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Appropriate Attire for Seeing the Ballet

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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:

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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:
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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.

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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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I think getting teens to dress up is like taking a guy to church. They'd love to do it -- but would rather have it seem it was YOUR idea.

I do remember those years as a teen, going to ballet performances (or anywhere, for that matter, that was out of my regular weekday routine). Bunheads LOVE to get dishy, are you kidding? (After a week of sweating in tights and t-shirts and warmers). Just going to a restaurant every Sun. night with my dance roommates in college was a thrill -- for us it meant being clean as a whistle and puting a blazer on with our jeans to "dress it up."

A little tradition makes everyone feel that things are right with the world. My bet is that these teens are waiting to take their cue from you. Just make sure you compliment them on how "good they clean up." Have a wonderful time.

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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!

Hey, you could see that in the Family Circle at the Old Met, and not just teenagers! It was a terrible shlep up to the Peanut Gallery. And you had a side entrance different from "society"!

Just as long as they didn't try to conduct with their toes, it was OK.

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Thanks for all the suggestions! My daughter is getting dressed up in a nice sweater & skirt (I'm still wearing pants though - snow flurries predicted tonight). She passed the word to the rest of the dancers to dress up a bit. We are all very excited about the show. There are 5 adults and 10 teen dancers going. Should make for some interesting Nut rehersals tomorrow as they are scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. & we probably won't get back until after midnight. :sleeping: The AD of the company is going with us, though, so she should be understanding. :D

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Hi Cricket,

Sounds like you guys are going to be just fine. A nice sweater and trousers will be comfortable and still look appropriate for sure. I liked the suggestion of pearls as well, and a wrap. Speaking to that, I have a pair of gray wool flannel trousers and a black cashmere wrap sweater that I've worn to the Wortham here in Houston before and felt perfectly fine compared to everyone else. Add pearl necklace & earrings, plus a wrap and presto! changeo! you're ready for the ballet! You see everything here too...from jeans to ballgowns (I even saw someone in shorts and a T-shirt once, which I thought a little too dressed-down).

I agree with Floss that the glamed up jeans with a nice top and shoes would probably be OK, too. I've seen a lot of the Academy students here come to performances like that and looked absolutely fine.

I agree though, whatever you do wear, it's about the art. I think some people here are so worried about what to wear or not knowing anything about ballet that it intimidates them from attending. I have countless friends who would like to go, but always want me along as a chaperone! :wacko:

I'm sure you guys will have a wonderful time tonight!! Enjoy!

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When I go to the ballet I just go in whatever I'm wearing - which is usually jeans, t-shirt and trainers. I don't do it on principle - I just tend to go straight from work and that's what I wear there. I think people look more ridiculous if they are in an evening gown or something. Anyway, people should be there to see the ballet, not to see what other people are wearing.

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