What to Wear to a Broadway Show

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Anyone who has never been to a Broadway show might be wondering what is appropriate attire for a night out on the town. In fact, you would be amazed at just how many residents of New York City have never, ever, been to Broadway other than passing through or to meet a friend in town for the week. Believe it or not, even those who grew up getting piano lessons in NYC or being taken to jazz or ballet dance classes every week have not seen a Broadway show. For those who are attending your very first night on Broadway, here are some suggestions.

Attire May Depend on the Show!

One of the things you will learn about Broadway is that there is a wide array of shows, and some seem to demand formal attire while others are less formal where you can get away with wearing just about anything. This is reminiscent of back in the days when the “Rocky Horror Show” first hit Broadway and the upper crust was appalled at all the punk rockers who showed up in purple hair, and getups that looked as though they should have been on stage rather than in the audience. All that being said, let’s look at a few basic items you should have in your wardrobe if you live in the Big Apple and may just want to occasionally make your way through the Broadway circuit.

Basic Black Is Your Foundation

Sometimes you may want to wear an ankle length gown and other times you may wear a dress to the knees, calf length or even shorter cocktail dress, but always have at least one in basic black. That is going to be your foundation. Since much of the year is very wet and cold in New York City, always keep a nice evening jacket or coat in your closet. Fur isn’t necessary, but it’s a nice touch. If you can’t afford a fur coat, one with a fur collar will do nicely, but please, no faux fur! It would be better to go without than to wear fake fur.

Costume Jewelry vs. the Real Deal Lucille

There was a time when a lady wouldn’t be caught dead on Broadway without a real strand of pearls or a diamond brooch or pendant. Actually, rules have relaxed a bit when it comes to jewelry because it is often difficult to tell a good quality cubic zirconia from a diamond. Also, with crime continually on the rise, many women are afraid to wear an expensive piece of jewelry out at night. It only takes a moment to be brushed up against in a crowd to have that necklace ripped from your neck or a tennis bracelet snatched from your wrist.

The bottom line is that you should dress according to the show you are seeing, the people you are going with and then, what you feel comfortable wearing. If you don’t mind what people think, wear what you please. Even though the rules are nowhere near as strict as they once were, you should really try to overdress rather than underdress just because that’s the way things are done on Broadway.

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