Have you been invited to an art gallery preview but are completely stumped about what to wear? Visiting an art exhibition is seen as a cultural occasion which means dressing in a smart casual way. Suits, shirts, ties and tie clips are often seen at gallery events but this is by no means a hard and fast rule.
If the preview takes place in the day then there is likely to be more leeway about what you can wear compared to the evening. Evening events are more formal which is reflected in what people wear. Expect to dress up for an evening preview especially if you are going to a posh gallery.
This may sound like a cliche but why not experiment with your choice of clothing. Try a slim fit tuxedo blazer, skinny chinos, long sleeved shirt and a bow tie. And team these with a pair of toe cap shoes and a Ben Sherman watch for a sharp and edgy look.
Stay with the shirt and suit jacket combo and wear these with a pair of slouchy cords and hi-top baseball boots for an edgy, budding artist look. But make sure you avoid wearing a smock and a beret!
Traditional gallery or avant garde venue
Much depends upon the type of gallery your going to. If it is a well established and somewhat conservative place then play it safe with a suit or a smart jacket and trousers pairing. A polo shirt
, flat fronted chinos and cardigan are another good option as is a turtleneck sweater and wool flannel trousers.
But if you are going to a trendy gallery which is showcasing the latest conceptual works or a live performance then anything goes. Jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and baseball jackets etc, the list is endless.
Standing room only
Whatever you wear make sure you accompany it with a comfortable pair of shoes. A typical gallery preview involves standing around for several hours talking with other people which can be mentally and physically tiring. So make sure you have a good pair of flat shoes.
The issue of shoes applies more to women than men.
The main thing is to be yourself. Don't try and compete with anyone else and wear something which you are happy with and reflects your personality. If you are uncertain then play it safe but above all, choose what you like and are comfy in.
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