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Appropriate Attire for Seeing the Ballet


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23 replies to this topic

#1 cricket

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 11:31 AM

I'm driving a gaggle of teens from our civic company to see the Kirov perform La Bayadere tomorrow evening in Cleveland. I have to go directly from work to our meeting place & am unsure of what to wear. Is my work attire appropiate? I was going to wear a nice sweater & black slacks. I'd prefer not to wear a skirt as it's going to be in the 30's for highs. :)

Also, what should I tell the teens to wear? I'm assuming jeans are a faux pas... Normally, attendees to our civic theater wear casual/work attire, but I imagine a bigger venue is more formal. :shrug:

#2 BW

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 11:40 AM

cricket, you sound as though you've got it under control. Some people will be extremely "well dressed" but my guess is that most will be tastefully attired from a somewhat casual style to the business suit, blazer, etc. approach. Though I haven't been to this Cleveland venue, I'm assuming it's similar to NYC's. At City Center last night the garb worn ran the full gamut from blue jeans, to a "hip" silver lame sort of uniform shirt, to tweed blazers, and the rest.

For the teens, I think "no jeans" is right on - and no bear midriffs or t-shirts of that "certain" kind, either. :) Naturally, I'm speaking as a parent! :sweating: :D :D

What a nice thing for you to be doing! Please be sure to report back on your whole experience, too! :yes:

Edited by BW, 06 November 2003 - 11:45 AM.


#3 koshka

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 11:45 AM

I've seen it all, and as far as I'm concerned, anything that's neat and clean and doesn't bother others in the audience is OK. Black pants + sweater are a frequent combo for me.

I would agree that jeans might stick out, so if you can persuade the teens to be a bit more formal, that would be good. For teens, the more important thing might be that if they are dressed more formally, they might act more formally (or maybe not...I'm told that formal clothing sometimes encourages formal behavior...)

If they want to dress up, they should by all means enjoy the opportunity to do so.

As a frequent balletgoer at the Kennedy Center, I truly don't care what people wear as long as they conduct themselves appropriately.

#4 koshka

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 11:47 AM

Eeek! Definitely no t-shirts or bare tummies! :speechless:
Anyway, isn't it too cold for that stuff?!?!?

#5 BW

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 11:48 AM

koshka wrote:

As a frequent balletgoer at the Kennedy Center, I truly don't care what people wear as long as they conduct themselves appropriately.

Now that is the truth! :)

#6 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 12:07 PM

I once actually saw a teenager take off his shoes, and rest his bare feet on the back of the seat in front of him.


At the Metropolitan Opera, no less!

#7 carbro

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 12:30 PM

Not encouraging it, but I've seen casual shorts at the Met, as well as (frequently) jeans -- esp. among the standees.

I have yet to see sweat suits or bathing suits, though.

My personal unwritten code is that the Met is a tad dressier than other NYC venues, matinees can be more casual than evenings, and you dress according to where you are sitting/standing.

Black slacks and a nice sweater would be appropriate no matter where you sit.

#8 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 12:31 PM

Cricket - any sort of neat attire should do, but can I suggest you try to get the teens to dress up just a little? I don't mean for them to feel uncomfortable (I'd rather they were at the theater in cutoffs and sandals than not at all) but it's good to make the experience of going to the theater just a little bit special. Like dressing up to go out for a really fine meal, it differentiates it from the ordinary. This is just my own personal viewpoint, but then again, I enjoy dressing for the theater - when I have the time and clean outfit!

And good for you for getting them there. I saw the production in Detroit, I hope you are as pleased as I was.

#9 Watermill

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 12:46 PM

Dress up! It adds to the pleasure! Especially teens who are always wanting to try being grownup. (tho rarely admitting it cuz it ain't cool)

This also brings to mind the amusing panoply of audience attire here in Portland...Artsy meets Boardroom meets NikeSwooshers meets aging TreeHugger Hippie ...meets Canfield era GothPunk. Is this a ballet audience or the StarWars Canteena Scene!?

A Button down Watermill in his Hermes Tie

#10 Alexandra

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 12:47 PM

I'd echo the dress up idea -- from Washington, a very untrendy town. The Kennedy Center often has tour groups of high schoolers, and they're nearly always dressed up. It looks like Prom Night. (Once, we had all the Miss Georgia Peach contestants, in ballgown attire! No need to go that far....)

That said, the quietly casual -- your black slacks and sweater -- is just fine.

#11 Redstorm

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 12:53 PM

My daughter and I have season tickets to the SFB and love getting dressed up for the performances. It isn't too often that we have occasions to put on our "fancy" clothes and enjoy a night out. We usually make a day out of it. Dinner, a bit of shopping and then the performance. We both look so forward to the new season. We have seen all kinds of outfits at the ballet, but usually everyone is tastefully dressed. The Nutcracker is especially fun! I love to see all the little ones all dressed up in their Christmas clothes. Even my daughter loves to put on her prettiest dress for that one! :D

#12 koshka

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 01:19 PM

Redstorm, I totally agree that sometimes it is really fun to get dressed up, and it is also fun to see everybody else dressed up. Sometimes the weather and performance time (sunny Sun. matinees) allow for this, and sometimes they don't (cold weeknight performances).

I once actually saw a teenager take off his shoes, and rest his bare feet on the back of the seat in front of him.

:speechless: :speechless: :speechless: :speechless:

#13 floss

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 03:06 PM

Sweater in the high 30's? :sweating: (haha, kidding) Phew, I had to reread your post cricket and realise you meant 30's F not Celsius. Slacks and swaeter sound fine maybe a nice necklace or pearls to finish it off. I think it is good for the teens to dress up for the occasion but they should feel comfortable in jeans if they want to wear them. But please no t-shirts with the jeans, an evening top, and high heel shoes or boots look good with the glammed up jeans.

#14 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 03:11 PM

I've said this before, but I'm going to suggest one "dress up" item that's actually practical: A wrap or shawl. Theaters have a tendency to over aircondition here. Wraps come in handy.

#15 dirac

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Posted 06 November 2003 - 03:36 PM

And a wrap can disguise a multitude of fashion sins.

I'm going to dissent, in part, about dressing up. I agree that it can have salutary effects on behavior. However, since I travel some distance, often on public transportation, and am usually coming right from the office, where I don't have to dress up as a rule, I've appeared in some pretty casual wear (and I've seen jeans at the War Memorial Opera House, although not on me).

In my experience, people new to attending, including teens, have a lot of anxiety about What to Wear, and hearing "no need to dress to the nines" can be reassuring. It seems to make it more of an everyday event in a good way that is, not something that is only done rarely and with elaborate preparations beforehand. Even in prime seating I don't feel the need to dress like Mr. and Mrs. Venture Capitalist down the row, and even if I wanted to make a fancy evening of it with dinner beforehand I'd not be able to afford that and the tickets, too. (I also feel morally superior. Often as not, those people are there to See and Be Seen. I'm there for the art.:D) So I'd say dress down if you like, and don't stress out about it in any case.

As noted, the color black can be usefully deceptive.


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