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Ever Pretty evening dress with fur cape, wood evening bag, silver pumps, and jewelry

Dressing for the opera is tricky no matter whether you live in warm or cold climate. What will the weather be on that day? When you traveled to a city to enjoy your favorite opera or go to the opera for the first time, add the following questions to the list. Is there a dress-code? Will the theater be über-air-conditioned or over-heated? Read this post to know your options and best judge how much you want to dress up. 


  1. No Dress Code, but Something Formal Is Expected
  2. Formal Posh Casual Outfits
  3. Why to Wear Evening Attire?
  4. Which Gowns Are Best for Which Weather?
  5. What to Wear on the Commute?
  6. What Not to Wear to the Opera
  7. Dressing for the Opera in a Nutshell
  8. Top of the World Style Linkup No. 344


Disclosure: Ad. The burned red and teal gowns are samples of my choice from Ever Pretty. The post is not endorsed by them. I wrote it entirely myself and it represents my own 100% honest opinion. I am affiliated with them.


No Dress Code, but Something Formal Is Expected

Check whether the opera house has a dress code. If not, it still means that something formal is expected. Therefore, you can’t go wrong with a Little Black Dress. Dress it up with jewelry and (jewelry) embellished  black pumps. Avoid to over-do it to not look like Audrey Hepburn  in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s the opera, not Halloween.

Other options are a gown, tuxedo suit, feather trimmed jumpsuit or dress, a sequin dress, a black maxi skirt with festive blouse, just to mention a few. Always add festive footgear, and an evening bag or clutch that compliments your look.


influencer dressing for the opera in a burned red velvet gown
Side view of brick red Elegant Double V Neck Velvet Party Dress with Sleeves c/o Ever Pretty. Also available in dusty navy, navy blur, black, purple, burgundy, and dark green in size 4 to 22 for just $47.99. I love that the dress is high quality and very affordable.


collages with zoom on sleeves front and back view of gown
Outfit details: Hermes collier de chien bangle, barrette, Happiness Boutique costume jewelry, Earrings (gift from my parents), Neo Tango heels. A velvet dress keeps you comfortably warm. It permits free movement and requires no special bra. The bell sleeves are perfect to hide bingo wings. They also don’t require opera gloves. Another big advantage of this velvet dress is that it doesn’t wrinkle. As a result, it’s easy to pack when you fly somewhere to visit an opera.



Formal Posh Casual Outfits

When your personal style is casual, you may prefer one of the following outfit suggestions.

A high quality wool or cashmere dark straight just-above the knee or longer straight or pencil skirt with a flouncy festive or sequin top, pantyhose and patent leather high heels is a less formal option. You can find affordable, nice festive tops at Ever Pretty.

A knee-length sleek skater-style or sheath-style cocktail dress in a gemstone color also has a more casual vibe than an evening gown.


Why to Wear Evening Attire?

Recall, it is always better to be over- than underdressed. When your fear is not meet the dress code, or not to fit in, go for evening attire. You can dress down the look easily by removing jewelry, wearing your hair open instead of up, if you feel that you are too formal compared with the other women; and you want to blend in more with what they wear.

Obviously, it is hard to dress up when you wear a tea-length satin skirt with a chic knit cardigan, and satin ballet flats. Such a look would work in winter and cold climate farther away from the mega-cities.

Last, but not least, you don’t go to the opera every day, week, or month. It’s a special occasion. Therefore, you shouldn’t miss out your chance to wear a special event dress. This is particularly true when you can buy affordable chic special occasion dresses at prices much cheaper than the $200 or more ticket for the show.

Keep accessories on the minimalist side. #operaoutfit #dress4success Click To Tweet

Ever Pretty lace bodice gown with 3/4 sleeve
Front view of opera outfit idea with a teal Ever Pretty See-Through Floor Length Lace Chiffon Evening Dress with Half Sleeve accessorized with gemstone jewelry, D&G clutch, and Ralph Lauren pumps. This dress is also available in purple, dusty navy, dusty blue, white, blush, and dark green in sizes 4 to 22 for just $59.99.



Which Gowns Are Best for Which Weather?

On rainy days, a cocktail dress with black semi-sheer tights, nude fishnets or bare fake-tan legs, and festive pumps is best. This way any splashes remain invisible, and your feet won’t get cold. A cocktail dress fits under a classic trench coat, if needed. The same applies for snow at temperatures around the freezing point. Stay away from satin shoes as they get wet. Silver, gold, or patent leather work.

