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Broadway refers to the professional theatres that are located in the 41st to the 53rd street in New York City, and is considered as the highest level of professional theatre in the United States. It attracts millions of visitors from around the world every year.
So if you’re planning on watching a Broadway show, you know that you will be seeing a top-quality show with state-of-the-art stage sets and costumes. And this means there’s no room for sloppy dressing!
- Bring a pair of flats in your purse. If you wear shoes that are painful and distracting, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the show.
Some of the best Broadway shows run for three hours. That’s a long time to stand at an intermission or sit in uncomfortable shoes. Bring a cute pair of ballet flats in your purse so that you can change out of those heels before the second half begins. You’ll be comfortable and happy, and you’ll have enough energy for an after-show cocktail or dinner with your friends.
Jeans are a safe bet. You can dress them up or down, depending on the occasion. If you’re going to be wearing jeans and are looking for a polished look, try pairing them with a nice blouse and heels. If you want to add more structure to your outfit, pair nice jeans with a blouse, heels, and a blazer.
If you’re planning on wearing ripped or distressed jeans like those from American Eagle Outfitters or Forever 21 (or any other retailer that sells low-quality clothing), consider something else instead—you don’t want your ripped knees to be the topic of conversation at intermission rather than the show.
For a casual show with a younger audience, you may get away with wearing nice sneakers. Paired with a dress or slacks, they can easily pass as an alternative to dress shoes (and they’re more comfortable). If you want to wear jeans, the rule is that they must be dark or faded and not torn up at all.
Evening gown and suit
Should you want to go all out, there’s no stopping you. If you’re considering a tuxedo or an evening gown, we suggest that if your date is planning on dressing up as well, so should you. Should you be concerned about overdressing? Absolutely not! The truth is that Broadway audiences are becoming more formal every year. Not only will a business professional outfit make for a memorable night for yourself and your date, but it’ll also show respect for the actors and artists who poured blood, sweat and tears into bringing their work to life for the enjoyment of others.
A slim-fitting, nice blouse and pair of pants
What if you don’t know what to wear to a Broadway show? You decide not to take any chances and go with a slim-fitting, nice blouse and pair of pants.
Tights or leggings (in winter) and a great dress
Leggings and a dress are the perfect combo for a Broadway show. Not only are they comfortable, but this pair also makes you look sleek, classy, and stylish. Leggings in particular are really versatile—you can wear them anywhere! They’re great under dresses as well as shorts and skirts. Plus, there’s no need to worry about your tights running like crazy before you even make it to the ticket booth!
If you have leggings that make you feel like an unstoppable baddie (as any article of clothing should), then throw on a pair along with your favorite dress or skirt for an outfit that looks ready for Broadway but is still comfortable enough for what will probably be a long night sitting down. You can go super classy with heels or keep it casual with some flats depending on how fancy you want your outfit to be—it all works because leggings are so flexible!
A jumpsuit, especially in warmer months
When you’re getting ready for a night out on the town, you may want to consider wearing a jumpsuit. I know what you’re thinking: “Really? A jumpsuit? In 2019?” Let me explain. For starters, I’m not talking about any ol’ jumpsuit. If you opt for this fashionable one-piece garment, it should be more formal. You don’t necessarily have to rock a black tie outfit, but it’s important that your look is tasteful and appropriate for the occasion. Secondly, unlike in previous years—when women were the only people who wore them—men’s jumpsuits are now trending as an alternative to dress suits and tuxedos. If that’s not enough to convince you of their merits, there are also plenty of celebrities who have rocked them on the red carpet including Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto and Usher Raymond (to name just a few). In other words: if it’s good enough for Hollywood royalty, it’s good enough for us commoners!
To make sure you don’t offend anyone, it’s best to dress up.
To make sure you don’t offend anyone, it’s best to dress up. This means no t-shirts, shorts, sweatpants, flip flops, jeans, sneakers or hats. While some theaters will let you in wearing any of this stuff, I’m not willing to risk having an usher reject me at the door. For women I would suggest a nice dress or skirt with a top and heels (I always wear flats–I can’t walk in heels). A business casual suit or slacks is OK for men.
You can definitely get away with dressing down if you’re going to see something like The Lion King or Mamma Mia! But if you’re going to see a show like Hamilton and have one of the coveted front row seats, I would ditch the t-shirt and jeans in favor of something that makes you feel great.
Ultimately, Broadway is a great place to dress up. Some shows have a dress code, but most don’t—and if you’re not sure what to wear, it’s better to err on the side of dressing up rather than down. After all, you’ll feel like a million bucks in your spiffy duds (even if your ticket cost far less), and it’s hard not to have a great time at the theater!