Exit 111 Fashion

With names from the 80s and 90s and some of metal’s top acts of today, the festival will welcome a unique crowd, no doubt different from Bonnaroo quests.


While the big hair and bigger theatrics, of glam rock flashed then faded, we can still find some suitable fashion choices like to be donned at the festival. 

Headliners Guns N’ Roses were, at their peak, the epitome of cool — attitude, edgy — the perfect combination of Sunset Strip-meets-punk rock that would carry (we thought) the genre well into the nineties. Theirs was a careful combination of crass and costume to become the idols of the early nineties. 

Remember though when planning, while anything goes, it’s important to not look like you’re trying too hard. Understated is cool.

It’s a good thing that Exit 111 Music Festival is in October, because if there is one overriding element to crafting the perfect rocker outfit it’s the color black. Leather jackets, ripped jeans (skinny of course), even the ever-present band T-shirt, there’s only one color that’s cool: black.

Favorite band tee: Find that an old T-shirt from back in the day, or buy one. Distress it, cut the sleeves out of it or make a V-neck slit in the collar. Just whatever you do, make sure it doesn’t look new.

Boots: The choice is varied. Heavy medalists may lean toward a square toe banded Harley boot while those more into  glam rocker scene may look for a cowboy boot. Goths and metal heads will likely want a more industrial boot.

Old combat boots are a great look. Wear covered by jeans or leave the tops unlaced and tuck in your skinny jean cuffs.  

Avoid at all costs athletic sneakers. Chucks or Vans may work in a pinch if you’re punk rock enough or the shoe is distressed.

Accessories: Accessories are the key to the perfect rocker outfit. Scull necklaces (more is better) must be in silver or pewter. Studded wristbands (if you still have yours) are totally cool. And that biker jacket that you couldn’t part with the last time you cleaned out the closet, if it fits, wear it.

Bandana: The single most overlooked rocker accessory is the simple worn, red bandana. Tie it folded around the head or wrist or tuck it into a jean pocket. It’s the devil in the detail that will make a look. 

I would be remised if I didn’t offer some advice on what to avoid.

Big hair: We all cut our hair back in 1996, so that’s not going to be an issue for many, but the teased look didn’t age well. Honestly, it didn’t look cool back then, so skip the wig, put in some hair gel, muss up what hair you have left and rock on.

Animal print/pink spandex: Repeat after me, “I am not David Lee Roth.” If that statement is true, you should probably avoid the leopard print spandex.

Fake tattoos: It’s not Halloween yet, so skip the fake tattoos. Be genuine, besides, those fake tats aren’t going to fool anyone.  

Just remember, to be cool you have to look like you own it. Confidence is key, and above all, rock ’n’ roll.




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