Violinist’s Concert Outfit

Playing in a symphony orchestra is an energy consuming work. A concert program of an overture piece, a concerto, an orchestra piece, and a symphony takes two hours long. It requires all players to have good endurance and concentration. 

Although it’s true that playing violin is also a matter of endurance, but for me, violinist’s concert outfit is something need to take care of. Female orchestra member are usually free to choose their own black dress. They can choose any type to suit their need, at least for both comfortability and stylistics. But male players usually can wear only white shirt and suit. When it comes to endurance, suit which is not comfortable will unnecessarily consume more energy.

After experiencing such thing, I thought about a suit and shirt design that allow violinist and violist to move more freely.

Actually there are people who already started to make special suit and tux for musician. For example flextux. And coregami, a very hi-tech shirt and tux.

Of course those are very good but for me they aren’t affordable and difficult to buy from Indonesia (not so many people here in my town have credit cards or any other online payment things).

The Suit

Cloth fold: playing violin require you to move your arm and raise elbow a lot. It will pull the cloth from your back. To solve this, after a discussion with a local tailor who tailored my suit, we decide to make a cloth fold in the center of the back. So arms can move more freely without restriction from the suit. It’s similar with what flextux guy did, but different design. My tailor said he ever made such fold back in 1980s.


Collar: space between collars must be wide enough so they aren’t climbing your neck. This way we can place violin as close as possible to the neck. For me place the violin as close as possible to the neck is important. 

Sleeve: although a suit is slimfit, the sleeves should not be too tight. They must let the arm to move freely.

Shoulder pad: it’s better to use thinner shoulder pad. 

Fabric: my tailor use a fabric which is able to stretch. Also make sure the fabric is not heavy.

The Shirt 

Collar: wings collar works better. The spread collar will make the collar thicker so it will add more space between neck and violin.

Cloth fold on the back: It’s important for arm movement. I asked my tailor to make this fold bigger than usual shirt.

Cuff: it doesn’t matter french or other styles. Make sure they’re wide enough so they don’t restrict arm movement. Also sleeves must be long enough. Too short sleeve will bother arm movement.

Fabric: I used common fabric for shirt. Use anything as long as it’s comfortable.

I wore this set of outfit for Bandung Philharmonic concert on April and recital on May and felt happy that it worked fine.

Photo by Lucky S. Putra

If you’re experiencing similar problem, hope this article helpful. Or even if you have any other ideas, please let me know!