Proper Attire for Matinee Broadway Plays

Broadway matinees can accomodate a range of clothing choices.

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Scoring tickets to a Broadway show can be a major mood booster, and then you're left with the question: What do I wear? An evening show is easier -- most theatergoers opt for a dressier outfit -- but if you're schlepping around the city and hitting an afternoon show, it's a fine line between comfortable and chic. You'll see theatergoers in every possible outfit, from uber-casual to drop-dead dressy, but for comfort and ease, you'll want to fall somewhere in between. Let's call it "casual best."


Pants are great way to go for afternoon theater, especially if it's fall or winter. Opt for a trouser cut with a silky blouse or fine-gauge sweater, paired with a chunky heel. Another choice: a skinny dark pant that hits at the ankle. Pair these with a medium heel and a tailored blouse. Accessorize with a lightweight scarf, drop earrings and a delicate bracelet.


A skirt is a great choice for a matinee, especially if you are going to lunch before or dinner afterward. For spring or summer, opt for lightweight cotton in a batik or floral print and top it with a cap-sleeve blouse or sleeveless shell. Bring a light cardigan or cropped jacket, because the air conditioning could give you a chill. In fall or winter, try a polished cotton or wool pencil or A-line skirt with a soft blouse in chiffon or silk. Skip the mini: You'll be sitting awhile, and don't want to worry about being overexposed.

Can I Wear Jeans?

The short answer is yes. Keep them in a dark wash, trouser or skinny cut, and skip the distressed effects and embellishments. Top with a fitted blouse or sweater, add a heeled boot and a nipped-waist jacket. Accessorize with a long necklace and cuff bracelet or chandelier earrings.

Go Dressy

If you're in the mood to get your glam on, try a pretty day dress for the theater. For spring or summer, pick a cotton print in a '40s-inspired silhouette with a full skirt and fitted bodice or a lightweight linen sheath dress. Add sandals or ballet flats for comfort and style. For fall or winter, opt for a sleek sweater dress and opaque tights styled with knee-length boots and a textured scarf.

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