Opening Night Style Guide

Kate Walsh at LA Opera's 2015/2016 Season Opening Night (2015); Photo:Steve Cohn

Kate Walsh at LA Opera’s 2015/2016 Season Opening Night (2015); Photo:Steve Cohn

Deciding what to wear to an event can be anxiety-producing for some people, especially if it’s your first time or a special occasion. Fashion Crisis be gone…Here are some helpful tips for opera goers eyeing their closet for the season’s opening night on September 17.

Dress up.

You may not need a pair of opera gloves or a tuxedo (although we love to see them!), but it’s a great excuse to get spiffy. Let’s face it, life doesn’t offer most of us many formal opportunities after prom. Why not glam it up? A suit and tie or an elegant cocktail dress can really set the mood for a special evening. At opening nights you’ll see fancier ensembles, with the fanciest on the season’s opening night, which is this Saturday, September 17.

Comfort is King (and Queen).

When choosing your opera fashion, stay in your comfort zone; be yourself. Men aren’t required to wear a jacket all night and ladies who feel chic in a pantsuit are welcome to show off their personal style. Remember, short skirts and tight dresses can be confining in theater seating. Super high heels can be uncomfortable by the end of the night and present a hazard on stairs and marble flooring, particularly if they’re not your norm. Don’t wear anything that will distract from your enjoyment of the production.


  • Don’t forget a sweater or wrap if you go sleeveless or get cold easily.
  • Leave some extra room in your outfit for the nice dinner you’re planning on having before or after the show.
  • Have a place to comfortably store your keys, phone, and other what-nots.
  • Too much of a good thing can overwhelm; don’t let perfumes, colognes, hair products etc., steal the show.
  • Pay attention to the weather; rain or wind can impact your comfort and appearance.
  • Opera glasses rock and can really help bring you into the action. They’re available for rental in the lobby.

Remember, opera is a head-to-toe experience, especially on opening night. What you wear not only represents who you are, it conveys respect for the theater, artists, and tradition of opera. Be yourself. Be stylish. Be comfortable. And be excited! You’re going to the opera!

Opening Night Style Guide

To learn more about LA Opera and to purchase tickets, visit our website.

Erin Knell is a student at California State University, Northridge majoring in journalism with a minor in English. Her previous internship experiences have involved public relations for a small documentary film, an event at the Valley Performing Arts Center and The Museum of the San Fernando Valley. She has been published in several literary magazines and for syndication online.

LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.
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