Making plans to attend a Broadway show is exciting to say the least, but one aspect that many people wonder about during this period is the age old question… what do I wear? After all, the last thing you want to do is accidentally go against the dress code.
So in today’s article, I’m going to be talking about how to dress for a Broadway show in NYC. We’ll cover all the big do’s and don’t, and by the end of it, you should have a good idea of how to plan your outfit. But first, let’s discuss the technicalities of Broadway’s dress code…
What Is Broadway’s Dress Code?
The truth is, Broadway doesn’t really have a dress code anymore. So while that doesn’t mean you should arrive at the show in your pajamas, you could easily get away with wearing a t-shirt and jeans if that’s what you wanted.
All you really need is a ticket.
However, it’s still worth noting that although you don’t technically have to wear certain things; you’d probably have a better time and feel more positively about your experience if you dressed for the occasion.
So let’s jump into those do’s and don’ts…
DO Choose Clothes Based On When The Show Is Occuring
The first tip I have for you is to think about what day the Broadway show is scheduled for, and what time it’s happening. Because these variables can give you a better idea of what everyone else will be wearing.
For instance, shows that happen during weekdays are more likely to attract people in less formal attire. Whereas shows that occur on the weekends may be a bit dressier.
And what’s even more important, is the time of day. Because daytime shows are typically more casual, and evening shows are more “formal”.
Extra Tip – If you’re attending the opening or closing night of the show, then you’re more likely to be surrounded by formal attire. So keep that in mind when you’re making your decision.
DO Choose Business Casual Attire When In Doubt
If you’re still not sure how to dress for a Broadway show in NYC after reading the rest of this article, then you can’t go wrong with business casual. Because it’s basically the middle ground between casual and formal.
This style of dressing includes things like button-downs, skirts, casual slacks, and maybe a blazer. You just want to be less formal than you would be in a business setting, but more formal than if you were going to a local burger joint.
DON’T Dress In A Distracting Way
There aren’t many clothing choices that would get you kicked out of Broadway, but there are choices that would likely attract some glares and dislike from other guests.
And I’m referring to overly distracting clothing that could be considered “over the top”. Especially if it’s large or clunky in some way, and could impede yours or someone else’s experience.
So even though Broadway might be an excellent time to wear your best clothing, try to not choose elaborate costumes that would distract other people from the performance.
DON’T Ignore The Weather
I know that when you’re about to go to a Broadway show, the weather may not be your top priority. But like it or not… the weather will affect what you should wear. For the sake of your own comfort!
So if it’s going to be cold out, you may want to leave a sleeveless top at home. Or at least bring a jacket along with you.
And likewise, if it’s going to be hot then you may want to trade in your trusty sweater for a more airy top. If it’s going to be muddy then you may want to wear boots instead of sandals. Etc…
How to dress for the theatre
In terms of what you should wear to a Broadway show in NYC, you have plenty of great options! And you don’t have to worry too much about any sort of dress code nowadays. Instead, your dressing choices should be considered carefully for your own comfort and for the comfort of others.
If you’d like any more tips related to having an experience at Broadway, then make sure to check out my Broadway guide!
Other Questions Relating To What To Wear At A Broadway Show
Now let’s have a little question and answer session before I conclude this article, so that you can hopefully find any other answers you’re looking for.
Do people dress up to go to Broadway shows?
Yes, although it’s not necessary to dress up in order to attend a Broadway show in NYC… many people do find it fun to dress in their finest clothes. As it gives them a good excuse to wear formal clothes that they normally don’t have a use for.
Can you wear jeans to see a Broadway show?
Yes, as there is no dress code; it’s more than acceptable to wear a pair of jeans if that’s what you prefer.
Do people dress in costumes to go to Broadway?
Some people do enjoy dressing in a style that compliments the show they’re watching. They may dress in costumes that are meant to be characters of the show, choose clothes that look like they’re from the same time period, or simply choose colors that give a nod to the performance.
It’s completely up to you whether or not you’d like to do this.