While most modern theatre productions have relaxed their dress codes over recent years, it seems that when it comes to classical shows the audience is still keen to keep it smart. Here’s our guide to what to wear if you’re attending one of this season’s symphonies.
I was privileged enough to see an incredible performance of Tosca in the open air Arena di Verona a few years ago and was so delighted to discover that the vast majority of the audience wore black tie and cocktail dresses. It certainly added to what was already an incredible experience (even if we got rained on once or two during the evening!).
So while we’ve certainly relaxed our outfit choices when it comes to night out at the theatre, a classical concert (and opera in particular) may still require a certain formality than, say, a comedy romp. Bear in mind though, that the time of the show may play a part in your wardrobe – Saturday evening and you can go all out; a Monday lunchtime recital and you may feel a little over dressed in your floor-length gown.
For men, plump for a smartly tailored suit that you can either wear with a tie, open-neck shirt and loafers, or dress it down in white T-shirt and on-trend trainers. For casual chic, a tailored jacket and jeans works too. And for those special occasion galas? Why not go all out in a sharp tux that’s as stylish as it is classic. Stick with tradition and chose a single-breasted jacket with a shawl lapel. Black is the most popular option, but can play James Bond in a white version for formal summer events.
And for women, sequins ensure you’ll sparkly all night long; while your favourite LBD is a great choice if you’re not entirely sure of the dress code and can easily be accessorised with simply pearls, a la Audrey Hepburn. For a more relaxed look, a great pair of wide-leg trousers, heels and stylish jacket add a modern twist.
Navy jacket, white denim trousers, light washed denim shirt and pebble grain leather loafers – all from Clements & Church.
Black skinny fit twill suit jacket, £65, and trousers, £35 – both from River Island.
Made-to-measure white tuxedo jacket and trousers – from Edit Suits Co.
Chrishell x Lipsy Strappy Sequin Midi Dress, £70 – from Next.
Peach crop blazer, £20, and peach wide-leg trouser, £15 – both by Primark.
Black Zimmerman silk wrap dress, £495 from Harvey Nichols.
Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Town Hall – both B:Music venues – play host to an impressive line-up of classical concerts this summer. You can find our more HERE.