You have many options when it comes to what to wear to the Paris Opera House. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend many shows at the Paris Opera House, and have observed first hand what people are wearing to attend the Opera House. My love for the Opera and shows began when I was in college studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. While attending University, I was entitled to a student discount for the Sydney Opera House.
Over the course of the year, I took advantage of the special pricing offered to me and saw as many shows as possible at the Opera House. When I moved to Paris, I was extremely excited to once again live in a city with one of the greatest Opera Houses in the world. One question that may be stirring in your mind is what to wear to the Opera House in Paris.
When thinking about what to wear to the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier) most of us are envisioning Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman in her gorgeous red gown with Richard Gere in a tux heading to the Opera. One thing that may really surprise you about the dress code at the Opera House in Paris is most ladies are not wearing a ball gown or an extremely fancy dress. The gentlemen are not in a tux or a fancy suit either. This begs the question then, what should you wear to the Opera House in Paris?
WHAT THE WOMEN ARE WEARING TO THE PARIS OPERA HOUSE:
- A Casual Dress or a Little black dress (LBD) – In my opinion you can never go wrong with a dress or a LBD, when I attended the Opera House in Paris I opted in for this little black dress with puffy sleeves.
- A Blouse and Nice Slacks – Many ladies were also dressed in nice slacks and a casual blouse. They looked elegant, timeless, and comfortable!
- Casual Shoes or heels – I love heels so I chose to wear heels, however, if you prefer flats many ladies are in flats as well. My recommendation is wear the shoes that you will feel the most comfortable in! You will be sitting most of the time
- Clutch or small handbag – For this special evening at the Palais Garnier I chose to wear my new Chloe, Nile clutch, I felt like it added a pop of color to my overall outfit!
WHAT THE MEN ARE WEARING TO THE PARIS OPERA HOUSE:
- Button Down Shirt or a Polo – All of the gentlemen that I saw at the Paris Opera House were in a button down shirt or a polo. My biggest piece of advice is to “match” your plus one, if your date is in a fancy dress then wear a button down shirt, and if your date is more casual then wear a polo.
- Slacks – All men at the Opera House in Paris were wearing slacks or nice pressed pants.
- Dress Shoes, or nice casual Shoes – The shoes you wear to the Opera House really depends on the rest of the outfit, make sure that you match your shoes, and don't forget about your socks to the rest of your outfit.
- Suit Jacket with Slacks – If a guy was wearing a button down shirt, most likely he had a suit jacket on, and if it was a little cooler and the guy didn't want to wear a jacket you would find him in a suit jacket.
- Sweater or Cardigan – I typically saw more guys in sweaters or cardigans at the Paris Opera House during the fall and winter, in the summer and spring it will most likely be too warm for to wear a sweater or a cardigan.
WHAT THE MEN ARE NOT WEARING TO THE PARIS OPERA HOUSE:
- Tennis Shoes
- Tux – unless it’s a formal night
WHAT THE WOMEN ARE NOT WEARING TO THE OPERA HOUSE:
- Jeans or Very Casual Clothing
- Tennis Shoes
- Ball Gowns
Attending the Opera House in Paris is such a special occasion and an amazing opportunity to see some of the best performances in the world. The Palais Garnier opened its doors in 1875. The Paris Opera House is easily most of the most iconic and recognizable buildings in all of Paris. Even if you don't attend a show, I highly recommend you go visit the Palais Garnier, it is truly a remarkable building.
In addition, the Paris Opera House also offers different tours, for these tours there is no dress code and it's quite informal. However, depending on the time of year the Paris Opera House can get cold. I always recommend bringing a shawl or a light sweater.
Occasionally, Palais Garnier (The Paris Opera House) will have events that are formal, if this is the case then yes more formal attire is required. If it is a formal event you will be informed prior to arriving and booking your ticket. On the ticket they will tell you what is acceptable for formal night.
In Conclusion, my recommendation is to always be comfortable and feel confident in what you’re wearing. For me, I love attending events and I probably always over dress, but it’s because I enjoy it. Would I be wearing a ball gown at the Opera house? Definitely not, but you’ll definitely find me wearing a nice cocktail dress and heels.
Sincerely Petite in Paris,