Perhaps you’re an opera aficianado. Or maybe it’s your first time. If the latter is the case, then you’re likely to be thinking about what to wear to the opera. This article has all the inspiration on how to dress for the opera and opera outfits suggestions that you need.
Do you have to dress formally at the opera?
Often, a night out at the opera is associated with ball gowns and tuxedos. Who could forget Julia Roberts wearing that floor-sweeping red dress in Pretty Women when she watched La Traviata?
Most opera houses simply say to wear whatever you feel comfortable in, but that can just leave you feeling confused.
While what to wear to the opera very much varies depending on the venue and opera you are going to see, a night at the opera can be a great reason to dress up and wear something you don’t usually wear everyday.
General ‘rules’ to think about when putting together an opera outfit
Before you start looking for a new outfit, what should you consider for a night (or afternoon) at the opera?
Take a look at the venue
The first point of call is the obvious one. Take a look at the venue website. They may feature a dress code. Or, if not, you may find images of audience members at previous events.
Even if you usually live in your jeans, to be on the safe side, and look smart enough, it’s usually best to shy away from jeans or denim jackets.
Add statement jewelery
If the rest of your outfit is relatively simple – perhaps you are going to the opera straight from work – then adding stand-out jewelery is a great way to elevate your look.
Lizzy @whatlizzyloves above (read her style interview here) shows off an outfit that would be perfect for a visit to the opera or theater, featuring sparkly shoes and a statement necklace.
Check out these jacquard pants from Trina Turk and COS and this similar silk top, glitter pumps, clutch and necklace.
A dress always works
If you really aren’t sure what to wear, a dress is always a good idea, and works well for the opera, as well as other special events or parties you may have planned.
Kay Unger Tatum Floral Lace Midi Dress – Open Edit Faux Fur Collar – Naturalizer True Colors Vera Ankle Strap Sandal – Nina Crystal Handle Minaudière – Karine Sultan Statement Clip-On Earrings
Add a cover up
A cover-up is not only practical to add warmth, but also adds extra glamour. Take a look at these ideas to cover up a formal outfit.
Jess @elegantlydressedandstylish above (read her style interview here) opts for an elegant, lace, neutral look.
Get her look with this similar top, blazer, skirt, sandals, clutch, necklace and earrings.
If in doubt, opt for over-dressed rather than under-dressed.
What to to wear to the opera – outfits to choose
Let’s put together a capsule wardrobe that you can choose from for your trip to the opera. It will work just as well for any other formal events you have coming up.
Choose luxurious materials, vibrant colors and playful prints.
Cinq á Sept Rue Sequin Accent Cowl Neck Silk Blouse – The Drop Button Down Satin Shirt – Anne Klein Geo Print Short Sleeve Mock Neck Top – COS Cropped Knitted Mock Neck Top
Veronica Beard Miller Dickey Jacket – Halogen Open Front Long Blazer – Open Edit Faux Fur Collar – Veronica Beard Honolulu Cigarette Pants – Linea Paolo Melia Loafer – Rebecca Minkoff Leo Envelope Clutch – Kendra Scott Elisa Pendant Necklace
Jackets and cover ups
A blazer is always an elegant way to cover up. You could also add a wrap or stole. An oversized scarf is also a good idea, if you want to cover up your arms or add a splash of color. The reversible scarf (below) comes in a choice of prints, all inspired by famous art.
Veronica Beard Miller Dickey Jacket – Halogen Open Front Long Blazer – Open Edit Faux Fur Collar – Plum Feathers Reversible Art Shawl Scarf
Tanasha @letsrecreatethelook above opts for a classic color combination of red, white and black.
Steal her look with this similar top, blazer, jeans, pumps, belt and clutch.
Dresses and skirts
An elegant dress will always be a good choice for the opera. You could choose a little black dress, a neutral option, or add a pop of color. Or, if you prefer separates, a midi skirt in a luxurious material like silk or satin will work well.
Nordstrom Cap Sleeve Front Slit Knit Dress – Kay Unger Tatum Floral Lace Midi Dress – Maggy London Cutout Long Sleeve Sheath Midi Dress – Zeagoo Midi Satin Skirt
Anne Klein Geo Print Short Sleeve Mock Neck Top – Open Edit Faux Fur Collar – Zeagoo Midi Satin Skirt – Naturalizer Karina Square Toe Pump – Kurt Geiger London Kensington Frame Clutch – Karine Sultan Statement Clip-On Earrings
what to wear to the opera – Pants
If you prefer pants, you can create an elegant look with wide leg pants, with a suit, or with a printed pair.
DIARRABLU Leer Palazzo Pants – Veronica Beard Honolulu Cigarette Pants – Alice + Olivia Dylan Wide Leg Trousers – COS Abstract Jacquard Pants
Nikki @40notfrumpy above chooses a black suit, and adds a touch of glamor with her shoes.
Recreate her outfit with this similar blazer (other options here and here), trousers and pumps (another option here).
You can, of course, wear heels with your opera outfits. But flats can work just as well. Choose a smart pair of loafers, or you could opt for a pair of designer flats like the Christian Louboutins (below).
Linea Paolo Melia Loafer – Christian Louboutin Conclusive Spike Pointed Toe Flat – Naturalizer True Colors Vera Ankle Strap Sandal – Naturalizer Karina Square Toe Pump
COS Cropped Knitted Mock Neck Top – COS Abstract Jacquard Pants – Christian Louboutin Conclusive Spike Pointed Toe Flat – Rebecca Minkoff Leo Envelope Clutch – Karine Sultan Linear Drop Earrings
Your accessories will add that finishing touch of glamor to your opera looks. It’s likely that a clutch bag will be all you need, with just enough room to fit your phone, credit card, and the opera program in. Don’t forget your jewelry to complete your outfit.
Rebecca Minkoff Leo Envelope Clutch – Kurt Geiger London Kensington Frame Clutch – Nina Crystal Handle Minaudière – Karine Sultan Linear Drop Earrings – Karine Sultan Statement Clip-On Earrings – Sterling Forever Layered Bar Necklace – Kendra Scott Elisa Pendant Necklace – Nordstrom Print Silk Square Scarf
Patricia @madamechicbcn above (read her style interview here) chooses a cohesive look that mixes burgundy and blue.
Check out this similar dress (other options here and here), pumps, belt (another option here), handbag, earrings, sunglasses and headband.
what to wear to the opera – Shop the opera outfits below:
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- What To Wear To A Cocktail Party
- What To Wear To A Concert: The Best Concert Outfits For Women Over 40
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Feature image by Patricia @madamechicbcn
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