Opera Dress Code

The opera is the one event you can reliably go all out for.  Traditional opera wear is uber-formal — tuxes, floor-length gowns, and bling galore — but you’re also okay in simpler formal attire.

For the ladies

Think of the opera as prom for grown-ups.  If you’ve got it, wear an elegant (silk or satin) floor-length gown.  Embroidery, beading, plummeting necklines: anything goes.  You may also wear a formal knee-length cocktail dress.  Be sure to bring a classy, delicate clutch purse that goes with your outfit, and consider a velvet shrug or shawl if your dress is sleeveless.  Beautiful heels are a must.  And break out your sparkliest formal jewelry: eye-catching necklaces and earrings are well placed here. Opera Dress Code

For the guys

If you’re going the traditional route, you’ll want a tuxedo — no cummerbund necessary, but if you get one it should be black.  If you don’t have a tux handy, a black suit will do.  Another dark-colored suit would be passable.  You’ll want an elegant dark tie, and black dress shoes.

Rules of Thumb

  • You’ll want to arrive in formal outerwear as well: long wool or other formal coats, and elegant scarves and gloves for both men and women.
  • Keep to more muted and formal colors, whatever you choose to wear — “autumn” colors, dark jewel tones, or grey and silver.  Stay away from neons and “spring” colors.
  • Ladies, if you don’t have a special dress on hand, you might consider renting one from a site like RentTheRunway.
  • Similarly, if you’d like some serious bling for less than the price of a new Lexus, consider renting a stunning necklace from a place like RentTheRunway or Adorn.
  • Whatever you choose to wear, have fun!  This can be the ultimate dress-up occasion if you enjoy that, but don’t let it hold you back from going if you’d rather just throw on the suit or nice dress hanging in your closet.  Wear whatever formalwear you’re comfortable with, and enjoy the show.