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What to Wear to a Concert

Alas, there is no simple answer to the question of what to wear to a concert, because every concert has its own atmosphere and style. Opening night at the opera might require formal dress, but most concerts are far less formal. At some you'll be out of place if you dress up too much!

Usually you can wear whatever you want. There will be lots of people dressed in all manner of clothes, so you'll fit in no matter what. If you are worried, put on what you would wear to a business meeting or, better yet, to a wedding -- after all, a concert is a kind of celebration, so wear something festive!

To get more specific wardrobe advice, ask around, or call the organization and ask what people tend to wear.

Because concerts squeeze lots of people into one room, it's best not to wear strong fragrances.

Preconcert Lectures

Many organizations offer lectures immediately before their concerts. These "preconcert lectures" include information and insights about the composers and the pieces, along with some musical examples. You may also hear from performers and composers themselves. Call the organization to find out about preconcert lectures.

Introduction to Classical Music
  Music Categories
  Musical Instruments
  History of Classical Music
  Discover the Classics
     Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3 | Vol. 4

Glossary of Musical Terms

A-Z of Opera
  Synopses of Opera
  Index of Operas by Composer
  Opera Libretti

How To Enjoy A Live Concert
  A Note from the Author
  The Listener's Job Description
  Part 1: Before the Concert
  Choosing a Concert 
Kinds of Concerts 
Styles of Presentation: Formal, Informal, and Beyond 
Buying a Ticket
Sections of the Theater 
Getting Ready 
Getting There 
  Part 2: At the Concert
  "Concert Manners" 
The Concert Ritual 
Reading the Program 
Instruments of the Orchestra 
Ways to Listen 
Meeting the Performers 
Essential Life Support 
  A Brief Glossary

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