10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Broadway Attire

Be comfortable.

In the spirit of being comfortable, here are some tips for picking the perfect Broadway Attire.

  • Be careful when wearing high heels; walking all day can be hard on your feet. High heels are also a pain to pack, because they’re so bulky and heavy. If you insist on wearing them, try packing a pair of flats in your carry-on so that you can step out of them once you get to the theatre. If you don’t want to wear flats, at least make your outfits easy to take care of by dressing in layers (and remember: Layers will keep up with temperature fluctuations).
  • Wear what’s appropriate for the weather; New York is known as ‘the city that never slept,’ but it’s still cold enough during winter evenings that you might need extra layers and a coat if worn outdoors. And remember: You’ll want to stay dry during rainstorms! (Blame climate change.)
  • Choose an outfit that not only looks good but is comfortable as well. You don’t want to look like an over-packed clown when you’re throwing shade on stage! One important tip for finding fluffers: Shop around and find stores tailored towards women so that you know what fits well before going into the store. This isn’t about looking glamorous – it’s about finding something that looks good on your body type. The women I know who go shopping tend to wear form-fitting dresses or pants with print or stripes rather than pleated skirts or dresses with puffy sleeves and belts (we prefer trousers).
  • Don’t wear clothes too tight or too loose; this just makes them uncomfortable and makes it really hard to move around while dancing

Have fun with it.

  • Broaden your horizons. Don’t get caught up in the idea of a formal outfit being an evening gown and a top hat. Instead, think about how you can have fun with what you wear.
  • Add some sparkle. Consider adding sequins to your ensemble through accessories or even make-up. Sparkles are welcome at the theater, so don’t be afraid to shine!
  • Take a hat for a spin. A wide variety of hat styles would look great with your Broadway attire, from fedoras to fascinators to wide brim boaters. Have fun with this accessory and don’t be scared if it’s not something you usually wear on a day-to-day basis—it’s perfect for the theater!
  • Embrace earrings. The bigger, the better when it comes to statement earrings; they’ll add elegance and shine while brightening up your face as well as your outfit.

Match the occasion.

  • Match The Occasion

The first tip for choosing the perfect attire for a Broadway show is probably the most important: make sure to match your attire with the occasion. If you are attending a show, it is important that you dress according to the show. If it is a children’s show, then dressing casually might be fine. However, if it is a more serious or extravagant performance, then dressing up may be appropriate. For example, if you are watching Phantom of the Opera, you may want to dress in formal wear and emulate some of the cast members on stage by wearing masks yourself. It is important to understand what type of production you will be watching and what type of audience will be there with you so that your clothing matches everyone else’s and avoids attracting unwanted attention.

Dress like a native New Yorker.

When you walk down the street in New York City, you’re likely to see a variety of dress styles, from business casual to casually dressed businessmen. That’s because people in New York are too busy to care about their appearance; they’re running around getting things done. So if you want to blend in, simply keep your eye on what the locals are wearing and dress like them.

For example, when I’m going out for dinner at Del Frisco’s, I wear a nice collared shirt and my light khaki pants with matching belt (my suspenders match as well). I might wear my pink tie if I’m feeling fancy. If it’s cold out or raining, I throw on a sport coat over my shirt and tie ensemble—no need for an umbrella! The point is that some places require different levels of formality than others; it’s up to you to decide which places call for what level of formality—and then go appropriately dressed!

Shop your closet.

A good rule of thumb when selecting your Broadway show attire is to shop your closet. Look at what you already have and see if it can work for the occasion. If you do decide to purchase something new, think about how you might wear that piece again in the future.

Remember, there’s no reason why wearing a dress or suit for a Broadway show should mean breaking the bank. If you can’t afford anything new, consider borrowing or renting from a friend or online clothing rental company. And don’t overlook all the resources available to you with just a little creativity, like thrift stores and consignment shops!

Wear heels that make you happy.

You don’t have to wear heels, but if you’re going to, always wear a pair that makes you feel good. That may mean choosing heels that are super comfortable and easy to walk in. But maybe it means wearing the most elegant pair of stilettos you own even if they’re a little sticky at times. Whatever the case may be, go with your gut—you’ll have a much better time if you aren’t worrying about your shoes all night long!

Pick a color story.

You can’t go wrong with coordinating your outfit by color. For example, choose a black dress, black tights and a black blazer for all-black versatility. If you think solid colors are too boring, you can add a pop of color or pattern to the ensemble. Both options are still considered classy and chic because they’re so well matched—from color family to style.

Wear shoes that are easy to get on and off.

When I went to my first play on Broadway (at the end of the week, I think), my mother mentioned that I should wear shoes that are easy to get on and off. Since it was a summer production and warm, this was particularly important. In fact, in general it’s a good idea to wear shoes that are easy to put on and take off, whether they’re sandals with Velcro or slip-on loafers. If you decide to wear shoes that lace up and tie (as I did for Aida), make sure you’ve tried them out ahead of time so you can be comfortable slipping your feet in and out quickly.

Prep your feet.

Your feet are an important part of your Broadway experience. You know from experience the pain of wearing heels for too long, and the embarrassment of having your shoes pinch during a performance. In order to prevent these discomforts, you will want to prep your feet. First, use lotion on the areas where the shoes are tightest (most likely your toes and heel) in order to reduce painful rubbing. Second, use a foot scrub or even a pumice stone to exfoliate dead skin cells off your soles; this prevents dryness that can lead to blisters when you wear sandals or open-toed heels. Finally, if you’re concerned about blisters from wearing new shoes on Broadway day, try wearing a thin pair of socks with those shoes during the days leading up to it–the thin socks will serve as a barrier between your skin and shoe material which might rub against it and cause irritation.

Befriend the people in line with you.

It’s always fun to meet new people and, who knows, maybe you’ll meet someone who has an extra ticket to sell or give away. If you’re already in line for hours for a sold-out show, you might as well take your shot at befriending the people around you. You never know—you may even make some new friends!

You can have fun with Broadway attire without going overboard!

You don’t want to look too dressed up at a show that doesn’t call for it. If you did, you would be the one getting strange looks! But if it is an event that calls for dressing up, you can have fun without going overboard.

While the majority of people will be in the middle ground, some patrons will go all out and others won’t make much of an effort. It is important to remember that both extremes are okay! Broadway is a special place where many celebrate how they express themselves creatively. That includes the way they dress!

If you want to get fancy and wear your best attire, by all means do so. If you want to be casual and wear jeans and a t-shirt, feel free to do that as well. You could even come in a costume or an outfit inspired by your favorite character from one of the shows on Broadway right now! Whatever you choose, just make sure that it feels right for you. What makes Broadway special is its diversity and boldness; this should extend into what patrons wear on any given night at the theatre.

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