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Mitch Dec 11th, 2002 10:19 PM

Appropriate Theatre Attire
My parents and I will be traveling to London in March and have reservations for a musical in the west end. Being from L.A. I'm comfortable with the "anything goes" attitude here, but would appreciate any advice on what is appropriate attire for attending the theatre in London.

egg Dec 11th, 2002 11:53 PM

You won't get chucked out for looking scruffy but I personally go for smart casual. Going to the theatre is a bit of an occasion so why not make the effort to look nice?

Ben Haines Dec 12th, 2002 03:14 AM

We wear anything at the theatre, from elegant to very casual, and nobody cares. You need not add to your luggage weight in order to adhere to a theatre dress code: there is no such code.<BR><BR>In case it helps, I can say there is no such code for churches or cathedrals, either.<BR><BR>Welcome to London<BR><BR>Ben Haines

Ira Dec 12th, 2002 04:26 AM

Ben Haines wrote<BR>&gt; We wear anything at the theatre, from elegant to very casual, and nobody cares. &lt;<BR><BR> Oh, phoo. I much prefer Egg's message, &quot;Going to the theatre is a bit of an occasion so why not make the effort to look nice?&quot;.<BR><BR> <BR>

Meg Dec 12th, 2002 04:34 AM

Yes, but Mitch would look a right banana in a dinner jacket and bow tie.<BR><BR>Wear the smartest attire you have with you. Mr Haines' point was that nobody will look askance if you DON'T dress up.

fashionfreak Dec 12th, 2002 04:56 AM

Dress up a little. It's part of the event.

Ira Dec 12th, 2002 05:03 AM

Meg wrote<BR>&gt;but Mitch would look a right banana in a dinner jacket and bow tie.&lt;<BR><BR> Doesn't have to be THAT dressy, but should be above the sweat-suit level.

Rich Dec 12th, 2002 06:03 AM

<BR><BR>Don't ya love it when someone like Ben, who lives in London, gives an excellent response and some dufus comes along and &quot;poo&quot;s it. <BR><BR>Rich

Meg Dec 12th, 2002 06:03 AM

Yes, Ira, I quite agree with you there. When I went to see My Fair Lady last summer, the man next to me was wearing shorts and that was really yucky! (Big fat hairy legs spilling over onto both sides of him!) I think he felt embarrassed, too.<BR><BR>As you say - above a certain level and not OTT in either direction. Take heed, Mitch!

Ira Dec 12th, 2002 06:13 AM

Rich wrote<BR>&gt;Don't ya love it when someone like Ben, who lives in London, gives an excellent response and some dufus comes along and &quot;poo&quot;s it. &lt;<BR><BR> Ah, Rich, <BR>It was an excellent response but it wasn't the ONLY response.<BR><BR>

xxx Dec 12th, 2002 06:32 AM

It's true, there is an 'anything goes' attitude about what to wear to the theater in London. ( And that same attitude exists in the US).<BR>But isn't it good for the soul to dress up for special occasions once in awhile? <BR>Why wear the same outfit you would wear to the grocery ? Or in the case of the man who wore shorts to the theater, why dress as if you are spending the evening digging for clams on a beach? &lt;grin&gt;<BR>It is not very difficult to dress nicely .. pressed trousers, a sports coat, a pants suit,a skirt ( whatever is gender appropriate.)<BR>

Rich Dec 12th, 2002 06:44 AM

<BR><BR>It actually was the only response which answered the question &quot;what is appropriate attire for attending the theatre in London.&quot;<BR><BR>The other responses ansered the questions &quot;what do you wish the appropriate dress code was&quot;? and &quot;How do you dress for the theatre in London&quot;?<BR><BR>Rich<BR>

David Dec 12th, 2002 06:49 AM

If you go to the theatre regularly then it isn't such an occasion – wear what you like and be comfortable!

xox Dec 12th, 2002 07:10 AM

Don't take any thing special just for this event. Just go in your traveling clothes! Dress up at home if you want where it is easier to access your wardrobe.

Ben Haines Dec 12th, 2002 09:14 AM

Yes: I did think of discouraging shorts. But these men will go in March, and if they walk our streets then in shorts they will need early medical attention. If replying in June to September I should have put in a word against shorts in theatres.<BR><BR>Meg walks a cliff-edge when she says big fat hairy legs. Months ago I said I thought obese people in shorts looked ugly, and the forum fell upon me from a great height.<BR>Ben Haines<BR>

deep Dec 12th, 2002 09:27 AM

Poor Ben<BR>There's nothing wrong with obese people if they don't dress in order to display their obesity.<BR>I've seen fat women who look great but the secret is to make the most of your good points, great bosom, nice hair and the beautiful complexion that many fat women have.<BR>But shorts and sleeveless dresses just don't look good on fat people. I think they don't look good on the over 50s either.<BR>Right, stop jumping up and down on Ben and divert your tackety boots to me.

Lori Dec 12th, 2002 11:05 AM

I lived in LA for many years and went to the theater often, most people were decently dressed (smart casual). I go to London every year and see a number of shows and always dress &quot;business casual&quot;. The overwhelming number of people in the theater will NOT look scruffy, sure there are always a few, but 99% are dressed decently. By that I mean dark pants on men, sweater &amp; shirt. Some sports jackets and some suits. My husband wears black pants with a shirt &amp; sweater. He does not travel with a suit or sports jacket. For women I always say a pair of nice slacks and sweater/blouse will take you anyplace. A blazer can top off the outfit. <BR><BR>Would you want to be a performer and look out at row after row of scruffy looking people? I think if they are doing &quot;their job&quot; for you the least you can do is dress decently too. You don't need to pack anything special in your luggage.

Sherry Dec 12th, 2002 03:46 PM

My husband and I will be attending theatre in London on December 23. I have packed to wear a black sweater and lace skirt set that, together, look sort of like a cocktail dresss (informal/semi-formal), and my husband had planned to wear a sports jacket and tie. Is this okay or will we be overdressed?

Ben Haines Dec 12th, 2002 04:10 PM

For Sherry: This is ok and you will not be overdressed. As this lively correspondence shows, people wear what they choose to wear.<BR><BR>For Lori: In work with schools, actors are at pains to tell children that theatres are friendly places, welcoming to all. I think that what they like are full theatres of relaxed and appreciative people, and if the lack of a dress code encourages new people to come that is fine by them.<BR><BR>Ben Haines<BR>

eee Dec 12th, 2002 04:28 PM

It makes me sad to think that so many people never go to the theatre for fear of not dressing well enough. I say dress as well as you want to or can afford to. Having a bit of self-confidence helps.

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