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July 4, 2012 7:40 AM   Subscribe

What to wear to a play in New York?

The wife and I are going to be in New York for the weekend, and don't want to stick out like tourists. We're going to see Harvey (her favorite) while we're in town. What's appropriate theater attire?
posted by po822000 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: No flip flops. Nothing too fancy, but you can dress up a little. Be comfortable.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:45 AM on July 4, 2012

My mom is a chronic overdresser and thus I was raised to think that going to a play was a Dressing Up Occasion. So when I lived in New York and my mom came to visit, we got all dolled up and went to see The Producers. And most everyone else there was in jeans and other casual attire. We were appalled*.

* Not really. Well, she might have been. I mostly thought, "Damn, I coulda wore jeans?!"
posted by elsietheeel at 7:45 AM on July 4, 2012

When my parents came to visit New York I was worried about them and told them what to wear to not look like tourists. I said "NO SHORTS". Then they spent time without me and told me I was ridiculous and that everyone dresses all over the map in New York. Plus, the theater district is full of tourists! Honestly, wear what you feel comfortable in, but dress up a bit because that's nice for the theater. My parents are coming back soon...and by request..we are going to Harvey too! Exciting. (And I will keep telling them "put your money away", "don't look lost", etc and more advice that they will completely ignore!)
posted by bquarters at 7:46 AM on July 4, 2012

Plus the theater is "an occasion" and it's expensive! So when sipping my $14-$17 g&t, I don't want to be wearing my usual 'trudging around town' attire. That's why I like to dress up a bit.
posted by bquarters at 7:48 AM on July 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Wear what you would wear to an expensive dinner out. Slacks and a shirt for men, a nice dress or slacks outfit for women. Nothing formal. Have a great time!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:55 AM on July 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

So long as you don't dress like a frat boy or a prostitute, you'll be okay.
posted by greta simone at 8:00 AM on July 4, 2012

I think going to theater used to be a formal occasion, but not so much anymore. I usually dress up a bit but not too formal - like going out for a nice dinner.
posted by fromageball at 8:03 AM on July 4, 2012

I grew up going to the theater with my mom at least twice a year. If you're not sure what to wear, just go with slacks, a nice collared shirt and shoes. Honestly, you can get away with anything stylish, but if you're not sure about that, just look nice. Not red-carpet nice, but no New Balances or khaki shorts.
posted by griphus at 8:07 AM on July 4, 2012

And don't forget a sweater or something to deal with the AC - I'm always freezing at the theater.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 8:17 AM on July 4, 2012

Harvey's at Studio 54, it's not like you're going to the Met. Wear a collared shirt (polo, button down, whatever) and you'll be fine. You can wear jeans or slacks, whatever works for you, just not shorts. You can get away with a suit at a Broadway show but you'd stand out a touch.

Enjoy the play, Jim Parsons is really amazing in it.
posted by graymouser at 8:19 AM on July 4, 2012

2nd-ing no flip flops or shorts, basically don't dress like you would for a picnic. But otherwise summer casual is fine. For men: collared shirt & Docker-type pants. For women: sundress is fine, but with "dressy" flip flops

Also, remember that Broadway shows start on time, so don't dawdle!
posted by Pocahontas at 8:26 AM on July 4, 2012

Also, remember that Broadway shows start on time, so don't dawdle!

Broadway shows start at 7 minutes after the hour. Still, you should be earlier than the hour so as not to disrupt every single person in your row who has to let you in.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:29 AM on July 4, 2012

Smart casual.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:30 AM on July 4, 2012

Nthing something you would wear to a nice dinner out.
posted by Sara C. at 9:56 AM on July 4, 2012

seconding the sweater - brrrrr!
posted by en el aire at 10:34 AM on July 4, 2012

Best answer: We saw the show in previews, and it was *awesome* - the play is cut to a brisk two acts with a short intermission. I did find the theater chilly, and we were in the front mezzanine. Slacks for men and women will be fine, just generally be comfortable - I noticed lots of jeans, but very few folks in shorts, if that helps.
posted by ersatzkat at 2:34 PM on July 4, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! We can't wait!
posted by po822000 at 4:24 PM on July 4, 2012

Response by poster: We went the "nice dinner out" dress-approach (and actually had a nice dinner out beforehand at Victor's Cafe).

I guess I shouldn't have worried about it too much, though. I forgot to cardinal rule of "what to wear": No matter what, you won't be the worst dressed, because someone in your section will end up wearing an Affliction t-shirt.
posted by po822000 at 12:30 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

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