Brunette from Wall Street

Winter 2024 Opera Outfits: What to Wear and How to Wear It

Winter opera and winter ballet outfits for everyone who spends her evenings at the opera house instead of reading a book dressed in cosy knits and leggings by the open fire – here. But also winter ballet outfits and winter opera outfits for everyone who is counting the days till the next opening night and posing to the photographs for the exclusive feature in the local press. And yes, we are dressing up for the opera house again this winter!

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Now, you might be surprised why I wrote again in the introduction. Well, here is the thing: contrary to popular belief, there is no rigid dress code for opera or ballet performances. Not even for the opening nights, and even less for the Nutcracker that marks the beginning of the holiday season.

Forget the “old money” winter extravaganza and classy winter white tie attire for the opera in 2024. It is unlikely you will see ladies wearing a proper white tie gown with opera gloves unless you strictly adhere to the invitation for the opening night.

Instead, expect to see denim, sweatpants and leggings. I know I might be ripping your expectations and a vision of your perfect night at the opera house, but I don’t want to fool you into wearing a white tie attire while knowing you will be the only one wearing gloves and a gown.

I do however, want you to dress up for the opera this winter. Do it for the plot.

Bring a fresh perspective to the opera house with one of these charming winter opera and ballet outfits I put together for you. These winter ballet outfits and 2024 winter opera outfits come reimagined in new silhouettes while the right mix of sequins and tulle make the effortless transition from smart casual to black tie and white tie dressing.

Also, this is what I wear for the opera/ballet in winter.


By the way, all my winter opera and ballet outfits presented in this article are hyperlinked and available for immediate purchase via links within the content itself. To shop for your favourite winter opera outfit, click on the item you need to recreate the look. Your click will take you to the online store where you can buy that item immediately.

Now scroll down to see the best winter opera and winter ballet outfits for winter 2024.


We can hardly tell it’s winter without the proper beginning. Nutcracker marks the beginning of winter and holiday season.

Bring extra brilliance to the ballet with midi dresses in an array of styles.


Imagine, the crisp winter air embracing you as you step out of the taxi, the glow of the opera house’s lights casting a warm invitation against the chilly night. You feel a flutter of excitement as you step out of the car, wrapped in your elegant LouLou studio Borneo long black coat (btw it’s made of 90% wool and 10% cashmere and the sleeves are longer than on other premium coats – but this is the designer’s choice). You catch a glimpse of your reflection in the window, and you smile at how stunning you look in your Self Portrait midi red dress, tiara headband, and Aquazzura black slingback pumps. You feel like a princess, ready to be swept away by the music and the dance.

You walk into the opera house, admiring the grand architecture and the festive decorations. You see a large Christmas tree in the lobby, surrounded by sparkling lights and colorful ornaments. You think you smell the aroma of hot chocolate and gingerbread, and you hear the chatter of other guests, dressed in their finest attire (hopefully!).

With a graceful twirl, you slip off the LouLou Studio Borneo long black coat, revealing the vibrant red of your Self Portrait midi dress beneath. You hand over your coat to the cloakroom attendant, who gives you a numbered ticket in return. You put the ticket in your purse, and walk towards the auditorium.

Ps. Worry not you won’t be cold in the dress. This dress is heavy and warm.


You make your way to your seat, feeling the anticipation build up as you wait for the show to begin.

You smooth the pleats of your Self Portrait midi green dress, feeling the luxurious fabric against your skin. The tiara headband adds a touch of whimsy.

As you glance around, your eyes meet those of a dapper gentleman across the aisle (btw I usually sit on the parter balcony or in the first row – my favourite seat for the ballet. Btw, I have never used the opera glasses, the opera binoculars from the picture above – I bought them merely for a prop for the photo – I have never seen anyone using binoculars irl. But, you can buy them here for the plot.). His gaze lingers on you for a moment, and a genuine smile graces his lips. His eyes light up as he extends a compliment, “Your dress is absolutely stunning, a perfect choice for this enchanting evening.”

The lights dim, and the orchestra starts to play. You recognize the familiar tunes of Tchaikovsky, the composer of the Nutcracker. You learn that the ballet was first performed in 1892, in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, a German writer of fantasy and horror. The ballet tells the story of Clara, a young girl who receives a Nutcracker doll as a Christmas gift from her mysterious godfather, Drosselmeyer. She falls asleep under the Christmas tree, and dreams of a fantastical world, where her Nutcracker comes to life and battles the evil Mouse King. She travels with him to the Land of Sweets, where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and other delightful characters.

You watch the dancers on stage, mesmerized by their grace and skill. You see Clara and the Nutcracker Prince dance a romantic pas de deux, expressing their love for each other. Pov, I shouldn’t tell you more about the ballet. Bringing it back to the winter ballet outfit you will wear to the Nutcracker in 2024, watch the video below.


If you are going to the ballet during the day, a daytime formal morning dress will be more appropriate. For a 5 o’clock Nutcracker, bring a pop of purple. A morning dress with a black blazer and midi purple skirt will be perfectly matched for the occasion and the hour.

By the way, the skirt I’m wearing is one of the most affordable skirts in my dressing room. I loathe it for being an object of interest of despicable vermins, but the quality is exceptional. The fabric is heavy and it falls beautifully. I had it taken in, because I’m skinny (I’m 74 cm in hips), but the size is true to the label, so take your normal size.


For a 2 pm Nutcracker, you can bring brighter colors to the mix. Think red or even pink.

