March 15th, 2011
Date Night, Fashion News, Style Inspiration, What to Wear
Style Inspiration: What to Wear to the Opera
By Claire

Reader Michelle says, “My friends and I are attending the Opera not once but twice, to see Hercules and Carmen at the end of March. Though the three of us consider ourselves fashionable, we are all at a loss for what to wear! We’re pretty young (early twenties) and have never gone to an Opera show before so any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated!”
Hey Michelle! The short answer is to dress up. While some opera goers go so far as donning floor length gowns, you can get away with an age appropriate spring cocktail dress in a cute color, along with fun accessories. For today’s Style Inspiration, I offered a few options: A Carven draped striped mini dress with Nicholas Kirkwood heels and Erickson Beamon jewelry. I also found a slightly more affordable By Malene Birger Moshia asymmetric Silk Dress from TheOutnet.com with heels by Charlotte Olympia and a Jerome Dreyfuss bag.

These outfits are pricey, so just use them to inspire your look. And if anything, you can never go wrong with a little black dress or any of the options below:

For more inspiration, take a look at these stylish celebs:




We’ve got a lot more wardrobe queries to solve, but I’d encourage everyone with a question to do a quick search to see what’s been done before. Trip to Las Vegas? We did that. Concert wear? We’ve got you too.
Check out our What to Wear section for more.
What do you think of today’s Style Inspiration?

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14 Responses to “Style Inspiration: What to Wear to the Opera”

  1. Tracie says:

    Hey I have worked for opera companies and I am an avid opera goer. While I love your suggestion especially the inclusion of nail polishes…I must advise your reader that unless it’s a major city at a major opera house (i.e. Chicago, New York City…) the average opera goer is very eclectic with their fashion choices and you will see someone in a pair of jeans just as much as an evening gown. When I go I opt for more of a dressy business casual. I think Kerry and Zoe’s looks are much more opera appropriate, and the 2nd look you suggested with a blazer or jacket would be write on point.

  2. Tinkerbell says:

    Great post. I was in the same position a couple of years back. I think the wardrobe depends on the show. I saw Carmen and the crowd was older and more sophisticated. I wore a
    longer skirt, faux baubles and a long black cashmere coat.

  3. Addi Enne says:

    Agreed– great post indeed.

    But I’ll be honest–In the times that I’ve hit up the MET in NYC, I often find that the crowd is 1/2 ‘dressed to the nines’ much like what was detailed in the post and 1/2 ‘work-to-dinner transition dress.’

    There’s even a jeans and blazer contingent!

    But then again, NY-ers are way too jaded :(

  4. PeachyKeen says:

    LOVE these suggestions! i know the chicks in question are pyt’s but i would still suggest something to cover the shoulders as the crowd is typically conservative. notice the celeb inspirations are more covered up top.

  5. dyshaun says:

    I love dressing up for the theater, or concerts and operas. So cool.

    Rachel Roy looks divine. Is she is NY? Since the weather is so nice (everywhere except there apparently?) one of those great maxi length skirts would be divine. If you arent afraid of color, think Jil Sander… :-)

  6. Michelle says:

    THANK YOU for answering my question!!! So excited for the opera next week!

  7. BOOBOO says:

    I wish some of the choices from Net a Porter werent so expensive. 1k for a dress & 2k for a clutch?! come on son

  8. BOOBOO says:

    my bad..shop style

  9. kiki says:

    everytime zoe smiles it just looks so fake,pretty girl but she should practice smiling

  10. Coldplayer says:

    lol @ boo boo. Im with you

  11. [...] to know what to wear on a date, to the opera? TFB’s got a fashionable wardrobing choice in mind at every price [...]

  12. Ashely says:

    I’m going to watch Phantom of the Opera Next Week in New York. What should I wear?! Help!!!

  13. M says:

    Something to keep in mind is that opera houses (I’m thinking specifically of Lyric in Chicago) can get *cold*. Especially when you’re sitting there for a few hours. So, if you go for something short/shoulderless, consider bringing a cardigan or scarf/shawl in case you get chilly.

  14. Ms Conservative says:

    Those outfits you picked out are NOT appropriate Opera outfits. I don’t know where youre from, but that would not work. No.

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