When it comes to the Ballet, the thought of what to wear can become quite tedious. Knowing whether to play it audaciously or unadorned can be a real struggle and, as a result, this may leave you just settling for a pair of slim fit jeans and a nice satin blazer. There isn’t anything wrong with this of course, but you might just want to think a little more outside of the box. It is the ballet after all and if that means one thing, it’s that it will be a dramatically charged and empowering evening (or day) at the most so don’t be afraid to take a bold fashion risk! Dressing for the ballet should be an expression of the arts, a celebration of all things that inspire captivating colours, smooth satins and tantalising tulle elements!
Think Met Gala Ball – although this may seem a little overly ambitious as our average weekend typically would not include such an extravagant event. Any girl that lives or breaths fashion should probably take a note out of Carries book when it comes to taking a bold fashion risk. Her carefree and somewhat inspired choices when it comes to OTT fashion at a simple date night with the girls should be enough to get us inspired and point us in the right direction when it comes to picking the right outfit. Our pointe being (no pun intended) that ballet is a great opportunity to try something a little different, so make sure you take the chance to come out of your shell and embrace the arts!
Need some help picking the right outfit? We’ve got you covered! See below our fun and easy tips, guaranteed to make dressing for the ballet a total breeze.
8 tips to consider when dressing for the ballet
1. Don’t be afraid to dress up
When it comes to dressing up for the Ballet, don’t hold back! Need some inspiration? Think Oliver Rousteing’s (Creative Director of Balmain) collaborative collection for the Paris Opera Ballet. Awaken your fashion soul with glistening pearl encumbered leotards, stunning sparkles and, of course, everything Renaissance.
Try* Get into the ballet spirit, don’t be intimidated at the chance to flash it up with a glamorous outfit!
2. Just go with it, don’t overthink it
Try not to take it all too seriously, however do try to make more of an effort than just wearing pants and a top. Don’t think too much into it like “Will I be overdressed?” or “Is this appropriate?” – being overdressed is better than being under dressed! Of course, you should think about how much skin you are exposing and the length of your hemline, to show respect for the art.
Tip* Remember to keep your overall look fun, comfortable (you are sitting for a while after all) and in good taste!
3. Pay attention to fine detail
Draw inspiration from ballet costumes, opt for fine details that pay homage to the arts such as elaborate embroidery, beautiful beadwork, dramatic draping and tutu inspired elements. Essentially the art of ballet is all about shape and form created through dance matched to the harmonic rhythm of the music so try to emulate these elements into your overall look.
Try* A free flowing dress! This matches the ease of movement showcased throughout the ballet performance.
4. Dress for the time of day
While it’s great to wear what makes you feel confident and your very best, keep in mind what type of performance you will be attending as this will determine the type of clothing that is best to wear. If it’s a matinee show try something a little more smart casual rather that a demure cocktail or formal look that is, of course, more suited to an evening show.
Tip* Does your show start late afternoon? Perhaps try a corporate casual look such as wearing a tailor pant suit set.
5. Consider the type of Production
What type of production will you be attending? Analysing the type of performance style is the best way to determine the type of outfit you should be looking for. Ask yourself is it a Classical, Romantic, Neoclassical or Contemporary Ballet as these key words will help you determine what to pick. For example, a classic ballet event would be obviously suited to a more classic looking style such as something featuring lace or rich silks.
Try* Understand the type of production you are attending and the general themes around that ballet!
6. Let the music inspire your outfit
Listening to the rhythm in music can be a great way to gauge some inspiration. Use the melody, harmony and exquisite beats featured in music as a tool for choosing the right outfit! Pay homage to repetitive rhythm with some fabulous romantic ruffles or perhaps an upbeat tempo with a fun and vibrantly printed outfit. Be creative and especially imaginative with music in fashion. A match made in heaven!
Tip* Close your eyes and listen to the beat in the music, write done words used to describe the sounds and use these keywords when searching for a dress.
7. Experiment with your makeup style
Your makeup style can be more expressive than you may think, this could work especially well if you have an outfit that is quite simple and understated in style. Think of a refined Black Swan look with a bold eye as this could add an intensely dramatic value to your evening ballet look. Alternatively, you could try to soften your look with a whimsical white coloured eyeshadow. If you do decide to try something a little more theatrical, the trick to this working flawlessly is to keep your outfit choice paired back and rather simple so that your makeup does all the talking.
Try* To avoid an overdone look, always consider one feature of the face and keep other features muted for a pleasantly contrasting look.
8. Wear dramatic statement jewellery
This is a great way to add a bold point of interest to your overall look. The oversized jewellery trend is all the rage at the moment so take advantage and display an artistic sensibility with a pair of largely ornate drop earring or an extravagant neck piece guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd. Try experimenting with different colours, forms and textures, depending of course on the theme of the ballet you are attending.
Tip* A beautiful pearl statement neck piece could be the perfect option for an upcoming classical ballet event.