What I Wore to the Ballet | Patterned Dress Layered with Jeans & a White Shirt

Floral dress layered with jeans
Admit it… you were expecting a tutu and leotard, weren’t you. It may come as a bit of a shock, but when I said this is What I Wore to the Ballet, I was watching – not dancing. I did use to be a ballet dancer, but gave it up about 34 years ago. I didn’t make it past the age of seven πŸ˜‰

We went to see the Moscow City Ballet perform (a traditional) Swan Lake at the Theatre Royal in Bath which was, by the way, absolutely stunning. I did wonder about what one wears to the ballet… does everyone get really dressed up, like I think people do at the opera? Or will everyone be in jeans as they are at so many events where I expect more people to have made an effort? I decided to steer clear of the full-length ball gown and decided on a dress for definite, but played it down – and kept myself warm – by layering it with a crisp white shirt and black jeans, and added my fabulous to add a touch of ladylikeness. What a great new word.

I’m happy to report that I was fine with my self-imposed dress code for the ballet – jeans were in abundance, but there were also several sparkly dresses and skyscraper heels I’m glad to say. Bravo to those ladies who chose to get super dressed up.

Have you been to the ballet before – and if so, what did you wear? I’d love to know!

Floral dress layered with jeans
Floral dress layered with jeans
Floral dress layered with white shirt

Catherine x

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Raincoat: c/o Laura Ashley, Dress: c/o Aspire Style, Shirt: Reiss, Jeans: c/o Wallis, Heels: , Bag: c/o , Belt: Asos, Watch: Lipsy

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  1. 12 April 2014 / 4:58 am

    I'm loving the look of shorter skirts over pants more and more. I will have to give it a try.
    In Northern California, there is a variety of styles when it comes to dressing for the Ballet or plays. I would say most people make an effort as they should. What is really cute is going to a kid friendly ballet like the Nutcracker or Cinderella. Every little girl is dressed up so you are surrounded by a sea of skirts and dresses.
    Thanks for sharing,

  2. 31 March 2014 / 5:53 pm

    Bravo, a well chosen compromise. Looking lovely. I thought Bath and all the surrounding land was flooded completely? We even skipped the idea of coming over to those parts for our holidays this summer.
    PS never been to a ballet performance.

    • 8 April 2014 / 7:44 am

      Bath pretty much escaped the flooding I think, Greetje – it's extremely hilly and high up! But other parts of the South West were hit severely, mostly the flat plains of Somerset which aren't too far away.

  3. 30 March 2014 / 6:47 pm

    This is such a lovely outfit, I love the pattern πŸ™‚ I have never been to the ballet but hopefully this year it will happen!

    Maria xxx

  4. 28 March 2014 / 11:42 am

    Ahh, just found your blog and it is lovely. I caaaannot believe you are a 40-something, there is no way you look that old…are you sure? I also did a year of ballet when I was younger. I think it's practically a girl's right of passage. How lovely you went to a ballet. So posh and a wonderfully dressy event. Can't believe you saw denim. Anyways, you should give your birth certificate a check. πŸ™‚

    Rosemary x

    • 8 April 2014 / 7:43 am

      Aww Rosemary thank you so much, that's so sweet of you!! You've made my day :))

  5. 28 March 2014 / 6:03 am

    I've never been to the ballet or opera and in my mind picture it as a dress up affair – but as I mentioned in a post on my blog, we seem to have become very casual in all aspects of life.

    I do like this outfit of yours.

    Have a wonderful Friday
    Simply Sassy

  6. 27 March 2014 / 11:49 pm

    I haven't been to a ballet since I was a kid! I have been to a few musicals lately and was disappointed at the number of jeans being worn! I was wearing a dress and heels, not sparkly and formal, but fancier than what I'd wear to church. So pretty nice. :o)


    • 8 April 2014 / 7:41 am

      You can't go wrong with a dress, can you? x

  7. 27 March 2014 / 3:31 pm

    My girls love to visit the ballet. It truly is magical to watch.

    X x

  8. 27 March 2014 / 2:39 pm

    My daughter danced until she went to college, so we saw a lot of ballet. I think I wore a California lady outfit, i.e. black pants, Chanel jacket, white shirt, flats. Not jeans. San Francisco gets oddly formal around its ballet and opera, maybe because we're so informal everywhere else.

