London Theatre- What to wear?

Aug 15th, 1999, 09:28 PM
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London Theatre- What to wear?

I'll be going to London in September and hope to go to the theater while I'm there. (Don't know which shows yet.) Does any one have suggestions as to how to dress- for men and women? What about matinees v. evening? I assume the matinees are more casual, but how casual is too casual? What about how to dress in London generally? (My husband and I don't want to stand out).

Sorry if this seems like a silly question, but where I live everything is pretty casual. Thanks!
Aug 15th, 1999, 09:33 PM
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I made a big fuss with the man I was dating a while back that he HAD to wear a jacket to attend the London theater. So he (unhappily) dragged his jacket and tie through our three week trip to Greece and England. The people seated in front of us, during an evening performance, were dressed in shorts and tee shirts. If I had it to do over again, I would have dressed somewhere in the middle -- dressy casual is the best way I can describe it. That's one person's opinion, of course. I'm sure you'll hear differently from others here on the board. On my second trip to London I brought only comfortable clothing for touring all day. In the evenings I wore dressy pants and blouses to go out to dinner. Comfortable shoes were essential.
Aug 16th, 1999, 06:18 AM
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Don't worry too much about dressing up of the theater. I went to an evening Phantom of the Opera performance and wore black slacks, a nice sweater, and black flats and felt perfectly comfortable. Most of the people were dressed similar, but there were a few with shorts and t-shirts. Have a great time !!!!
Aug 16th, 1999, 08:57 AM
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"Dressy casual" was the norm at the shows we attended recently in London. Personally I think t-shirts and shorts are out of place and a bit too casual, but you can't go wrong with black slacks, blouse or sweater top, and blazer. Along with black shoes that's my "uniform" for theater - it looks smart, it's comfortable and is the kind of outfit you can go anyplace with and dress up and down a bit. My husband usually wears black pants and a "nice" shirt. We did see some folks dressed in business suits and quite dressy dresses too, but overall the average tended to be "dressy casual". There was a group of about 15 French teenagers who were very smartly dressed as well. Probably the majority of theater goers in London are tourists and most tourists don't want to drag anymore clothes than necessary with them. We normally don't go to matinees in London but I would imagine it could get a bit more "casual" there.

I think that the audience owes something to the performers too, and that is to look presentable for the performance. Now that is my personal belief .. please don't anyone jump on me about it - I just would not want to be on stage and when the lights go up see a bunch of scuffy looking folks in the audience.
Aug 16th, 1999, 09:10 AM
Dawyn Roberts
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Trust me on this, wear casual jeans, tee-shirts, or, slacks, or a nice shirt. I went to the theatre in London in May this year, not knowing what to wear..and my friend and i were the only ones in EVENING GOWNS. I went to the Kennedy Center once, and that's what i wore. Obviously in London, they dont consider shows that formal.
Aug 16th, 1999, 09:15 AM
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Evening Gowns to the Kennedy Center? I think you should wear what is comfortable. I'm not comfortable in jeans and tee shirts, I still think of the Theatre as an event, so I tend to dress appropriately. I would say business casual is safe.
Aug 16th, 1999, 08:52 PM
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Thanks everybody! Sounds like I will be safe in a pair of slacks with a nice top. That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. You've all been extremely helpful!

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