How to Dress for a Broadway Show

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Seeing a Broadway show is the highlight of many trips to New York City and the bright lights of the Great White Way offer something for everyone. Most theaters don't enforce a dress code, but if you look your best, you'll join a grand tradition of wearing your finest for a night on the town. If you'll be enjoying dinner before or after the performance, make sure your outfit is appropriate for the restaurant as well.

Looks for Women

  • Feel free to put on that cocktail dress for Broadway, even though you may sit next to someone in jeans and a T-shirt. For a more relaxed but stylish look, pull on a pair of skinny jeans and a flowing top. Add a pair of flats and you’ll look elegant but feel comfortable. If you're going to a matinee, feel free to tone things down, as daytime shows are much more casual.

Men's Clothing

  • Men holding a ticket to a Broadway show should take some advice from "GQ" and avoid the typical tourist outfit. Ditch the shorts, fanny packs and hiking sandals, and dress up, even if it's just a little. A pair of slacks with a button-up shirt and leather shoes are appropriate -- and will have you looking better than many of your fellow theater-goers. A nice sweater works, too, as does a polo shirt, but make sure it’s ironed.

Bringing Kids to Broadway

  • Many Broadway shows welcome -- and feature -- children, so get them dressed and bring them along. Casual attire – jeans and T-shirts -- is fine for kids, although a dress or suit is OK. A first trip to New York City or a holiday outing might call for dressier attire. Whatever they wear, ensure that the kids are comfortable enough to relax and enjoy the show.

Special Considerations

  • Adults and children alike should bring a cardigan or light coat to a Broadway show even in summer, as most theaters are air-conditioned and can be quite chilly. If you're attending the opening night of a new production, dress to the nines. Such events are typically formal affairs and you may even spot a few celebs in attendance. Black tie would not out of place, according to fashion blogger George Hahn.

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  • Photo Credit Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
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