On days with below freezing temperatures, and snow cover, tea-length gowns with boots are best. Your dress won’t plow the road, and, hence, no snow will stick to it and melt inside. Have your sandals in a tote. Inside swap the footwear, and check your coat, tote, and boots at the coat clerk’s. When the curbsides are cleaned you can go full-length. In cold weather, velvet is best.

On hot days, chiffon, or (cotton) lace are fine with festive strappy heels. Have a chic faux fur or silk stole in case, the AC is over-performing.

Accessorize with festive (costume) jewelry when your dress has no embellishment like sequins, pearls, embroidery, or lace.

Stylist tip: For a modern look don’t match the color/material of your evening clutch with your shoes.


teal gown to wear at the opera front and back view
Side and back view of teal Ever Pretty gown with D&G clutch, Ralph Lauren silver snake print pumps, gemstone necklace, earrings, and bracelet. The dress is floor-swiping on my 5 ft 4 frame.


Stylist tip: Match the evening bag with your outfit’s color like in the post banner.



What to Wear on the Commute?

When you plan to go to the opera on a regular basis investing in an evening coat is best. However, any high quality classic wool coat in a neutral color or faux fur coat or jacket is fine in winter. When it rains cats and dogs, a high quality classic trench coat also fits the bill.

Stylist Tip: When the weather isn’t cooperative, take a cub.


What Not to Wear to the Opera

Anything that screams weekend, work wear, gym, outdoors, vacation, or casual. No distressed whatever, no sneakers, leggings, mini skirts, anything denim, bare mid-riff except you are Indian and wear a silk sari.

Stir away from too much sequins, Rhinestones, and glitter because these material may cause annoying or irritating reflections of the light.


Dressing for the Opera in a Nutshell

You can’t go wrong with a special occasion dress. Ever Pretty offers a special discount for my subscribers and fans of 25% off on orders $75 and up. Use code:  blogger25. Browse their collection now. The next special occasion comes faster than you think.


Top of the World Style Linkup No. 344

top of the World style linkup party logo showing the globe with Alaska in the center

Welcome to the Top of the World Style linkup party.


Top of the World Style awardees Martina Terry and Gail
Awardees of last week’s party from left to right: Martina Berg’s post at Lady 50 Plus became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav, Terry’s post at Meadow Tree Style became the Top of the World Style Winner. Gail’s look at Is This Mutton became the Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photos from these ladies’ posts


Congrats Ladies! Grab your award buttons.

Please invite your friends.
Come join me at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #ffblogger Click To Tweet


Click here to the party room


Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2022 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. thestylesplash

    The red velvet dress is divine!

    Emma xxx

  2. Jess

    You look spectacular in formal wear! I love the velvet gown. The last opera I saw was Don Giavonni.

  3. Rena

    Lovely looks, Nicole.


  4. yourtrueselfblog

    Hi, Nicole – This is a great guide for what to wear to the opera. I’ll bet info on this topic is hard to find, so this is handy and unique. Your red gown is just breathtaking! – Angie,

  5. My husband’s work is having a gala at the end of March (if it doesn’t get canceled!) and I am really looking forward to getting dressed up formally. I haven’t in so long! You have such an amazing collection of dresses and I love all of the colors on you.


  6. Nicole Mölders

    When the wedding is at a restaurant/resort/hotel, just can them for the dress code of the place and take it a notch up. The answer you got sounds like Fairbanks Casual.

  7. Terri Gardner

    Thank you for the mention. I really appreciate it. Take care, Terri

  8. shelbeeontheedge1

    You really have a gorgeous collection of formal dresses, Nicole! I love the ones in this post. The colors are beautiful. And I always appreciate “dress code” guidance. It seems to get more and more complicated as our society becomes more and more casual! We have a wedding to attend in July and because our children are attending as well, we inquired way ahead of time about the dress code because I will definitely need to get something for the boys to wear. Neither the bride or groom could even answer our question! Then weeks later, they told us “summer casual” and it’s at some fancy place in Long Island so I still don’t really know what that means! Haha. I am just going to do my best, cross my fingers, and assume no one is paying much attention to us anyway!