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What to wear to the ballet?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Dandy Wonka, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Dandy Wonka

    Dandy Wonka Senior Member

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    I am going to the ballet at the Paris Opera when I am there next month.

    I have never been to the ballet but am taking the chance to sit in that great historic building.

    What am I to wear?

    Hopefully not black tie.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016


  2. RaggedyDandy

    RaggedyDandy Senior Member

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    You wouldn't go wrong with black tie, but barring that a navy suit, grenadine tie would do. I'd consider black oxfords in that situation - either captoes or wholecuts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     


  3. Dandy Wonka

    Dandy Wonka Senior Member

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    Thanks RD.

    I wasn't planning to drag black tie over there so I guess navy suit it would have to be.

    So smart casual is out?
     


  4. 12345Michael54321

    12345Michael54321 Distinguished Member

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    Since "smart casual" is a somewhat nebulous term, how about just saying what it is you had in mind, specifically?

    Chances are I'll still tell you to wear a navy or dark grey suit, though.
     


  5. Andy57

    Andy57 Distinguished Member

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    If you're attending a performance at Opera Bastille, I'd say wear whatever you want. But if you're going to the opera, Palais Garnier, well have you been in that building? It's like a baroque explosion went off in there. It's one of the most remarkable buildings, certainly most remarkable interiors, in the world. If ever a place demanded at least black tie, it would be Palais Garnier. It doesn't matter what anyone else wears, if you own a black tie rig, you owe it to yourself to wear it.
     


  6. Dandy Wonka

    Dandy Wonka Senior Member

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  7. gs77

    gs77 Senior Member

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    Just make sure you match colors to Chagall's ceiling (joke :) )

    There are people in black tie there, and yes it is appropriate, but also full of tourists in jeans.

    Which ballet?
     


  8. Astaroth

    Astaroth Senior Member

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    A quick google and you will see pictures like:
    [​IMG]


    The place should really be formal wear and a tux should be roughing it but in practice you'll see many in trousers and shirt sans tie or jacket etc
     


  9. RaggedyDandy

    RaggedyDandy Senior Member

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    I tend to agree with Andy57, for two reasons.

    1) Black tie isn't just about being dressed well, it's about a sense of place and occasion (well, and time - we're assuming this is an evening performance). In Paris, even wearing it to dinner out at a good restaurant likely wouldn't turn many heads, especially on a weekend.

    2) I may be misinterpreting your response above, but it comes across as you'll be packing the navy suit instead of the BT rig for the trip. If it's a choice of one or the other and no other reason (e.g. not a business trip where the suit is required anyway), then it's a moot point, and I would go black tie. Even still, it doesn't take up that much space to bring it anyway.
     


  10. poorsod

    poorsod Distinguished Member

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    I was in the Palais Garnier last summer for the POB's La fille mal gardee. Many men wear no coats. It is not really that dressy. I may have worn a coat but it was during the 105 degree heatwave and Paris has no AC. Unless it is a gala, I see no reason to wear more than a coat and tie.

    [​IMG]

    The Chagall ceiling

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016


  11. Dandy Wonka

    Dandy Wonka Senior Member

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    This one:

    https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-15-16/ballet/jerome-bel-jerome-robbins

    I was excited to see that the costumes for part of it were designed by Sartori (of Berluti).

    I am a real ballet virgin. Never had an interest to go. But I am also a history and culture buff and thought I would grab the opportunity to go there. This could turn me on to ballet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016


  12. Dandy Wonka

    Dandy Wonka Senior Member

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    Believe it or not I don't even own a Black Tie outfit.

    It's a combination of being in the process of losing a lot of weight and attending about one Black Tie function every five years.

    I anticipate buying a Tom Ford outfit at some stage but wanted to finish the weight loss first.

    PS. I wasn't even planning to take a navy suit. But now I will.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016


  13. RaggedyDandy

    RaggedyDandy Senior Member

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    Well, then that makes it easy. I think it was assumed that you did own one, but given the modern day mix of dress at events like this, you won't be out of place in the suit. From what you've added here, I wouldn't get a dinner suit just for this.

    FWIW, I only just bought one myself, using the excuse of a surprise 40th birthday trip to NYC for my wife, and having tickets to opening night of Madama Butterfly when we get there. I don't have a lot of reasons to wear it, but I can anticipate 3-4 in the next couple of years, so why not have something proper? I went with a Samuelsohn OTR, as the price and style was right, and the fit was reasonable for OTR.

    Congratulations on the weight loss, and don't sweat the outfit now - just look forward to the trip!
     


  14. Le beau parleur

    Le beau parleur Member

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    Unless it is a special gala, you will look like a toursit with a black tie, just like the people wearing jeans you will meet there.
     


  15. gs77

    gs77 Senior Member

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    Well, the first ballet I ever attended was in Garnier. I was married for year or so, my wife had a business trip to Paris, and I tagged along. She managed to get tickets for "Parsifal - Episodes et écho" by John Neumeier - this was a true spectacle by Hambourg Ballet. I then realized one thing, people with good old classical education can easily enjoy ballet, and pick all the clues and references given out by music, movement, scene and costume. It was fascinating that I was able to understand the "story" with only vaguely knowing who Parsifal was.
     


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