flamboyant clothing and perform in clubs and speakeasies. They often wore dresses and skirts, high heels, wigs, and makeup. The goal was to express their femininity and challenge the traditional gender roles of the time. These performers were often met with violence and discrimination, but they persisted in their pursuit of self-expression.

In the 1960s and 1970s, drag fashion continued to evolve. The Stonewall riots of 1969 marked a turning point in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and drag performers played a significant role in the protests. They wore clothing that was bold, colorful, and attention-grabbing, drawing attention to the cause and making a statement about their identities.

By the 1980s, drag balls had become a popular form of entertainment and self-expression within the LGBTQ+ community. These events were elaborate competitions where drag performers would compete in categories like “Evening Wear” and “Femme Queen Realness.” The outfits were often over-the-top and theatrical, with performers incorporating everything from feathers and sequins to elaborate headpieces and masks.

The Importance of Dressing Appropriately

When attending a drag show, it’s essential to dress appropriately for the occasion. Dressing up shows respect for the performers and the art form. A drag show is not the place for casual attire like flip flops, shorts, or a t-shirt. Instead, consider dressing up in your most fabulous outfit that makes you feel confident, comfortable, and ready to have a great time.

Remember, a drag show is a celebration of self-expression and creativity. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your outfit and incorporate bold colors and accessories. Whether you’re attending a small local show or a large-scale production, dressing up is a great way to show your support for the performers and the LGBTQ+ community.

Dressing for Different Types of Drag Shows

Drag shows have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people attending these events to experience the energy and excitement of drag performances. Whether you’re a seasoned attendee or a first-timer, it’s important to dress appropriately for the occasion. Here are some tips on how to dress for different types of drag shows:

Traditional Drag Shows

A traditional drag show typically features one or more performers in costume lip-synching to popular songs, with occasional comedy routines or audience interactions. For these shows, it’s best to dress up in your favorite party clothes, whether it’s a sequined dress or a tailored suit. You want to look your best while enjoying the show. It’s important to remember that the performers on stage have put a lot of effort into their costumes and makeup, so it’s essential to show respect for their craft.

While dressing up is encouraged, it’s also important to consider the venue and the type of show you’re attending. If the show is at a small bar or club, you may want to opt for more comfortable shoes, as you’ll likely be standing for most of the performance. If the show is at a larger venue, you may want to dress up a bit more and wear shoes that you can dance in comfortably.

Themed Drag Shows

Themed drag shows offer a chance to explore specific eras, cultures, or styles. These shows are an opportunity to get creative with your outfit and match the theme of the evening. If the theme is “disco inferno,” for example, consider wearing a glittery jumpsuit or platform shoes with a sequined blazer. You can also accessorize with fun and funky jewelry or hair accessories to complete your look.

When attending a themed drag show, it’s important to do your research beforehand to ensure that you’re dressing appropriately for the theme. You don’t want to show up to a “70s disco” themed show wearing a cowboy hat and boots!

Drag Brunches and Daytime Events

Drag brunches and daytime events provide a more relaxed atmosphere to enjoy drag performances while sipping on mimosas. For these events, you can opt for a more casual outfit like a sundress or jeans with a fun top. It’s important to remember that, even though the atmosphere is more casual, it’s still essential to dress up and show respect for the performers.

You can also consider accessorizing with fun and funky sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat to complete your daytime look. It’s important to remember that these events often take place outdoors, so dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.

Drag Pageants and Competitions

Drag pageants and competitions are high-stakes events that feature performers competing for titles and prizes. These shows often require a more formal dress code, such as cocktail attire or formalwear. It’s essential to research the dress code beforehand and dress to impress.

You can also consider accessorizing with statement jewelry or a clutch purse to complete your formal look. It’s important to remember that these events are often held in large venues, so wear comfortable shoes that you can stand and walk in for an extended period.

Overall, dressing for a drag show is all about having fun and expressing yourself. Whether you’re attending a traditional drag show or a themed event, make sure to dress appropriately for the occasion and show respect for the performers on stage.

Outfit Ideas for Attendees

Embracing Bold Colors and Patterns

When attending a drag show, don’t be afraid to embrace bold colors and patterns. After all, drag performers often use these elements to express their identity and make a statement. Consider wearing bright colors, metallic fabrics, or fun patterns like leopard print or polka dots. Incorporating these elements into your outfit can make you feel bolder and more confident.

