Since 2016, RuPaul’s Drag Race becomes a beacon that brings drag to mainstream media. Drag shows have become something more common and are presented in bars. Many people, including you, might be interested to flock in and watch the show, but then you have a big question: what to wear to a drag show?
Stay cool, luvs! Keep scrolling down the article to find out what outfits you can wear to attend a drag show (or drag brunch, if you will). Our team of fashion experts has carefully compiled tons of ideas to get you inspired and look bedazzling. A little spoiler: here are some of my top 3 ideas to wear at a drag show for all categories.
- 1 My top 3 picks
- 2 What is a drag show?
- 3 What is the point of a drag show
- 4 What happens at drag shows?
- 5 Drag show etiquette
- 6 What to wear to a drag show
- 7 What to wear to a drag show as a girl
- 8 What to wear to a drag show plus size
- 9 Tips
- 10 QnA
- 11 Why do they call it drag show?
- 12 How much money to bring to a drag show?
- 13 Why do you tip drag queens?
- 14 Can teenagers go to drag shows?
- 15 How do you walk in drag?
- 16 Conclusion
My top 3 picks
What is a drag show?
To put it simply, a drag show is a form of entertainment in which the performers impersonate the opposite sex in an exaggerated but amusing way. Most of the drag shows that I attended are performed by drag queens (male artists that portray females). They often come on stage with flamboyant costumes and have extravagant make-up and feminine mannerism. Most of the artists will sing, dance, do skits or comedy, as well as interact with the audience.
What is the point of a drag show
The primary purpose of a drag show is usually for entertainment and drag performance. As I see it, drag shows these days are often used as self-expression and a celebration for the LGBTQ+ community to this day. It’s not uncommon to see many of the drag artists, or even the audiences wear pride-themed outfits at the show to express their support to the community.
What happens at drag shows?
I’ve visited plenty of drag shows in the city and I have to say that many things happen at drag shows. You’ll see various types of entertainment, from live singing to lip-syncing and dancing which the drag artists perform with such pride. Oftentimes, they will also interact with audiences and do comedy.
Drag show etiquette
Just like any other performance and entertainment, there are some unwritten and unspoken rules on how to behave at a drag show. You don’t want to act rude and get booed by others, even worse, got kicked out for interrupting the show. From my experience as a regular audience in drag shows, here are some of the etiquette to follow
|Respect the performers||Drag queens (or kings) have made a lot of effort to entertain the audiences, so it’s important to show some respect to them.|
|Don’t interrupt the performance||Drag show is all about the performer, so why don’t you just sit back and watch otherwise you’ll end up getting booed.|
|Show enthusiasm||Appreciate the drag artists by cheering, hooting, clapping, and playing along with whatever the performers bring to the table.|
|Tip a generous amount||Doing drag is something expensive, so it’s best to tip them generously. Personally speaking, $1 to $5 is considered reasonable, but it never hurts to give more to drag artists who give an all-out performance.|
|Keep your hands off the performers||You’ll ruin the drag costume, makeup, and hair-do if you touch or even grope the artists.|
What to wear to a drag show
Any outfit is essentially perfect to wear to a drag show. As stated by my male friends who regularly watch the show, it’s all about colorful and vibrant outfits like what you’d see in Euphoria. To all dudes who read this article, here I present to you some ideas from my male friends and fashion experts on what to wear to a drag show.
1. Floral shirt
The first contender on this list is the floral shirt, my male friends’ personal favorite. This outfit is the perfect option for the fun and vibrant vibes of a drag show or a drag brunch. You can pair it with either jeans or pants, tuck the shirt in or out, and you’ll be as fabulous as ever! A little tip from our notable fashion connoisseurs: be creative with the style to look outstanding at the show without stealing the drag performers’ attention.
2. Plain button-up and jeans combo
Even though some think that plain shirts as basic, according to our respected fashion guru there’s still a way to make them look flattering to wear on a drag show. My friends usually mix and match their favorite button-up shirts with dark denim pants and shoes to look effortlessly stylish. To uplift the entire look, adding sunglasses or other accessories of your choice is highly encouraged.
3. Casual blazer
Nowadays, blazers are also worn for semi-formal and party wear, thus making it a great outfit choice to wear for attending a drag show. I recommend putting a plain t-shirt underneath your blazer and pairing it with dark-colored pants to look sophisticated and sleek, like the one in the photo.
