Cincinnati, OH

Dressing for your first Broadway Show.

Everything Kaye!

This article, like many comes from a question/ statement to the writer, or a thought from the writer.

"Oh, I could never go to see a Broadway show. I won't fit in, I wouldn't even know what to wear."

It wasn't what she said. It was the look in her eyes; that brought about this article. You could tell she wanted to go, but felt like she wouldn't be accepted. Honestly, I wanted to say, honey who cares what people think. Go and see a show and have a good time! But for some it's not that easy. And I remember high school, yeah it's not always that easy.

First I will say, the theatre is not only for one class of people, it's for everyone. Second, I'm not one to tell others how to dress. What's on the outside is a reflection of what's on the inside, and I can't tell you what's on the inside.

How the clothes go, so shall the person go.

-Dwight Owsley, retired Carlyle Hotel concierge

Years ago, everyone dressed formal for the theatre. With not a lot of places to dress formal during the week. Many looked forward to dressing up. Even though times have changed, good classic and quality clothes are important. And thankfully never go out of style. I could easily give you three Not ideally...stay away from active wear, overly sexy/revealing, and outdoorsy clothes. But let me give a more detailed guide for first timers. You should want to dress comfortable but not bedroom comfortable. I'll focus on women, men tend to get away with wearing whatever, and most men wear what they want, because they WANT to! We should take notes.

If your not ready for glamorous formal attire, start with some of these looks.

A stylish pants suit( white T or sequin top) or jumpsuit.

A shear white top(not too revealing) with dark jeans. Style with belt and a little stuck of the top in your jeans and carry a fun clutch.

Pleated, leather, or jazzy skirt with a white or black T-shirt. If preteen to early 20's, a graphic T-shirt will work for a edgy- funky look. (Young at heart?...try it!)

For Fall/Winter look, you can't go wrong with dark jeans(boot cut or straight leg), and a black sweater. Add pop of color with your earrings or clutch.

Spring/Summer look, white pants or skirt with pale pink or yellow spring sweater.

Little black dress always works, and to be honest, is expected. Everyone knows it's the" go to" for women.

To wear or not to wear

Heels, don't wear heels if (1) you've never worn heels before, theatres usually have stairs, so this is not the night to start.(2) you haven't broken them in, you don't want to be walking on the sides of your feet by the end of the night .

Hats, in general all head wear should be carefully selected. Be mindful of your seat, you may block someone's view. Style hair where your hat can be removed during show.

Leggings, leggings in America is more common. But remember the no sexy rule-try to cover your bottom, and stick with black or grey, no pictures or words(Logos).

Perfume, pass on it or use it in moderation. Others around you may have allergies. Perfume effects everyone differently.

Bring a sweater or blazer, even in the summer, temperature fluctuate in the theatre.

You don't need a large purse, and you'll end up holding it all evening. Some ideas of what to put in a small purse or clutch. Tissues, a little cash or card, lip stick(or gloss), mirror, index card and pen(to jot down someone's info, or like me an ideal). Your tickets, powder to freshen face during break. (I personally carry a rain hat bonnet). You can pick some up here. Sometimes you can find packs of them at thirft stores, I found a brand new pack of 20 at St. Francis in Huber Heights, Ohio

If you need to keep up with time, wear a watch, because they will ask that phones be turned off or silenced. And it's distracting from show to see bright lights from everyone's phone.

Once you've gone to a few shows, you can start experimenting with your outfits. I'm no expert, hey I only have ten shows under my belt. Just trying to make others more at ease about seeing their first show, either in NYC or here at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center 1 W 2nd St, Dayton, OH 45402. The Palace Theatre, 34 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215, or in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Broadway in Cincinnati, 650 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

So you went to your first one and now you're in's a list of 20 great pieces to collect, that's worth the expense. Found in the Lucky Shopping Manual by Kim France and Andrea Linett. (They have at least 5 editions.)

Cashmere sweater

Menswear trousers

Fitted blazer

Wool A-line skirt

Evening dress

Black flats

Knee boots

Sexy suit

Sequin top

Good Watch




Fancy earrings

Black leather bag

Black pumps

Leather jacket

Strappy evening sandals

Sequin evening bag

Leather tote.

Adjust to your needs , and finances.

Hope this helps, and see you at the show!!!

Click here for my Q&A on my blog Everything Kaye.

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Retired cosmetologist, writer, blogger, and local guide for Google Maps. I'll be sharing helpful stories, local happenings throughout Ohio. Including breaking news, and places to eat.

Dayton, OH

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