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  1. #1

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    What to wear to the opera

    I'm going to attend my first opera in early October and am wondering what to wear. Having done some research online it seems like people wear anything from uber casual through to dinner jackets. I'm not going down the dinner jacket route, because it doesn't seem quite necessary since it is not the opening night, and nobody I am going with will be that smart. A dark suit is recommended as a good second best to a DJ, so that is what I thought I should opt for.

    I have this suit from Reiss, which I have not had much oppurtunity to wear. It is not as dark as navy, and is peak lapelled, so doesn't look too much like office wear. Was thinking with a white shirt.

    What do people think? Any suggestions for tie/pocket square? Brown or Black Oxford's?


  2. #2

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    I'm tempted to say full evening dress with opera hat, opera cape and opera pumps but that may not be helpful.

    I suspect where you are going to the opera is important (though I'm no expert). The bigger posh Opera houses will probably have more people making an effort. Travelling productions in smaller theatres will have pretty casual audiences.

    The suit, should you choose to wear it, looks great.

  3. #3

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    I found young people wearing too formally for an event like opera a bit funny. Unless you are old, or actually performing, there is no need to look super dressed up. Some operas are really royal, so you may see gentlemen wearing black bow ties or even white silk tie.

    And about the tie selection you asked, I would choose no tie, no pocket square, and brown brogues.

  4. #4
    tristan's Avatar

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    sorry, what's that dinner jacket that is more formal than a suit? (I'm not an english native speaker)

    Go for "creative". Wear a nice shirt with a dark sportscoat and a poppy pocket square, sharp it up with leather shoes, a tie or double cuffing. Very typical for stylish opera fans, and it will never be underdressed. Also, you can go with bold colors.
    Usually the people who dress up with a tux-like uniforms are politicians etc, rich and important people who are not the main tone at the opera. The thing with the opera is being stylish- and people with style don't often think in this binar way of suit VS t-shirt, wedding VS cinema etc.

    as for your specific idea- try to relax it a bit with a pattern\texutre shirt. add a nice pocket square (always) and move the tie.

    Also, to enjoy the most of this experience- do some homework. Try to listen to the opera at home with the text (or watch a DVD) like 2 times, and read about it. When you know more, you enjoy more.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tristan View Post
    sorry, what's that dinner jacket that is more formal than a suit? (I'm not an english native speaker)
    A dinner jacket is the same as a tuxedo.

    In Britain we tend to call them dinner jackets, as they were the less formal alternative to the full tailcoat that you might wear at dinner. In the US - and now much of the rest of the world - they tend to call them tuxedos, as the custom for wearing them was first imported to America from Britain by members of the Tuxedo Club.

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