What to Wear to the Paris Opera House

what to wear to the Paris Opera House
Petite in Paris in Front of the Paris Opera House

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 to wear to the Paris Opera House
Diane Coletta wears a little black dress to attend a show at Paris Opera House
what to wear to the Palais Garnier
Diane is eager for the show at Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier) to begin!
what to wear to the opera house
Diane Wears a LBD and a Chloe Nile bag to attend the Paris Opera House show

WHAT THE WOMEN ARE WEARING TO THE PARIS OPERA HOUSE:

  1. 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.
  2. A Blouse and Nice Slacks  – Many ladies were also dressed in nice slacks and a casual blouse. They looked elegant, timeless, and comfortable!  
  3. 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 
  4. 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:

what to wear to the opera house
Aaron wears a blazer, button down shirt and slacks to attend the Paris Opera House
  1. 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. 
  2. Slacks – All men at the Opera House in Paris were wearing slacks or nice pressed pants. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. T-Shirts 
  2. Tennis Shoes 
  3. Jeans 
  4. Tux – unless it’s a formal night
  5. Shorts

WHAT THE WOMEN ARE NOT WEARING TO THE OPERA HOUSE:

  1. Jeans or Very Casual Clothing
  2. Tennis Shoes 
  3. Shorts
  4. 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. 

Shop Diane’s Outfit – Black Dress, Chloe Nile Bag

Sincerely Petite in Paris,

Diane 

8 Comments

  1. Margie Sanders flower
    July 11, 2019 / 2:29 pm

    Stunning outfit and you look so beautiful—just perfect for an opera! Have s wonderful day

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    • Diane
      Author
      July 11, 2019 / 2:53 pm

      Dear Margie,

      Thank you so much for reading my article about the Opera House in Paris!

      I really appreciate your support! I hope you have a wonderful week 🙂

      Kind Regards
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

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    • Diane
      Author
      July 24, 2019 / 7:13 am

      Dear Bryony,

      Thank you so much for reading my article about what to wear to the Paris Opera House!

      Have you ever been before?

      I hope you have a wonderful day

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

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  2. July 19, 2019 / 10:31 pm

    This is very interesting! I’m visiting Paris next year and I can’t wait to shop! I never knew about the price difference but that makes sense

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    • Diane
      Author
      July 24, 2019 / 6:59 am

      Dear Janay,

      Thank you for reading my article about what to wear to the Paris Opera House.

      You’re going to have the best time shopping in Paris, don’t forget to do your tax refund if you spend more than 175 Euros!

      I hope you have an amazing day!

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

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  3. July 19, 2019 / 11:17 pm

    Great tips for shopping smart abroad! I studied abroad in Paris for six months, but alas couldn’t afford these bags on a college student budget! Hopefully I’ll be back one day to take advantage of the cheaper prices.

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    • Diane
      Author
      July 24, 2019 / 6:58 am

      Dear Suzanne,

      Thank you for reading my article on what to wear to the Paris Opera House.

      Yes, I agree, when I was in college on a student budget I couldn’t afford designer handbags either! I totally understand

      I hope you enjoyed your time studying abroad in Paris, did you ever go to the Paris Opera house when you were here for a show?

      Best,
      Diane

      Diane Coletta
      Petite in Paris

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