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What to Wear to a Local Performance or Event

April 4, 2023

It’s not Broadway, but this performance promises to be even better because it’s your husband’s debut at the local playhouse. Bravo! And the concert on your calendar isn’t at Carnegie Hall, but you want to look your best when you snap a selfie with the fifth chair trumpet – your grandson. Whether you’re attending a young person’s music recital, a local theater troupe’s opening night, a college ballet or a high school play, you’re going to know just what to wear to a local performance or event.

What to Wear to a Local Performance or Event

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Because both of my children spent more than their share of time on the stage, I’ve got a little experience dressing for small town and university level performances. Sure, I’ve attended Broadway plays and musicals, Russian ballets and professional symphonic concerts, too. But that’s another post for another day. Today we’re focusing on what to wear to a local performance where the production value may not be quite as high, but the effort put in and the enjoyment gained rival any big ticket show in your estimation.

What to Wear to a Local Performance or Event
pants // floral tank // blazer (more economical) // sandals // earrings // similar handbag (another option)

I’ve just put together one outfit specifically for today’s post, but I’ll have a few other options for you further down, too. As in Monday’s post on What to Wear to a Funeral or Memorial Service, I forced myself to create a audience worthy outfit from what I already have in my closet. I figure most of us don’t want to have to shop for an outfit to wear to a singular performance, but we do want to dress appropriately and look our best.

What to Wear to a Local Performance

While you certainly can wear a dress or skirt to such a performance, I chose to create a festive pants outfit today. And you can never go wrong with white pants at this time of year. I’m wearing my Talbots Bristol pants. I also wore them in this post. They’re so comfortable and versatile, and they wear like an elevated chino. The Bristols run true to size for me; I’m wearing a size 8.

What to Wear to a Local Performance

I think a stage performance or recital is a great opportunity to wear something colorful and festive. No, you’re not the one in the limelight. But dressing up a little indicates that you think the performance is worthy of a celebration and a little effort. I didn’t have an especially festive stand-alone blouse I wanted to wear, so I opted for this bright and cheerful floral tank from Nic+Zoe.

What to Wear to a Local Performance

The Happy Splash tank comes in a full range of sizes from x-small to xx-large, and it runs true to size for me. You’ll also find limited offerings in Petite sizes and Plus sizes at Nordstrom. Or you can find more size availability at Nic+Zoe (search for “Happy Splash tank”) and you can get $20 off your first purchase of $100 or more through that link.

What to Wear to a Local Performance

I topped the Happy Splash tank with my blue Veronica Beard Miller dickey jacket, but you could also top it with this more economical one or one something in your closet. And this blue linen blazer from Talbots would work nicely, too. And I do plan to wear the vibrantly colored Happy Splash tank with my white linen blazer as well. However, you do it, I think it’s smart to carry or wear a completer piece to a concert, play or recital because performance halls are known to be quite cool.

What to Wear to a Local Performance

Complete your outfit with your most special shoes, whether they be strappy heels or flats, pumps or slingbacks. Wear metallic if you’d like; it’s definitely trending. Since the buttons on my jacket are silver and the only metallic sandals I have are gold, I opted for nude strappy sandals instead.

I suggest carrying a clutch or small crossbody that you can easily hold or tuck in the seat beside you since there will be nowhere to put a larger bag. If I had had something festive like this rhinestone clutch in silver I definitely would have carried it, but mine is gold.

What to Wear to a Local Performance

My pretty blue and clear crystal earrings were a gift from dear friends. I think they are all the sparkle I needed to add to this outfit.

I realize that many people are dressing down for performances of all kinds these days. But I’ve never been of fan. We don’t get dressed up for these special events just to be seen and admired; we do so out of respect for the hard work and time those on the stage have put into preparing for their performance as well as in celebration of the gift they’ve given us.

Of course you can always wear a pretty dress to a local performance, too. I think either of the following are good examples of appropriate, festive dresses.

Floral Dress for a Brunch, Shower or Tea
floral silk blend dress // block heel sandals – Use code SARAHFLINT-BAKAYH for $50 off first pair (more economical options: these and these) // bracelet // earrings // longer necklace // similar pearl necklace option // similar bag
Accessorize for a Spring Wedding
dress // gold sandals (consider sizing down .5) // shoulder bag // similar wrap and similar wrap // gold necklace // earrings // bracelet

Will you look over dressed to some? Undoubtedly. But, out of respect for the performers and directors or instructors, I’d rather be a little over dressed than under in these cases.