4. Leather jacket
This one is the most popular type of jacket that’ll give edgy vibes to the entire look. To give a biker look, you can wear a leather jacket to the show. Match it with leather pants to look fantastic, or opt for the good old ripped jeans. Friends of mine often add a studded belt to give a statement to the entire look.
5. Statement jacket
This one is one of my friend’s recommendations. While drag shows are all about flashy and fun-print outfits, this jacket can be an excellent fashion statement to wear as a guest attending the show. From my friend’s experience, when my friends wore it with jeans and a plain t-shirt underneath, complete with a pair of sneakers and it makes him looks awesome
6. Colorblock shirts
You can tuck the color block shirt in your jeans to create a dapper and drip look as suggested by trusted fashion experts. From my observation, my male friends like to add some accessories such as sunglasses, belts, or cross-body bags to add more pizzazz to the entire look.
7. Tie-dye t-shirts
The pop color combination is an ideal selection for attending a casual drag show. All you need is just marrying the t-shirt with jeans and a pair of casual sneakers, and you’re looking fabulous already. A pro tip from my fashionable male friend: don’t forget to throw in some accessories.
8. Silk button-ups
If you want to look glam at the drag show, this silk button-up got you! From what my male friends told me, the material itself is very lightweight and comfortable. Not only that, the product is guaranteed to make you look effortlessly chic. Pair it with formal pants and Oxford shoes for a night in the bar enjoying the drag queen’s performance. You can also layer the top with a blazer to give a professional look.
Get yourself classic suspenders that can uplift the entire look into amazingly fashionable. I can guarantees that this accessory is designed to uplift the look and make it to another level. Just add the suspender to your plain button-up and pants ensemble, and you have created a stylish vintage look for a drag show.
10. Plain t-shirt with bandana combo
Who says you can’t wear a plain t-shirt to a drag brunch? Similar to suspenders, you can add another fashion statement like a bandana (or kerchief) to spice the t-shirt up and elevate your entire look. From my experience with friends, it’s preferable to wear it around the neck to give a visible statement. Don’t forget your sunglasses to look fantastic!
My male friends are all for patterned or colorful sweaters that can make them look amusing. To give a more interesting look, opt for bright-colored pants like this one. Complete the ensemble with a pair of good old sneakers to provide comfort and fashion.
12. Colorful striped top
A drag show is all about fun, so you might want to incorporate that element into your outfit. For your next inspiration, me and fashion connoisseurs highly recommend wearing a colorful striped top to look dashing and fabulous. Pair the button-up with light-colored pants, tucked in with a belt to create a sophisticated look. Throw in some accessories to bring the look to another level.
What to wear to a drag show as a girl
Ladies, are you looking for inspiration on what to wear to a drag show as a woman? As I mentioned before, I highly suggest picking outfits that are both comfortable and stylish. Be at ease, because I’m here to present some outfit and dress ideas that will make you look as glamorous as ever!
13. Animal print top
The first on this list is a staple outfit for attending a drag show: an animal print top. As I see it, the top is lightweight and comfortable, guaranteed to make you look spectacular and still comfortable at the same time. Do as basic as matching the top with jeans to tone the print down yet still maintain the fashionable vibe. For the shoes, opt for boots or high heels.
14. Sequin dress
A drag show is incomplete without a sparkling outfit, that’s why you need this item in your wardrobe! The fit-cutting of this dress is perfect to emphasize your body silhouette. For attending a drag night, I simply pair the dress with open-toe heels to achieve an effortlessly elegant and glamorous look.
15. Sheer bustier with a blazer
Not only for work outfits, but blazers are also popular to wear on other semi-formal occasions, parties, or even attending a drag show. This particular photo of Abbey Clancy inspires me to mix and match the sheer bustier with a blazer to layer the top. Combine the look with straight-cutting pants and high heels to look sleek and sophisticated.
16. Mesh top
As I see it, any type of top is ideal to wear to a drag show, including this mesh top. Add cropped tanks underneath to make an interesting layer, and pair the outfit with your favorite jeans. As basic as it seems, you can level the look up with platform shoes and you’re looking fashionable!
17. Mini bodycon dress
As I see it, this dress is suitable for a casual drag brunch. The halter neckline creates a unique cut that’ll make you look stunning. Since it’s a knitted dress, I suggest wearing a layer of undergarments to keep you comfortable. Throw some accessories to spice up the look, and you’re good to go!
