Solos, sopranos and festive sparkle: what to wear to the opera

This festive season, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to going out. Whether you fancy a Christmas masterpiece like The Nutcracker with the English National Ballet at the London Coliseum or a modern classic like The Royal Opera House’s L’elisir d’amore, you’re sure to find a show to wow your senses.


But what does one wear to the opera or ballet? Old age conventions can be misleading; gone are the days of formal cocktail dressing, so that still leaves us fashion-concious culture vultures wondering. Here we show you how it’s done with a few dream outfits featuring our favourite finishing touches to make sure you feel dressed to the nines this festive season.


The Royal Opera House

So you managed to get your hands on a ticket to one of The Royal Opera House’s performances and your glamorous night awaits. If there was ever a time to don your glad rags, this is it. But don’t let glamour confuse you; this is not a black tie event (unless you want it to be).

Royal Opera House 2.0

Women’s outift: dress – Christopher Kane, bag – Alexander McQueen’s , earrings – Carolina Bucci, shoes – Jimmy Choo, ring – Inez and Vinoodh / Men’s outfit: suit – Balenciaga, tie – Lanvin, shoes – Paul Smith, cuffilnks – Trianon

We suggest the foolproof little black dress for the ladies. Add a pop of colour when it comes to footwear and something sparkly dangling from your ears. A dainty clutch bag won’t go a miss either. For the gentlemen out there, a dapper suit never fails. Try a monochrome palette on for size from the clothes in your wardrobe, and already your dressed up without feeling overdressed.


Sadler’s Wells

Sadles Wells

Men’s outfit: shirt – Johnathan Saunders, socks – Falke, trousers – Paul Smith, shoes – Whistles / Women’s outfit: jumpsuit – Whistles, collar – Whistles, mules – Tibi, bag – Whistles

If you’re off to Sadler’s Wells then we’re guessing you like your art contemporary. So why not let your sartorial choices reflect that? This is your chance to be trendy, without necessarily following the swings and roundabouts of fashion. The easiest way to do this is to colour block your ensemble. Go for chunks of colour and leave those prints behind. Don’t forget some monk strap shoes for the boys and mules for the girls if you really want to gain those style points.


London Coliseum

If, like most Londoners, you’re partial to an after work event, then you’ll need an outfit that works for both day and night. This can be a little more challenging for the men out there, but for women, we have options.


Women’s outfit: top – Diane von Furstenberg, trousers – Joseph, bag – MILLY, earrings, cuff and ring – Topshop / Men’s outfit: jeans – A.P.C., belt – Mulberry, shirt – Saint Laurent, shoes – Dr. Martens

The easiest way to transform your outfit after a long day in the office is to kick off those flats and put on something perhaps a little less comfortable; we’re talking heels. To feel more dressed up, opt for a pair of tailored trousers that day with a cute blouse and then put on your jewels and you’re ready to party. No change of footwear for the men I’m afraid, so a smart (but also casual) pair of derbies are your best bet. By all means wear your jeans lads, but choose a darker shade of blue to dress it up a tad, then add a belt to finish off the look.

Now all you need are some events to flash your fash at. Get tickets to Tristan and Isolde, Alice in Wonderland or Don Quixote at the Royal Opera House now, or, get contemporary this Christmas with tickets to Edward Scissorhands at Sadler’s Wells before you start booking your 2015 opera events early and get tickets to La Traviata or The Indian Queen at the London Coliseum.  

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