What to Wear to a Local Performance or Event
pants // floral tank // blazer (more economical) // sandals // earrings // similar handbag (another option)

Spring is abundant with recitals and performances of all types. But whether we’re attending a professional concert or play or an amateur recital or show, I think it’s smart to wear something that will be comfortable but also festive and pretty. What kinds of local performances will you be attending this spring? If you don’t already have one on your spring calendar, why not check the Internet or newspaper for something special to attend?

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Blessed for My Day

When I spend time reflecting on the price Jesus paid for my salvation it makes me very sad at first. Oh what shame and pain and ugliness He endured for me and for you. But because Jesus’ act of obedience and sacrifice was given out of love, not compulsion, my sorrow quickly turns to joy. You see this great gift of salvation at so high a price is an amazing indicator of the love God has for me. He loves me THAT much.

We will undoubtedly never comprehend the fullness and greatness of God’s love for us. But the more we think on it and allow it to shape our minds and hearts, the healthier we become. The things of this world lose their grip on us and we are freed up to be the women we were created to be. We become free indeed, no longer in bondage to things we tend to run to for love and affirmation and security.

looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:2

xoxo, Kay
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8 thoughts on “What to Wear to a Local Performance or Event

  1. Love the colorfulness of this blog post, and I truly understand the idea of shopping in your closet rather than buying something new for each event. But your statement “you can’t go wrong with white pants this time of year” is somewhat mind boggling for me! Maybe if you live in Florida or elsewhere in the deep South, or SoCal. But this beautiful outfit wouldn’t be wearable here in the Pacific NW until, at the earliest, June. Please don’t t think I’m being critical–I love your style, and agree that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. We go to a LOT of local performances, mostly attended by seniors like ourselves, and I’m always more dressed up than most who are in jeans, rain jackets and sneakers while I’m in high heeled black boots, a dressy outfit, topped with a black wool overcoat with a fur collar–even now!

    1. Hello Kathie, I completely agree with you. I actually live in Cincinnati, but I’ve spent the bulk of my years in the south. That said, attire is very regional in general. Sometimes we all forget that. I should have included that if white seems inappropriate for your region or location, go with black, the most classic choice of all.

  2. Beautiful outfits Kay! I am always inspired by your blog. I just started selling Mary Kay, and wanted to give you the link to my website… I would be honored if you needed anything if you ordered from me :). I live in Cincinnati too so I could either ship your products to you or drop them off! is my website. Hope you have a lovely day!

  3. Beautiful outfit Kay , you’re right the white pants make it look fresh and dressy , but without being overdressed. Love the top a lovely splash of colour ❤️Xx

  4. Thank you, Kay, for this post My son is the artistic director for a regional theater here in Madison WI. I agree that the audience can show its respect by dressing appropriately. We were at a performance last night of HS age kids. My guy wore his pale pink shirt and pink tie with a blazer and had several compliments from strangers! I think people are just not used to seeing someone dressed up anymore. When I first moved here from Washington DC in 1974, I was amazed at the casual life it was here even then. You would see people in jeans at the opera. Strangers called you by your first name instead of Miss or Mr…..Ha! So again thank you.

  5. I still believe dressing nicely to attend an event shows respect for the performers you are supporting. In my granddaughters’ high school choir, the young men wear tuxedos and the young ladies wear full length black gowns with matching rhinestone necklaces. It is not a formal event for the audience, but I feel wearing an outfit, blazer, skirt, or church attire rather than jeans and a tee, as most seem to do, shows appreciation for the performance almost as much as applause. I want my family to know their hard work is just as important to me as it is to them. I also hope I give a good first impression to their peers and that they realize they are special, and I’m acknowledging that with my choice of attire.

  6. Thanks, Kay, for another winning post. I’m especially loving this series on special occasions, and your carefully attention to all the necessary details provides great reminders for us all. 🙂 I agree that what we wear shows respect as we attend the events of others. Our children or friends or relatives have spent a lot of time and have been dedicated to the project. Why not dress up a little bit in their honor? Lifestyles tend to be so casual these days. I personally LIKE to dress up a bit. I’m going to use your tips. ….And I *might* have to have that beautiful blouse. 😉

  7. Love this outfit, Kay! That blue jacket is gorgeous 😍. My strappy sandals in gold came today. Love them!! I have a rather wider foot so I stayed with my usual size 8. Nice fit. Thanks for all of your posts. I unfortunately had to shop my closet for a funeral last Saturday. Jacket, pants, shoes, scarf, and jewelry were from your recommendations. ❤️ Thank you. It feels nice to feel confident. Xoxox