Wondering what to wear to a Broadway Show? We’ve got all the best advice right here!

If you’re visiting NYC, you might be wondering what to wear to a Broadway Show. It’s a great question, and one you’ll want to get right!

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In this article we’ll talk about our best tips for dressing in NYC, and tips for what to wear to a Broadway show.

So, let’s get into it!

Here’s what to wear to a Broadway Show in NYC…

Do you need to dress formal to a Broadway Show?

When it comes to what to wear to a Broadway Show, most people are worried about whether or not formal clothes are required.

In short, the answer is no, formal wear is not required.

Whilst it can be lovely to dress up for the theater, especially Broadway, formal clothing isn’t expected or required for entrance.

Formal clothings aren’t a must when deciding what to wear to a Broadway show.

You can wear pretty much whatever you like to watch a show on Broadway. Some people will dress very casually, and other will dress in their best clothes.

If you’re worried about what to wear to a Broadway Show, then we recommend trying to go somewhere between he two extremes. Nothing too casual, and nothing too dressy.

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What tips do we have for what to wear to a Broadway show?

We do have a few tips for what to wear to a Broadway Show, which we’ve included below…

  • Wear something you’re comfortable in (2/3 hours is a long time to sit still!)
  • Don’t wear a hat or cap (or anything that might obstruct someone else’s view)
  • Wearing dark colours is respectful to other audience members, as bright colours can be distracting for audience members behind you.
  • Some theaters have very steep steps and inclines – so wearing super high heels isn’t recommended.
  • If you need your glasses to see properly, make sure you bring them with you!
  • When thinking about what to wear to a Broadway show, your comfort and feeling great should be top of the list too!
  • Skip the perfume (you don’t want to make the person next to you sneeze!)
  • Avoid any loud or rustling fabric.
  • If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s poilte to wear a facemask.

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Here are some outfit suggestion for what to wear to a Broadway show…

We know that sometimes it helps to see suggestions for outfits, so we’ve put some actual moodboards below for you, giving you an idea of what to wear to a Broadway Show.

You’ll see below, items and combinations we think would make good choices for what to wear to a Broadway show.

Hopefully these help! But keep reading for more tips!

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You should also think about… Are You Seeing a Matinee or Evening Show?

Something else you might want to take into consideration when considering what to wear to a Broadway Show, it’s whether you’re watching a matinee or evening show.

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Matinee shows are afternoon shows (they usually start around 1pm or 2pm).

You’ll find that audience members for matinee shows are a little more casual that evening shows. Most tourists will come straight from sightseeing, so you can expect to see people in pretty casually outfits.

During an evening show, you’ll probably find that people are a little more dressed up, simply because tourists in NYC like to make an evening out of the theater (which we love!).

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You don’t need to overthink what to wear to a Broadway show, but these little tips can really help!

But despite this, and despite evenings being a little more ‘dressy’ than matinees, the dress code is still super flexible. If you want to wear a super casual outfit in the evening, this will be equally fine!

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Are you visiting in summer or winter?

Something else you might need to take into consideration for what to wear to a Broadway Show, is the time of year.

If you’re visiting Broadway in the warmer seasons (May – September), you might want to wear cooler clothes, that won’t leave you feeling overheated.

Theaters are big places, but they’re often packed full of bodies – and that means they get warm easily, especially in the summer months!

In the winter, you’ll want to check your coat (more on that below) and then wear some warm layers underneath, that allow you flexibility.

You might find yourself a little chilly (especially if you’re in a draft – these buildings are old!) or you might find yourself feeling a bit too warm (being close to the stage, if often warmer).

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Do people wear fancy dress to Broadway shows?

You might be wondering what to wear to a Broadway show with a specific show in mind. For example, so people wear themed outfits for certain shows?

This is certainly something a handful of people will embrace when watching a Broadway show, we’ve given you a few examples below:

  • The Cursed Child: Many people will wear their Hogwarts house colors. Or a Hogwarts scarf!
  • Wicked: Many people like wearing green or purple, like the main characters.
  • Frozen: You’ll often see lots of children wearing princess dresses or Frozen costumes.

The only we would give here, is to avoid any ‘costumes’ that are too similar to the cast themselves. Not only can elaborate costumes make sitting in small theater seats a little tricky, they may also obstruct the views of other visitors.

Oh, and you don’t want to accidentally get mistaken for a cast member!

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Are there any exceptions to the rule?

Whilst Broadway remains pretty easy to dress for, there are other exceptions within NYC.

For example, the Metropolitan Opera, do encourage formalwear, and suits and dresses remain the standard dresscode when enjoying a show there.

Another time you might be expected to dress a little more ‘fancy’ is if you have tickets to opening or closing night.

These shows are considered a little more special that regular performances, so people usually make a little more effort on these occasions.

Do Broadway theaters have coat checks?

When wondering what to wear to a Broadway Show, you might be worried about layers and coats.

Especially in the winter, choosing what to wear to a Broadway show can feel a little trickier! Afterall, the seats and small and don’t leave a lot of space for bulky winter coats, hats and sorts.

But don’t worry!

Most Broadway theaters have coat checks, where you can safely leave your coat whilst watching the show!

So on day like this (see the photo below!) you’ll be able to check your wet bulky coat, and watch the Broadway show comfortably! And dry!

Click here to learn more about what you can (and can’t) bring into the theater.

Editorial credit: Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com

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Lots of people overthink what to wear to a Broadway show! You shouldn’t!

In short, if you want to dress up and wear something fancy, go for it!

If you’d rather be comfortable, that’s also fine!

So many people overthink what to wear to a Broadway show, when it’s really quite a flexible affair, with minimal dress code.

As long as you don’t show up naked, or in swimwear, or pajamas, you should probably be fine.

Saying this, we do think it’s nice to dress up on occasion, so for us (personally) we always like to put a little more effort into what to wear to a Broadway show, than a normal outfit.

But that’s just us, and it’s fine to differ from that!

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Hopefully this article has helped you understand a little more about what to wear to a Braodway show!

Let us know if you have any more questions about what to wear to a Broadway show!

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