For those who want to take it up a notch, try mixing and matching patterns and colors. For example, you could pair a bright red shirt with a leopard print skirt or wear a metallic dress with bold, colorful accessories. The key is to have fun and experiment with different combinations.

Incorporating Statement Accessories

Accessories are an essential part of any drag outfit, and they can elevate your ensemble too. When choosing accessories, consider statement pieces like oversized jewelry, colorful wigs, and bold hats. These elements can add a playful and adventurous element to your outfit.

If you’re feeling daring, try incorporating some drag-inspired accessories into your outfit. For example, you could wear a feather boa, a glittery tiara, or a pair of oversized sunglasses. These accessories can help you channel your inner drag queen and make a bold statement.

Balancing Comfort and Style

While it’s essential to dress to impress, it’s equally important to prioritize comfort when attending a drag show. Drag shows can be loud, crowded, and long, so it’s essential to wear something that you feel comfortable in, whether it’s comfortable shoes or breathable clothing.

One way to balance comfort and style is to opt for comfortable yet stylish footwear. For example, you could wear a pair of sneakers with a colorful dress or a pair of flats with a bold jumpsuit. Alternatively, you could choose clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to ensure that you stay cool and comfortable throughout the show.

Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and express yourself. Whether you choose to go all out with bold colors and accessories or keep it simple and comfortable, the key is to be confident and embrace your unique style.

Tips for Dressing Respectfully

Attending a drag show is an exciting and unique experience that allows you to express yourself through your fashion choices. However, it’s essential to remember that dressing respectfully is crucial to show support for the performers and the LGBTQ+ community. Here are some tips to keep in mind when getting dressed for a drag show.

Avoiding Cultural Appropriation

One crucial aspect of dressing respectfully is avoiding cultural appropriation. It’s important to be mindful of the cultural significance of certain styles, patterns, and accessories and avoid appropriating them for fashion purposes. Doing so can be hurtful and disrespectful to the cultures from which they originated. If you are unsure if something you wear might be cultural appropriation, do some research or ask a trusted friend for advice.

Instead, try incorporating elements of your own culture or personal style into your outfit. This can be a great way to show your support for the performers while still being respectful.

Respecting Performers’ Personal Space

Another essential aspect of dressing respectfully is respecting the performers’ personal space. While it may be tempting to touch or grab at their costumes or accessories, it’s important to remember that these performers work hard to put on a show. Just like any other professional performer, they deserve respect and privacy.

Instead, show your support by cheering and applauding during the performance. This can be a great way to show your appreciation without invading their personal space.

Being Mindful of Dress Codes

Before attending a drag show, it’s crucial to research the dress code and adhere to it. Some events require formal wear, while others may be more casual. It’s also important to remember that some venues may have additional dress code requirements, such as no hats or headwear.

By following the dress code, you can show your respect for the performers and the venue. It also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the experience and feel like a part of the community.

Embracing Bold Colors and Patterns

Drag shows are all about self-expression, so don’t be afraid to embrace bold colors and patterns in your outfit. This can be a great way to show your support for the performers and the LGBTQ+ community. Try incorporating rainbow colors or other bold patterns into your outfit to show your support.

Incorporating Statement Accessories

Accessories can be a great way to show your support for the performers and add some extra flair to your outfit. Try incorporating statement accessories like bold earrings, necklaces, or bracelets to add some extra sparkle to your look. Just remember to be respectful and avoid appropriating cultural accessories.

Balancing Comfort and Style

While it’s important to dress respectfully and show your support for the performers, it’s also essential to balance comfort and style. Drag shows can be long events, so make sure you wear something that you feel comfortable in for the duration of the show.

Try wearing comfortable shoes and breathable fabrics to ensure that you can fully enjoy the experience without feeling uncomfortable or restricted.

By understanding drag show attire, dressing for different types of shows, embracing bold colors and patterns, incorporating statement accessories, balancing comfort and style, and dressing respectfully, you can make the most out of your drag show experience. Remember, a drag show is an opportunity to celebrate yourself and others, so dress up and have fun!

Katie Sophia

Hey there! I'm Katie Sophia - your go-to gal for all things style at WhatKatieWore.com. With a love for fashion and a knack for picking the perfect outfit, I'm here to make dressing for any event a breeze. I believe in looking fabulous without the fuss. Join me as we conquer the fashion world one outfit at a time!

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