No trip to New York would be complete without seeing a Broadway show. If you’ve been lucky enough to get a ticket to one of the hottest shows in town, you might now be wondering what to wear. Is there such a thing as a Broadway show dress code?
Surprisingly, there is no Broadway dress code for the theater – except for opening nights and galas, which usually consist of business or cocktail attire.
Other than that, anything goes, which can be rather unfortunate when you have some people turning up in sweats, tank tops, skimpy shorts, and flip-flops. Don’t be one of those. It’s still worth it to wear something nice to a Broadway show. It’s a sign of respect for the actors (who can see you), making going to the theatre a unique and more memorable experience for you.
Some general dressing guidelines to keep in mind for dressing for the theatre would be:
1. Dress Respectfully
Business casual or even casual is acceptable. For example, an informal dress or pants/skirt with a nice top is perfect.
Many wonder if you can wear jeans to a Broadway show, and the answer is yes, no problem. For example, if you’ve been sightseeing or shopping and don’t have time to go back to the hotel to change, jeans and a fresh-looking top work. It’s o.k. to dress informal, so long as you also look neat and pulled together.
The easiest way to do this is to combine casual pieces like jeans with more sophisticated pieces like a pretty blouse or a fabulous bag or pair of shoes. This is casually chic. In this post, I’m showing four broadway outfit ideas that are casually chic.
2. Dress in Layers
The theatres are air-conditioned in summer, and boysy likes to crank up the cold so performers do not melt under the stage lights. It can feel like you are in a meat freezer! So if you tend to get out quickly (like I do), bring along a jacket or sweater so you can add a layer or peel one off if necessary.
3. Wear Comfortable Shoes
There’s a lot of walking to the theatre, standing around the theatre, and wandering around at intermission, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Again, if you are the type to get cold quickly, I would suggest wearing closed-toe shoes in the summer, tucking a pair of sockets, or fold-up flats into your purse, just in case.
4. Don’t wear Anything that Obstructs the View
This is not the time to wear a hat, some oversized hair band/hair, or a high, wide collar jacket. Be considerate of the patrons sitting behind you, and don’t ruin their view.
More important than how you dress for the theatre is the way you behave in the theatre.
Theatre etiquette includes:
- No whispering
- No giggling
- No talking
- No texting, checking messages, phone calls
- No perfume or fragrant deodorants
- No fall asleep and snoring
- No blowing your nose
- No munching on food loudly, and my personal favorite…
- No unwrapping plastic candy wrappers or crinkling chips or snack bags – drives me crazy.
Broadway theatres pick up every little sound; the most external noises can ruin the magical experience.
Enjoy the show!
Are you going to be doing other sightseeing in NYC soon? Here’s what to wear in New York in summer.