How to Dress Like a Metal Head
The great genre of Metal has lasted longer than everything except Rock 'n' Roll. For forty years, Metal fans around the world have not only been listening to Metal, but they've embraced a culture of anti-fashion and anti-commercialism. Modern Metal styles rooted from the Classic Metalheads who listened to the Early Heavy Metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, etc. Heavy Metal evolved from blues and psychedelic rock (hippie music). Thus, the Metal culture has some roots in the hippie movement of the 60s.
Be aware that Metal is a great work of art. It doesn't matter how Metal you look, if you don't understand or respect Metal, then you're a poser. You must understand and appreciate Metal before you try to be a Metalhead. A well-groomed businessman in a suit talking about all kinds of Death Metal and Black Metal bands, guitarists, and vocalists is unquestionably more Metal than a guy who looks Metal, but only listens to Linkin Park.
Get the Metal Head hair. As for hair, the traditional Metalhead has long hair. However, male Metalheads get more leeway in how their hair is.
- Haircuts that are not metal include mohawks, bihawks, liberty spikes, "scene kid" hair, or "emo" fringe.
- Examples of haircuts that a Metalhead would include long hair, dreadlocks, short hair (Scott Hull), or shaven bald.
- Beards can also assist in making one look metal.
- Don't dye your hair if you're a guy. If you're a girl and you insist on dying your hair, dye it a natural-looking color.
Learn about the hats. Hats aren't preferable in Metal culture. But if you insist on wearing one, it's suggested that you wear a band hat, a camo hat, or dull or dark-colored hat, preferably old-looking. If hunting is a common activity in your area, bright orange hats are fine, too. Unless you listen to nu-metal (in which case, you should prepare to be called a poser by many Metalheads), it's suggested that you avoid brightly-colored hats that a hip-hop fan might wear, as they'd make you look like a nu-metal fan.
Wear a black band shirt. It is strongly recommended that you wear a shirt from a band that you actually like to listen to, as people could start a conversation with you about the band, and you will look like a poser, if you don't know what they're talking about.
Dress according to the weather. If you want to dress warmly for cold weather, the preferable option would be a black leather jacket, or a denim jacket, if you're into Thrash Metal from the 80s. Darkly-colored work jackets can also be metal to some degree. Bright orange jackets with camo-like designs aren't really Metal, but they're acceptable if you live in a rural area, or any area where hunting is a relatively common activity. If you want to look like an old-fashioned Metalhead, you could wear a "battle jacket," which is a leather or denim vest or jacket with band patches sewn onto it. You can buy band patches from most websites that sell the band's T-shirts, especially from the store of the record company.
Wear the right pants. Jeans, camouflage, or casual khaki pants are preferable. Most styles will work fine as long as it's not too bright or flashy. Avoid tight-fitting pants, unless you are going for an 80s thrash metal look. More specifically, if you listen to a lot of Death Metal, Grindcore, Goregrind, etc. you can express that by wearing casual khaki pants (green, khaki, gray, etc.) or camo pants. If your musical preference is Black metal, you can obviously express that by wearing black jeans or black pants of some kind. If you listen to a lot of 80s Thrash/Doom/Glam Metal, you should wear denim jeans, preferably somewhat faded.
Learn about the belts. Contrary to what you might think, you don't need a spiked or studded or bullet covered belt. If you like them, then sure, go ahead but if you don't, just any belt that isn't too brightly colored will do, if you need one that is.
Wear the right shoes. Shoes aren't really too much of a deal, you can wear any kind of sneakers, or skate shoes will work. Boots are a bit more of a metalhead thing though, so if you really want to look metal, maybe get a pair. Black steel toes or leather "biker" boots are preferable.
- Unless you're a Black Metal fan, lay off the makeup. And make sure you can do the makeup right to avoid looking scene. Also, just because you're a black Metal fan , you don't have to walk around in the street or office every day wearing full corpse paint, spikes, and inverted crosses. It's suggested that you save the accessories for concerts.
- Female Metalheads, known as Metal Chicks, get more leeway in the fashion department, since looking grungy, or like a Viking is somewhat difficult for a woman to pull off. While they only need the band T-shirt to look Metal (unlike their male counterparts), it is acceptable to wear denim, camo, khaki, or plaid skirts. They may borrow elements from 80s Fashion or the punk culture. It's acceptable for a metal chick to wear some makeup as long as it looks either punky, natural. Remember that metal is anti-fashion; unlike scene kids, Metal chicks are not just "boy toys". They don't have to try to look cute if they don't want. Stay away from the preppy girl look.
- Try not to look very rich. Metal is anti-commercialism. That doesn't mean you have to look like a hobo to be Metal, but you can't look too Metal when you're wearing $10,000 worth of bling and custom-tailored clothes. In fact, Wal-Mart generic brand jeans and cheap shirts from Internet stores will work fine, and they're normally just as good as name brand jeans. So Metal fashion (or anti-fashion) not only looks cool, but it also saves money.
- If you're going to wear a band patch or T-shirt, make sure that it's a band you're familiar with. Have a good understanding of that band's discography, and keep in mind what your favorite songs by them are. If somebody starts talking to you about the band and you're not familiar with them, it won't take them long to realize that you don't know what you're talking about. Then you'll look like a poser. It's better to not wear the shirt/patch and admit that you don't know much about the particular band than to wear the shirt and take the risk of looking like a poser.
- Don't be a showoff. No one will want to be impressed by you if you're always trying to show off for the hot chick in the room, and you'll probably just end up making an ass of yourself and giving people a bad impression about Metal.
- When dressing like a metalhead, try not to go over-the-top, even if you deeply enjoy the music, as many people will see you as a poser.
- Avoid wearing too many chains and spikes. Your look may turn out more mallgoth than you would have liked.
- It's not what's on the outside that's metal; it's what's on the inside. Lots of people adopt the Metalhead style and mannerisms when they only know two or three bands and can't tell posers from real metal. These people are posers. Though you rarely see them at concerts for good bands (since they only listen to mainstream bands like Slipknot or Korn), you should be aware that the posers in Metal greatly outnumber the real Metalheads. Just because somebody looks metal doesn't mean they are.
Things You'll Need
- Appreciation and enjoyment of any genre of metal music.
- Metal band t-shirts.
- A dark colored jacket of some kind (optional).
- Jeans or camo pants.
- Understanding of the culture and knowledge of multiple bands.