What to Wear to an Opera House?

One of the most intimidating things about going to an opera house is an opera.

Knowing when to take the seat, when to clap, and what you can wear can also be unfortunate barriers when looking to enjoy any form of art you are not entirely familiar with.

Like any special event, you will need some time to find out what you will be wearing.

Moreover, you will try to put together stylish attire that not only you will feel great in, but also receive compliments on.

Why? Because that is what every one of us wants rights?

Deciding what you will be wearing to an opera is no different than any other special event.

However, in some cases, you may find it overwhelming as this is not something you do very often.

Keep on reading as we help you find the best opera dresses, styling tips, and more.

What is an Opera House?

An opera house is a theater building that is used for performances of opera.

It often includes a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities.

Though you can find some venues specifically for opera, other opera houses are part of larger performing arts centers.

Moreover, the term opera is often used as a term of prestige for any larger performing arts festival.


Italy is a country where opera has been popular for centuries among ordinary people as wealthy patrons.

It continues to have many working opera houses like Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, and Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

opera house dress 1

However, there was no opera house in London when Henry Purcell was composing.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, opera houses were financed by rulers, nobles, and wealthy people who would use patronage of the arts to endorse their political ambition and social position.

With the rise of bourgeois and capitalist reforms in the 19th century, European culture moved away from this system to a publicly supported system.

Moreover, early United States opera houses were used for a number of functions in towns and cities, hosting community dances, fairs, plays, and vaudeville shows.

In the 2000s, funds support most opera and theater companies from a combination of government and institutional grants, ticket sales, and private donations.

Is there a Dress Code

One of the important things to note when going to an opera house is that is no dress code.

However, you will need proper attire.

Gala events will need you to wear a dark suit and dress for men and women respectively.

When choosing what to wear to an opera house, you may find it confusing especially if you are going for the first type.

It can be difficult for ones who are music lovers who do not know what to wear to an opera abroad.

Let’s consider two examples: the opera in Pasis’ dress code and the Teatro alla Scala’s dress code in Milan.

As a musician, you would want to wear a tuxedo.

You can find people wearing shorts and flip-flops in gold or velvet operas, however, do not be afraid.

You can come as you are if that is what you prefer.

What happens on the stage, not in the room, is the most important thing.

However, if you want to dress up for the occasion, experts recommend going for something formal.

A dress is a great option for this occasion.

But if you find yourself uncomfortable wearing formal dresses, you can still look stylish by wearing something that is comfortable.

Moreover, make sure that your shoes are comfortable.

Figuring out what to Wear

It is important to note that opera attire tends to vary depending on the actual opera that is being performed and the venue/city it is held.

The first thing you will need to consider is the outfit to evaluate the opera.

Answering questions like is that opera you are attending a big deal, is it written about a major publication, or is it sold out?

You will know that the show you are attending is a huge event when there is the anticipation leading up to it from more than just the people you are going with.

opera house dress 2

After you understand the popularity of the Opera, next consider the location.

For instance, if you are attending an opera in The Ring cycle at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, you will notice that there is no dress code.

Moreover, a lot of venue location tends to suggest wearing what you feel comfortable in.

However, that is so open-ended and can leave you more confused.

Simple Style Tips

Some simple style tips when going to an opera house are:

Avoid wearing Denim Jeans.

Though you may love wearing jeans, and they tend to be very comfortable, however, do not wear anything denim to an opera house.

Choose BLACK if you are unable to decide on a color.

Black tends to be figure-flattering, easy to accessorize, and easy to wear.

Moreover, if your dress is simple, you can pair it with a statement piece like large earrings or a statement necklace to bring the wow factor to your opera outfit.

Like most people, you can opt for business-casual or business clothing.

You can think of pencil skirts, matching separates, jerseys, or shift dresses, and pair them with a blazer.

An easy Solution and a good idea is a Dress.

When you visit an opera house, you will see a lot of women wearing dresses.

The dress style ranges from floor-length gowns to shorter full dresses.

However, it is important to note that you should not wear a dress that is too short, too tight, too revealing, or too casual.

You can think of wearing a cocktail dress.


Laye on a blazer, cape, cardigan, shawl, or fur to keep yourself from getting cold during the show.

While sitting in the opera house, you may feel cold in the theater so you can layer with an extra layer to help you keep warm.

Have your Hair and Makeup match your Outfit

Your opera outfit will look sleek without much fuss, to create a cohesive look.

Make sure to put your hair in a sleek low ponytail and keep your makeup minimal.

Remember, it is the small things that will make the difference.

If the Occasion calls for it, Dress Up.

Make sure to dress up if you have a formal event you are going for.

Choose something that reflects your Personal Style. 

Remember that your dress will reflect your personality.

So make sure to wear something that you feel confident in.

Clothes to Choose From

Scroll down to learn about what you can wear to an opera house:

Feather Trims: You can always opt for features and add them to have just the right amount of drama to any ensemble.

An elegant, feather-trimmed dress will make sure you have a spot on the best-dressed list, even in the opera house.

Slip Dress: The beauty of a slip dress remains in the fact that you can wear it anywhere.

Whether it is the beach, the red carpet, or the Opera, you can have the right slip dress and accessories and you are good to go.

An Elegant Gown: A gown, especially a strapless one in a bold color will never go wrong.

You can pair it with dainty jewelry and are good to go.

However, if you intend to keep things simple, you can opt for a black dress.

slip dress

Sparkles and Shine: When you choose the right embellishments, they will inject your outfit with just the right amount of glamour.

Leather: Though the temperatures tend to rise steadily in UAE, you can still opt for leather in the evening.

You can opt for the strapless co-ord piece for the night.

Fringe Dress: Fringe can never go wrong and will take your dress from zero to a hundred real quick.

When in doubt, you can opt for a fringe dress, and you will look stunning.

Suit Up: No one ever said that you will have to wear a gown.

There are no strict dress codes at the Opera.

This means that you can walk into the halls in a pantsuit or a stunning blazer if you want to.

Gloves: If you are looking for an excuse to wear gloves, then this is the right event to do so.

When living in Dubai, the only time you can wear elbow-length gloves is when visiting the Opera.

Final Thoughts

Going to an Opera house for an event is a great excuse to buy that one dress that you have had your heart on, since forever.

Dressing up for an Opera can be challenging, especially if it is your first time.

Though there are no set rules in stone, it is always best to keep things on the formal side for a night at Opera. However, that does not mean you will need to wear a gown.

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