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 be now wondering what to wear. Is there such 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), and it makes going to the theatre a special and more memorable experience for you.
Some general dressing guideline to keep in mind for dressing for the theatre would be:
1. Dress Respectfully
Business casual or even casual is fine. For example, an informal dress, or pants/skirt worn with a nice top is perfect.
Many wonder if you can you wear jeans to a Broadway show, and the answer is yes, no problem. For example, if you’ve been sightseeing or shopping and you don’t have time to go back to the hotel to change, then jeans and a fresh looking top works. 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 4 broadway outfit ideas that are casually chic.
2. Dress in Layers
The theatres are air-conditioned in summer, and boy do they like to crank up the cold so that performers do not melt under the stage lights. It can feel like you are in a meat freezer! So if you tend to get cold easily (like I do), definitely 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, wandering around at intermission so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Again, if you are the type to get cold easily, I would suggest wearing closed-toe shoes in the summer or tuck a pair of sockettes, 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 big hair band/hair or a jacket with a high, wide collar. Be considerate of the patrons sitting behind you and don’t ruin their view.
More important than the way 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 chip or snack bags – drives me crazy
Broadway theatres pick up every little sound, and the simplest noises can ruin the magical experience.
Enjoy the show!
Going to be doing other siteseeing in NYC soon? Here’s what to wear in New York in summer.