  9. 27 March 2014 / 7:48 am

    Ah Ballet, it's always been super boring to me πŸ˜€ I do like your pretty dress! The shirt underneath makes you look very sophisticated and lady-like ^_^

  10. 27 March 2014 / 6:39 am

    …lovely look!…

  11. 27 March 2014 / 12:41 am

    PS You look lovely πŸ™‚

  12. 27 March 2014 / 12:40 am

    My daughter had this very dilemma last Saturday night when she scored some last minute tickets to an evening performance, previously she has always been to a matinee. She ended up going with skinny black jeans, tucked in cream shirt with a bit of lace, mint green blazer over the top, black wedges and little clutch. And she looked lovely. But then again she is a ballet dancer and can pull off just about anything with her fabulous posture and confidence πŸ˜‰

    • 8 April 2014 / 7:40 am

      Her outfit sounds perfect – I guess I too wore jeans even though we've all been saying we're shocked at how many people wear jeans. As long as they're smart ones and you're not wearing them with other sloppy clothes then it works. And thank you for your lovely comment below xx

  13. 26 March 2014 / 10:36 pm

    I could see this look being perfect for so many different venues, dear Catherine!! Love how the dress becomes almost like a vest in the way you've worn it over your jeans and white shirt…and I ADORE the colourful pattern against the black background!! P.S. I've never been to the ballet; but I did dream of being a dancer a number of years ago!! (Probably a good thing I never pursued it, considering how clumsy I apparently am!!)


    • 8 April 2014 / 7:38 am

      Thank you Monika – I too love a floral on a dark background. If you were a dancer when you were younger then you'd love the ballet – you must go! Just be careful on those stairs hun ;))

  14. 26 March 2014 / 7:26 pm

    I LOVE this. You look wonderful!

    I personally do get really dressed up for the ballet and for the opera. But we do see people in just jeans and t-shirts; it kind of makes me sad.

  15. 26 March 2014 / 6:08 pm

    Lovely dress, Catherine. I too am sad to see that the crowds for Broadway shows are decidedly casual. I don't go all-out, but like to put a little effort into an outfit for the theater. xox

  16. 26 March 2014 / 5:49 pm

    Love the print! Here too, one never knows what people will be wearing to performances. I went to the LA Opera a few years ago and was shocked to see people in jeans and tee shirts.

    • 8 April 2014 / 7:37 am

      Like I just mentioned to Sue – that's awful that people would wear jeans to the opera!! I guess as long as we ourselves don't feel we should confirm to the example they're setting then at least we can feel proud that we've made an effort πŸ™‚

  17. 26 March 2014 / 5:09 pm

    I have been to the ballet before, and I bring out the sparkle! Actually, I like to dress up for plays also. There just seems to be so few times one can really put on the glitz; I take advantage when I can. And yes, a LOT of people are wearing jeans, and GASP, yoga pants, but there are also always women wearing their best, and we give each other little nods of appreciation. Love the print on your dress.

    • 8 April 2014 / 7:35 am

      Women wearing their best – not something you see as often as I think we should, Sue! Yoga pants…?!!! dear oh dear πŸ™

  18. 26 March 2014 / 4:34 pm

    Such a pretty dress, looks great teamed with the white shirt xx

  19. 26 March 2014 / 4:08 pm

    I love the ballet but don't go often enough. And it's sad that people don't dress for the theater or the ballet like they used to. I love how you've layered. I live in Boston so being able to layer is quite useful to whip out the spring clothes before their time.

    • 8 April 2014 / 7:34 am

      Yes I agree – too many people dress down (or rather, don't make an effort) for slightly more special events. I even dress up a little to go to the cinema!!

  20. 26 March 2014 / 3:46 pm

    I've never been to the ballet πŸ™ but I love dressing up to go to the theatre – always a dress, but usually toned down with thick tights and 'not too showy' heels. I think you look just lovely.

    • 8 April 2014 / 7:33 am

      That sounds like a good guideline to follow, sweetie – always a dress, I say! Thank you πŸ™‚

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