What to Wear to the Ballet

Enjoy the chance to take in a ballet performance and get creative with your ensemble. 

What to Wear to the Ballet
Don’t shy away from taking the opportunity to dress up in a way that best fits your personal style.

Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet or Giselle—attending the ballet means indulging in the elegance of dance for a few hours. And while the ballerinas on stage may be in tutus, pink tights, leotards and pointe shoes, as a guest, you’ll want to put on a little something fancy. What should you wear to the ballet? Think about classic wardrobe pieces punctuated with artistic details. 

If it’s an after-work activity, a twist on your usual office uniform will fit the bill (try adding a pop of color or cool pair of statement earrings). But, a fancier ensemble—say a little black dress and a pair of pumps—is completely within the norm as well. A performance is often tied to a special occasion like an anniversary, visit from family or birthday, so don’t shy away from taking the opportunity to dress up in a way that best fits your personal style. Avoid anything too casual (flip-flops are a no-go) or that has the potential to distract other audience members during the performance—say a hat or jewelry that tends to knock together if you move. Otherwise, enjoy the chance to take in the ballet performance and get creative with your ensemble. 

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Classic Chill

You’re headed straight from your last meeting of the day to meet your date for a quick bite and drink pre-evening performance. You’ll need an outfit that’s business casual friendly without feeling like you just came from a job interview. The answer: a classic button down and dress pants combination punched up with playful accessories. 

All Out Glamour

For a night when you want to dress your best, try a flared midi cocktail dress on for size. Break out a pair of slick slingback heels and a sparkly bag for a dousing of luxe flair. The ballet show may be on stage, but this look is meant to turn heads at intermission.

Keep It (Mostly) Casual

Preppy, not-quite-casual attire worn together makes for a cultured combination that will put forth the vibe that you’re just as up on your Didion and Wilde as you are Marius Petipa. Heeled loafers and a ribbed dress paired with a statement necklace is a comfortable yet elegant and casual look.

Sharp Suiting

It’s not your average two-piece suit. This checked combo from New York City-based Christopher John Rogers is a cut above the rest thanks to impeccable tailoring. When it comes to accessories, don’t underestimate the power of a great belt—it can tie an entire ensemble together. 

Soft Combination

Swingy skirts were a major trend on the Fall/Winter 2023 runway, but IRL they are an elegant option for layering and playing with texture. A silky skirt paired with a soft cashmere sweater and slick leather booties is a simple yet powerful combination that also happens to be comfortable enough to sit in through the entire matinee or evening performance. 


Quirky & Creative

Loewe’s fitted floral midi dress is a bold starting point for a ballet-worthy ensemble. Build on the quirky-cool look with a pair of Mary Jane pumps and sculptural earrings—a combination that is uniquely poised to stand apart. The addition of a cashmere cardigan ensures that you’ll be warm even if the venue is heavy-handed with the air conditioning. 

What to Wear to the Ballet