What Is the Appropriate Attire to Wear to a Matinee Show on Broadway?

A pantsuit is a great choice for a Broadway matinee.

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Midday on Broadway may not have quite the electric buzz of an evening performance, but that doesn't mean you should hit the box office looking less than fabulous. Matinee or no, a Broadway show is a special event, and you're bound to have tons more fun if you give the jeans-and-tee look a pass and go for the glam.

The Dress Code

Take a look at the average crowd outside a Broadway show and you'll see that, sadly, the secret is out: You can basically wear whatever you want to a show. So you're likely to see as many people with ginormous fanny packs strapped to their waists as you are people who took the time to get gussied up. But dressing up for a show is like paying your respects to Broadway's glamorous history, not to mention all the blood, sweat and tears that go into putting on a top-notch show.

The Right Look

Over-the-top evening gowns are fine for opening night, but they're a bit much for a matinee performance. Think business casual and you're in the ballpark. A pencil skirt with a crisp white blouse or a pantsuit with a silky cami underneath are good options. A little black dress with a belted cardi is another great look. Broadway matinees attract an all-ages crowd though, so you'll probably feel more comfortable if you skip the second-skin mini-dress in favor of a more family-friendly look.

Dress Comfortably

Crowds, long lines and sitting for hours at a stretch all make for a long day. Dressing to the nines is great fun, but give a serious nod to comfort. Super-tight or revealing clothes simply aren't that comfortable to sit in for hours at a time. And mega-high heels aren't a good idea, either -- unless you plan on taking a cab, you'll probably have to walk about a bazillion blocks to the theater. So if you opt for heels, go with a pair that won't slow you down.

Know Before You Go

Shows like the '80s-inspired "Rock of Ages" encourage people to dress in costume -- so if you're game for that kind of thing, check your show's website to see if there's any specific dress associated with the production. But whether you decide to don those '80s leg warmers or not, there's one thing you should never, ever do at a Broadway show: Drench your bod in perfume! Scent is never appropriate when going to the theater, so when the day of the show rolls around, make it a point to stick to soap and water.

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