What to Wear to a Ballet [& what not to wear] in 2024

As fashion evolves and cultural norms shift, the question of “what to wear to a ballet?” takes on new dimensions. Balancing comfort, style, and a touch of sophistication, this article will guide you through the nuances of ballet attire, offering insights into both the appropriate and inappropriate choices.

Ballet Dress code: Semi-formal or formal *not black tie

Women: a nice dress or skirt and blouse, along with dress shoes.

Men: suit or dress slacks, a dress shirt, and dress shoes.

What to Wear to a Ballet (DO’S)

Do: Wear Something Comfortable

The typical length of a ballet performance is an hour and a half to two hours. Keep in mind that you’ll want to wear something comfortable enough so your choice of wardrobe doesn’t distract you from the amazing performance!

Do: Wear Something Classy

 “Classy” simply means wearing something with the air of elegance or refinement! Whatever makes you feel sophisticated and confident :).

what to wear to a ballet

The For Love and Lemons Velvet Babydoll Midi dress is a perfect example of an elegant and classy piece, perfect for the opera!

Do: Wear Black

Colors are also acceptable, but black is always a great go-to for events like the ballet that airs on the formal side! Black is timeless, slimming, and elegant. From black slacks, to a little black dress or black pumps, you can never go wrong.

black midi dress

The Lindsey Midi dress from For Love and Lemons is a perfect example of a semi-formal dress that could be worn to a ballet. The light-weight cotton is comfortable and breathable and would look stunning pairing with a shawl or furry jacket!

Do: Wear Jewelry

Adding a necklace, earrings, and rings to an outfit is the fastest way to elevate your look from head to toe! Jewelry completes an outfit beautifully and shouldn’t be forgotten, especially when attending a ballet performance (don’t miss the opportunity to wear a statement piece!)

classy gold necklace

The Montauk Necklace from five and two jewelry shown above is one of our personal favorites!

Do: Bring a Nice Jacket!

Theaters are notorious for being chilly, so bring a jacket just in case! 

jacket to wear with a formal outfit

This Brown Houndstooth Long Coat from Rylee and Cru is perfect for the opera. It pairs incredibly with slacks/blouse or a dress!

What to Wear to a Ballet (DONT’S)

Don’t: Wear Anything Sporty or Athletic

Don’t take the “comfortable” too far—leave all leggings, sporty jackets, and tee-shirts at home! And certainly, no sneakers!

Don’t: Wear Loungewear

This should speak for itself—show your respect for the dancers and the performance by leaving sweats and joggers at home! If you’re worried about getting cold, bring a nice shawl or jacket that matches your outfit.

What to Wear to a Ballet—There You Have It!

So, there you have it—your guide to navigating the ballet fashion scene in 2024. Whether you're sticking to the classics, embracing modern trends, or throwing in a bit of your own flair, remember that your outfit is an extension of the magic happening on stage. So, kick back, enjoy the performance, and let your personal style shine. After all, ballet is about expression, and that includes what you wear!

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