View Poll Results: What to wear?

Voters
36. You may not vote on this poll
  • Full evening wear (white tie)

    0 0%
  • Evening wear (black tie)

    3 8.33%
  • Lounge suit

    7 19.44%
  • Smart casual (sports coat, slacks)

    17 47.22%
  • Casual wear

    18 50.00%
  • Very casual wear (distressed jeans, old gym shoes, t shirt)

    4 11.11%
  • Fancy dress costume.

    0 0%
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Thread: Dressing up for concerts

  1. #1
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    Default Dressing up for concerts

    When attending a classical concert or opera (not like a local ensemble in a village hall) what do you prefer to wear?
    Do you dress up, dress down, dress for comfort?
    Would you prefer concerts were more dressy to add to the sense of occasion? More relaxed?
    If "it depends" is that based on an explicit dress code?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    As long as the audience is respectful and avoids disturbing the concert, I am not too concerned with what anyone wears, so long as it is decent (no bikinis please).
    “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent look guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the mind of the masses.”
    --Malcolm X

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  4. #3
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    I'm not going to judge others for what they wear, but as for me, I'm not going to a concert or opera without wearing a jacket and tie. An amateur play production, I might skip the tie, mainly because I almost feel out of place if I'm wearing a tie.

    Quick story - not a concert story, but a presidential candidate story. I live in Iowa so we have the Iowa caucuses to deal with every four years and we get inundated with candidates and other shady political types. I was going to an event at which a particular presidential candidate was speaking. So I wore a jacket and tie. Well, not even the candidate's husband was wearing a tie. So there I was, and pretty soon a reporter came over to interview me, and the reason he gave for selecting me from among the crowd was the way I was dressed; he assumed from from my tie that that I was taking the whole process very seriously and he wanted to interview me for my take on this particular candidate. I answered his questions, saying that although I wasn't supporting this candidate, that I wanted to hear her, and yes, I do take this seriously, and felt it was appropriate to wear a tie to an even such as this.

    So, yes, for a classical music event or to hear a presidential candidate, as for me, I need the tie.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    I would wear the same clothes I wear everyday: black jeans, black tee shirt, and Frye engineer boots. If the weather is cool/cold - my Levi's jacket.

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    I don't care what anyone wears at a concert. I just want folks to be clean and healthy.

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    Senior Member BachIsBest's Avatar
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    I found this brief excerpt from James Finn Garner's novella Politically Correct Pinocchio to be highly illuminating regarding dress at artistic events.

    'Around the corner, over the tracks, down an alley, through the transit authority carriage depot and up a creaky flight of stairs, they came upon a rough door, on which were stenciled the words, "The Space LLC." Inside, the Fox introduced Pinocchio to Deward X. Cassel-Dworkin, who was the founder and artistic director there. The man was dressed in second-hand androgynous clothing, Birkenstocks, and a dirty watchpersun's cap, so his artistic credentials were obviously beyond reproach.'


    In all seriousness, going to my city's orchestra (not an overly prestigious one) you would stand out if you dressed white tie or with casual wear (guys in jeans stand out). Anything in between those options shows up, and no one seems to care too much. Personally, I tend to wear a dress shirt and bowtie, but skip the jacket. If I was to go to a more prestigious orchestra, I would probably put on a jacket.

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  12. #7
    Senior Member Taplow's Avatar
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    I will at least wear dress pants, dress shoes, collared shirt and jacket. Add a tie (sometimes a colourful, fun bow) if it's opera.

    The Bayerische Staatsoper is my local. Despite the prestige of this organization, you do see all sorts here, though most people tend to dress up. I've seen folks turning up to the opera wearing track suits, and occasionally Japanese women wearing full kimono. The guys turning up in white or black tie always look like pretentiously over-dressed first timers. They're the ones who get stared at - no one really cares about the casual look.

    Personally, I think all classical music and opera should be welcoming and open to everyone, regardless of budget or dress sense. I particularly love to see young people and kids at concerts. They're most likely trying something new, and may well become lifelong fans. It shouldn't matter that they don't have a jacket in their wardrobe.

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    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Chinos or similar, open necked shirt. Neither jacket nor tie. I might glance round the audience to see if what I'm wearing is out of place, but otherwise I'm not interested in what others wear. It hasn't been so far, so I'm comfortable with semi-smart casual.

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    I have been to concerts and opera in a not too clean denim shirt when young and travelling but I voted smart casual which would be the "typical", most frequent way, i.e. sometimes it could be more casual, sometimes a bit more formal, i.e. dark suit.

    I never worn black tie or white tie in my life and except for the big festivals or premieres at the largest operas I think it has become quite rare. I am not sure about black tie but I am pretty sure I have never seen a man in cravate blanche in the audience when I attended opera. In my impression business suit or smart casual is the attire of the large majority of adult male opera attendants in Germany, with a few more casual and very few more formal (black tie or particularly fancy or meticulous appearance (tie, cufflinks, general grooming). Concerts are often a bit more casual.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I don't give a crap what anyone wears at gigs as long as they don't talk, snore, cry, hum loudly, make food noises, set off fireworks, drool, obscure my view with a mobile phone or fart loudly. Personally I always wear either a t-shirt or casual shirt, jeans and boots for rock gigs or classical gigs. I hated it back in the 80s when classical gigs in the UK were attended by snotty people who judged me by my long hair/jeans/t-shirt. These days people are much more welcoming at classical gigs (but you still get some snotty b@stards at larger gigs, in particular).
    Last edited by Merl; Sep-22-2021 at 18:42.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    I don’t care what people wear, as long as they don’t talk, snore, or smell.

    For me, it depends on the occasion. If I’m at the Met on a Saturday night, I’ll wear my tux, mostly to assure myself that it still fits. BSO concerts on a weeknight or afternoon - casual. Evening concerts - I’ll put on a jacket and change out of jeans, mostly so people don’t look at my better-dressed wife and wonder why she’s married to a slob.

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  21. #12
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    Be clean, comfortable, and well-behaved, and everyone there should enjoy themselves.

    A polo or shirt with slacks or jeans (no holes in any of it) is my preferred form of dress when going to the symphony.

  22. #13
    Senior Member Taplow's Avatar
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    I once turned up to a concert in Tokyo wearing muddy boots, worn jeans, and a bright green parka … but only because I was travelling and that was all I had at the time. I felt rather embarrassed standing out in the foyer among the extremely well-dressed Japanese concert-goers, but they seemed mostly not to care.

    I chose not to accompany my friend backstage to meet William Christie in that state, however.*

    *I just remembered this little anecdote. It had not occurred to me earlier to dredge it out of the murky chasm of my deeply-supressed subconscious.

  23. #14
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Anything apart from EU berets.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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  25. #15
    Senior Member MrMeatScience's Avatar
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    When promming, anything goes. If I'm sitting down somewhere, it'll be my black jeans (the only type of trousers I own besides a couple for my very formal attire) and a shirt. If I'm going with someone who I know typically dresses up I'll add a jacket, weather permitting. When I was living in Vienna it was rather more formal (also the only performances I've ever seen a dress code strictly enforced).

    I'm really not fussed about it and just try not to stand out -- it's the ears that matter, and adding more barriers and making classical music seem more elitist isn't doing any of us any favours.
    Last edited by MrMeatScience; Sep-23-2021 at 00:42.

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