18. Metallic pleated skirts
Do you want to wear a sparkling outfit that causes no fuss? I highly recommend trying metallic pleated skirts combined with any top of your choice. From bodysuits to classic button-ups, the skirt is guaranteed to uplift your look and radiate such elegance, just like what our fashion experts envisioned. Complete the look with nude heels to accentuate your legs and a small purse for attending a drag show.
19. Feather tube tops and jeans
Besides sparkling sequins, feathery outfits are one of the most popular outfits to wear to a drag show. For example, I wear a tube top covered in feathers with my washed-out jeans to look flattering and awesome. Pair with high heels to achieve a fabulous and pretty look, and don’t forget your statement accessories! Be it jewelry or small bags, anything is perfect to spice up the modern glam look, in agreement with our fashion experts.
20. Tunic and fishnet tights
Yep, fishnet tights are also popular to wear among drag queens, so why don’t you incorporate them into your outfit? One of my favorite combinations is marrying a simple tunic with fishnet tights to give it a whole different look. Not only you’ll look outstanding, but you also bring the entire look to another level of awesomeness.
Moving on to the next outfit, this is a jumpsuit with sparkling details. As you might notice, this high-quality piece of clothing is the best go-to for a night in the bar watching a drag performance since it’s already looking fabulous without much-needed pairing. All you need is just a pair of open-toe heels and you’re looking fantastic! A little tip from me: you can always add an outer, like blazers or jackets over for a cold night.
22. Asymmetrical crop tops
Unlike ordinary crop tops, this one has a unique shape that is guaranteed to make you look as stunning and flattering as ever. Usually, I pair the top with tennis skirts to give a sweet yet sexy look. A pro tip from our trusted fashion connoisseurs: throw in some fashion statement accessories to look dazzling. Whether it’s a patterned belt or sparkling accessories, it’s up to your choice!
23. Sequin fringe jackets
This jacket is the best choice if you want to incorporate the cowboy look for attending a drag show. Underneath it, wear tank tops or camisoles and jeans to complete the yee-haw look. For the shoes, you can go all out with boots, or opt for casual high heels to look more relaxed. For me, I’d love to complete the entire look with a statement purse.
24. Laced bustier
Lately, bustiers rise in popularity among young women. In drag shows it’s common to see people wearing bustiers, so why not try it? For a simple yet sexy look, I usually pair the lace bustier with jeans, preferably bootcut ones. Complete the look with your favorite high heels or platforms. Just a little reminder from me: never forget to spice the look with statement accessories.
What to wear to a drag show plus size
As fashion trend evolves, there are plenty of choices for plus-sized people to wear on a drag show. From my perspective, you can wear anything you want to and be confident with it. Keep scrolling to see some of our fashion gurus’ best picks on what to wear to a drag show as a plus-sized woman.
25. Leather pants
For a drag night in the bar, ditch your simple jeans and say hello to the sexy leather pants! It’s one of the staple drag outfits you can definitely wear to show some curves off and look stunning. Essentially, you can pair the pants with casual tops, bustiers, or even button-ups and still look gorgeous as ever. My recommendation is to wear comfortable boots or high heels that will make the whole look exquisite.
26. Fringe skirt
Another unique and eye-catching outfit to wear for a drag night is this fringe skirt. To create a sleek yet bold look, you can pair it with a white buttoned shirt. Complete the look with ankle boots and a statement handbag, and you’ll look effortlessly stylish. A pro tip that I get from our qualified fashion specialists: throw a statement necklace to add spice to the entire look,
27. Print on print
Funky and colorful patterns are the main focus of drag-themed outfits. To level it up, I recommend a clever idea of combining two very different patterns in one outfit ensemble to look exceptionally good while enjoying some drag artists’ performances. Complete the overall look with neutral-colored high heels to look fabulous and sleek without getting too overboard.
28. Sequin cardigan
Sparkling sequin outfits instantly come into your mind when I mention about drag show. Try combining this sequin cardigan with a plain black mini-dress. It’s guaranteed to bring your look to another level of glam! As simple as it seems, in my opinion, this ensemble is the perfect choice to have a mimosa on hand while cheering out loud for any drag queen’s show.
29. Vibrant jumpsuit
Not feeling confident enough to wear sparkly or patterned outfits to a drag show? It’s completely fine, sis! You can pick this jumpsuit with a stand-out orange color to fit in with the rest of a drag show’s guests. A little advice: throw in statement necklaces or bracelets to spice up the plain look. To achieve a rocking look, you can also layer the top with a leather jacket, and you’re good to go!
