What to Wear to a Broadway Show: Our 5 Picks

Published on: Jul 6, 2022 • 6 min read


So, you just got invited to a broadway show; how exciting. But now you’re wondering, what’s the dress code for a Broadway show?

Surprisingly enough, the broadway dress code isn’t all too complicated.

You’ll fit right in as long as you’re not dressed for the nightclub, a pool party, or a baseball game.

what to wear broadway show

Keep reading to find out what to wear to a Broadway show!

What to Wear to a Broadway Show: Things to Consider

Honestly, figuring out what to wear to a Broadway show is half the fun of attending a show.

After all, what girl doesn’t love to get dressed up?

To help make your hunt for the perfect dress code easier, consider these three essential things.

What Time is the Show?

The first thing to consider is when the show takes place. Is it a matinee or evening show?

what time is the show

If it’s a matinee, you can be a little less formal and break out your casual attire.

On the other hand, a fancy evening show should be dressed up with smart casual.

What’s the Temp Outside?

Don’t forget to consider how chilly or hot it is outside. After all, you don’t want to end up wearing clothes that leave you frozen or sweating through the entire performance.

However, keep in mind that extreme temps don’t mean you should slack on your broadway outfits.

broadway outfits

For example, you wouldn’t want to wear ripped jeans with a pair of biker boots when it’s cold, and you wouldn’t want to waltz in with a tank top and flip-flops if it’s hot.

You still need to dress nicely, regardless of the temperatures!

Is It Opening Night?

Last but not least, figure out if it’s opening night or not.

If you’re showing up for this special event, you might want to kick your broadway musical outfit up a notch.

For instance, women might consider fancy cocktail dresses or a lovely evening gown**,** while men opt for a button-up shirt, slacks, and dress shoes.

Outfits for Broadway Shows: Five Picks

You stumbled across this article because you’re trying to find out what to wear to your upcoming Broadway show.

Well, below, I have outlined five of the very best outfit ideas for Broadway shows.

There are three styles for women and two for men.

Don’t forget to consider the three categories above: what time the broadway show takes place, what the temps are outside, and if it’s a special occasion like opening night.

(Women) Outfit 1: Cocktail Dress and Heels

When you think of Broadway show dress codes, the first thing that comes to mind is the classic cocktail dress.

cocktail dress and heels

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Honestly, girls, you can’t go wrong wearing your favorite cocktail dress. It doesn’t matter what style or color it is.

However, make sure it isn’t too short - you’re not bar-hopping!

The best part is that cocktail dresses can be worn during the winter and summer months.

Your “little black dress” can be worn with a pair of heels or flat shoes during the summer.

Create a smart casual style with a sweater or jacket during the colder months.

(Women) Outfit 2: Wide-Leg Trousers and Turtleneck

Okay, so I don’t know what “cold weather” really means - I’m from California! So, I totally understand why someone might not want to wear a cocktail dress during winter. wide leg trousers and turtleneck

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What should you do?

Go for option number 2 - a pair of cute wide-leg trousers and a turtle neck.

Pair with your favorite, nice boots that complement the outfit beautifully.

Don’t forget to add all of your other accessories, like necklaces, bracelets, and your must-have small purse.

(Women) Outfit 3: Jeans and Blouse

If you’re headed to Broadway theaters to see something fun and cute like Lion King, you don’t have to be overly concerned with the dress code - especially if it’s a matinee.

Jeans and Blouse

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In situations such as this, you can wear clothes that are far more casual.

Jeans and Blouse

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The best option is to wear a pair of nice-fitting jeans and a loose blouse.

Jeans and Blouse

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Dark wash jeans tend to work well because they have the right amount of “class” for Broadway theatres.

(Men) Outfit 4: Dark Wash Jeans and Polo

The perfect outfit for men attending a matinee show is business casual.

They should wear jeans paired with a nice button-down shirt or polo.

The ideal option for jeans is a pair of dark jeans.

Even though Broadway shows don’t have a specific dress code, it’s always best to use common sense and look your best.

If it’s chilly out, a sports jacket can complement your look. If it’s hot, don’t wear shorts.

Dark Wash Jeans and Polo

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I know it can be tempting, but shorts are one of those “unspoken no-nos” Broadway shows.

(Men) Outfit 5: Suit

If it’s a seriously special performance, there is nothing wrong with wearing a suit.

People wear suits to broadway performances all the time and are considered quite fancy, so why not follow suit?


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This is undeniably one of the best outfit ideas for men attending broadway.

However, if you don’t want to overdo it, you can always settle for a nice pair of pants with a suit jacket instead. It will work wonders!


Do people still dress up for Broadway shows?

The dress code for a Broadway show has changed significantly - just ask any native New Yorker.

Nowadays, you can pretty much wear anything you want without hassle.

However, it’s best to base it on what you might wear to a nice restaurant.

If you wouldn’t wear it in a fine dining establishment, you shouldn’t wear it on broadway.

What should I wear to Hamilton on Broadway?

Hamilton is a very well-known Broadway show, and most people tend to dress fancier for this event compared to other shows.

That said, show the same respect and join the rest of the audience members by putting in some effort with your look.

How early should I get to a Broadway show?

Just in case you were wondering, you should get there about 30 minutes early.

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