Pov you can wear the same red dress as you would for the night. All in all, it is still the Nutcracker. But paired with the blazer it will be dressed down for the day.


In the orchestra’s absence at 11 am, Nutcracker calls for a more relaxed outfit. Point of view, the orchestra might be absent in the afternoon, too, but the early hour alone is the breaking point for a more relaxed dress code.

While I beg you not to wear denim, leggings, sweatpants or denim to the Nutcracker ballet (or any ballet), tweed shorts are occasion appropriate for girlies and their little ones.

Style with a tweed jacket and patent leather Mary Jane pumps to make the occasion more special.


I don’t know about you, but my Thursday evenings are reserved for the opening nights at our opera house.

Channel thrill and anticipation in a new evening look – preferably a white tie. A new gown and opera gloves set the scene for the occasion.


Admittedly, you might be the only one wearing the opera gloves. Sorry to tell you that, but I don’t want to fool you into wearing a white tie when I know ladies don’t wear white tie to the opera in 2024.

Honestly, I don’t know if I will wear this outfit to the next opening night, either. I might opt out of the gloves and layer with a black tux blazer instead. I have done that in fall as well.

All in all, opera gloves are highly impractical. We always have food and drinks backstage after the performance (it’s not for the crowd, I’m invited) and I don’t like taking off the gloves if I don’t sit. We are standing and my clutch is too small for the opera gloves. Also, I don’t like the Mousquetaire gloves. I think they are ridiculous.

On the other hand, I might do it for the plot. This Self Portrait dress calls for gloves, no cap.

About the dress, you might need to size up. I think Farfetch made a mistake when writing the size of the dress the model in the picture wears. She is supposed to wear the same size as me, but she is not as skinny as I am. I’m cup A (73 cm with a pushup) and this dress feels slightly tight. Also, she wears all the other Self Portrait dresses in size UK 8.

Of course, you can return the dress within 14 days of the delivery date, excluding any delivery costs. But I suggest you check the size guide before purchasing.

Ps. Note I’m not fully dressed in the video featured below. We shot it when I was still in my sandals. However, you’ll spot the sleek black satin pumps to wear with this gown for white tie opera opening night in winter in the collage and product gallery down there. Oh, and by the way, they happen to be Gianvito Rossi – hands down the most comfortable evening pumps you’ll ever own.


For a look that is less formal, but equally enchanting for the opening night, bring some tulle into the mix.

You will feel the eyes of the people on you, admiring your beauty and style. You will hear the whispers, the compliments, the envy. You might enjoy the attention, but you are not here for them.


Now, finally, my favourite black tie winter opera outfit. Point of view, I could wear it more often, but we only have one opera house here and it is always more or less the same public. And they always remember what I wore the last time they saw me. On top of that, all my looks from the opening nights are captured and published online and in print.

While we pose for the photos upon our arrival after we give away our coats, make sure your coat complements your dress.


A warm coat is an essential part of your winter opera outfit. Especially if you, like me and my company, discuss about the opera/ballet long after you have left the house.


You are still under the spell of the opera/ballet as you step outside the opera house. You feel a chill in the air, but you don’t mind. You are warm with the memories of the music, the drama and your long coat. You look up at the sky, and see the stars shining brightly. You wonder if they are the same stars that the lovers in the opera saw, before their tragic fate.

You are not alone. You are with someone who shares your passion for opera/ballet, someone who understands what you have just witnessed. You turn to them, and see their eyes sparkling with emotion. You smile, and they smile back.

You share your thoughts and feelings about the performance. You agree on some things, and disagree on others. You debate, you argue, you laugh. You learn from each other, and you challenge each other. You respect each other, and you admire each other. You enjoy each other’s company, and you listen to each other’s voice.

You talk about the composer, and his genius. You talk about the cast, and their talent (or lack of it). You talk about the story, and its meaning. You talk about the music, and its beauty. You talk about the opera/ballet, and its power.

You talk until the night is over, and the dawn is near. You realize that you have spent hours talking, and you don’t want to stop. Thank me you are wearing a warm coat and comfortable shoes. Btw, the shoes in the video and in collage are both Gianvito Rossi – the same model, just a different color.


If you are feeling overwhelmed by choice and can’t decide on the best winter opera outfit for your next opera night, I made a comprehensive list of delectable options for winter opera nights 2024 and winter ballet 2024. Check out the FAQ; it’s bound to offer the clarity necessary for you to make a confident choice.

What to wear to the ballet in winter 2024?

It depends on the venue and their dress code. But you can’t go wrong with the winter opera/ballet outfits presented in this article.

What do you wear to the Nutcracker ballet?

It is appropriate to wear formal classy attire. The level of formality can vary depending on the specific venue and the time of the performance. The later the ballet, the more formal your outfit should be. If you’re unsure what to wear to the Nutcracker ballet in 2024, check the dress code mentioned by the venue and the proposed outfits in this article.

Can you wear jeans to the Nutcracker ballet?

Please, don’t! Even though the opera/ballet dress code is not as strict as it used to be, denim downgrades the occasion for everyone. Dress up for the plot, the cast and the audience. Even though the cast usually doesn’t care what you wear, showcase a more refined and elegant style and level up the event.

What is some fashionable gender fluid opera attire for winter?

A chic pantsuit.

Ps. Check the collection of my opera outfits to see how I wear a pantsuit for the opera as well.