30. Another feather tops
We’ve mentioned tube feather tops on the previous list, now let’s move on to the long sleeves one. It’s the perfect choice if you need to go out on any occasion, especially for a drag show. For the color combo, you can go for all monochromatic or combine contrasting colors to achieve a prominent look.
31. Colorful casual ensemble
Mixing and matching different contrasting colors can be a creative idea for achieving a fabulous look for a drag brunch. Take a short button-up and shorts, all in vibrant colors, and combine both to create an outstanding look. For the shoes, it’s up to your choice whether you’re going for a plain or stand out.
32. Matching suits
It’s not a big surprise to see people coming to a drag show with a matching pair of blazers and pants. In fact, the ensemble is popular nowadays. To create a less formal look, opt for a cropped tank or tee before draping the blazer over your shoulder. By styling in that direction, you’ll get recognition as the best-dressed guest!
33. Animal print skirts
Yes, animal print is another primary pattern for drag-themed outfits. Not only for the top, but you can also incorporate the bold and fierce pattern to the bottom, like this skirt for example. Combine the patterned skirt with an off-shoulder blouse to show some of your skin off. Add a pair of casual sandals and a statement bag, and you’re looking all glitz while heading out for a drag brunch!
34. Puff sleeve crop top
As basic as this outfit seems, it can be another great choice if you plan to have a drag brunch with your besties. Pair a cropped top with puffed sleeves with ripped light jeans to look simpler. I advise adding a fashion statement like pieces of jewelry or a cross-body bag to achieve an effortlessly stylish look.
Last but not least, a casual overall to wear on your next visit to a drag brunch. You can pick either bright and fun-colored or muted overalls that complement your body perfectly. It has plenty of room that can fit even plus-sized women. To style this outfit up, add a simple button-up underneath and covered shoes to look casually pretty. Our reputable experts in fashion encourage you to add some accessories and spice the look up.
- It’s important to check the dress code before attending a drag show because different venues or bars have different policies.
- Wear any outfit you like, since drag show is all about expressing yourself and being who you are.
- Wear simple accessories for opulent outfits, or add statement accessories to spice the plain outfits up.
Why do they call it drag show?
There’s a reason why people call it a drag show, and I’ll explain it briefly. It was dated back to the late 19th century in the United Kingdom theater. The dress or petticoat worn by the performers would drag on the floor, hence the name.
How much money to bring to a drag show?
To be frank, there are no clear rules on how much money you should bring to a drag show. Speaking as someone regular to the show, I recommend tipping $1 to $5. It never hurts to give extra appreciation if the drag queen’s performance goes above and beyond.
Why do you tip drag queens?
I’ll let you know why you should tip drag queens. It’s a way of honoring their hard work and effort for the show. Drag queens spend a hefty amount of money on their hair, make-up, and costumes. From my observation in every show, they also have to practice and rehearse the act for hours, or even days just to amuse the audience.
Can teenagers go to drag shows?
It’s still debatable whether teenagers can go to drag shows or not. While some bars where drag shows are held have the minimum age requirement to be over 16 years old, you still can take your kid and teen to family-friendly drag shows. My best advice on this issue is to always double-check or ask about the age restriction on the show. Personally speaking, I prefer to leave the kids at home and go watch the show with my besties, which I’ve been doing for some time now.
How do you walk in drag?
From what I see in every show and according to the drag queen herself, here is the tutorial on how to walk in drag to be as fabulous as the queens themselves.
- Before putting the heels on, stretch your legs to avoid your calf and foot muscles to get hurt from wearing high heels for a long period.
- Practice walking in a tip-toe movement to help strengthen your calves and gain better balance.
- Never hunch your back! It will only make you look unappealing. Keep your chest out and roll your shoulders back to shape a confident posture.
- Bend your knees only when you take a step.
- When strutting in high heels, stand straight and keep your head up.
- Don’t be afraid to let your hips sway since it’ll take you to another level of excellence.
- Let the heel touch the ground before your toes, just like regular walking.
- Do the “Y-step” by putting the weight outside on your heel before setting the toe down.
- Let the tension loose from your face by smiling and making the best facial expression.
In a nutshell, you need to prepare a lot before heading to a bar and enjoying a lively drag show. Besides knowing what to do and not, picking an outfit to wear to a drag show is also important, since you’re taking part in the entertainment. I hope those ideas help you in deciding what to wear to a drag show!