For better or for worse, most holiday concert invites and tickets don’t come with a specific dress code listed on them. This can make deciding what to wear to one a bit tricky, especially in the winter. The most essential thing is, of course, to feel comfortable. You can’t properly enjoy the show if you’re feeling too hot, too cold, wearing an itchy sweater, or painful shoes.
The key is to find the perfect blend of appropriately chic and comfortably cool for each holiday performance you attend this winter. For example, your favorite stand-by sweater dress might be a great option for a local music venue, but not entirely appropriate for attending an opera in the city. Let’s help you break it down by both genre and setting.
If you are attending a concert or holiday performance this year at a classic standing-room-only music venue, there are a couple of key things that you’ll want to keep in mind. First, you will want to research and see if there is a coat check. If not, you will likely be holding everything you bring with you during the duration of the show. Keeping this in mind while deciding what to wear may affect how many layers you pile on.
For this type of venue, we recommend casual date night attire. Keeping in mind that you will be standing, perhaps for hours, avoid having a painful night in high heels and stick to Chelsea boots or even a fashionable pair of street sneakers. This is also the perfect opportunity to break out your favorite pair of mom jeans (they’re hip right now, we promise!) Pair with a fitted sweater or hoodie and a leather jacket, and you’re ready to go. Comfort is truly key here and this outfit perfectly exemplifies how you don’t have to dress uncomfortably to look perfectly fashionable.
If the holiday performance that you are attending is a jazz concert or a classical music performance, you can usually expect a seated performance and a slightly more formal affair.
For these types of holiday music performances, a cocktail dress is a perfect option. There will almost certainly be a coat check, so wearing a dress under your warmest jacket should be a perfectly safe option. This is also almost certainly a seated venue, so feel free to wear your highest and most chic high-heeled shoes.
If you are attending a holiday concert in an outdoor area, such as an amphitheater, your top priority will be to stay warm. Whether you have seats or just some standing room, the outfit we recommend for a winter amphitheater show remains the same- make sure you have a good time by ensuring you will be warm and comfortable.
Layer up with a good thin base layer, and then you can wear your jeans or favorite pants over that. A fashionable sweater or sweatshirt layered under your jacket will help keep you warm and also serve as outwear if you get too warm and need to lose your jacket for a while. Depending on how large the space is and how much walking you anticipate should determine which shoes you choose to wear, but we always love our wardrobe staple, Chelsea boots to complete this outfit.
Attending a symphony or opera for a holiday winter performance is going to be the most formal affair in our list of holiday performances. While wearing a cocktail dress would likely be acceptable in most venues, how often do you get the chance to dress up in formal attire? We say go all out and wear a full-length dress or gown to the opera this winter.
Alternatively, if long formal dresses aren’t your style you can always go in a suit and tie. Extra long, wide-legged dress pants paired with towering high heels is an incredibly flattering and wonderfully chic look.
A child’s holiday music performance is usually a casual and fun, festive affair. You can essentially wear whatever you’d like, by why not get into the festive spirit with them? Many parents will be either coming straight from work or even having to take time off in the middle of the day to attend this type of holiday music performance, so we recommend bringing a cute, festive Christmas sweater with you that day. Throw your Christmas sweater on over your office attire and you’re ready for the elementary school Holiday Jubilee.
Whether you’re headed to see your favorite band at an old rock venue, or you’re going to see your niece sing in a Christmas pageant, remember to stay cozy and have a great holiday.