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What to Wear to a Broadway Show

Published on: Nov 6, 2022
Last Updated on: Apr 2, 2023
By: Kathryn Willingham
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The easiest answer first: there is no specific dress code to enter a Broadway theater, and you’ll see people in pretty much everything. Evening shows tend to be dressier than matinees, but really, anything goes. Some people like to get dressed up for a show – going to see a Broadway play or musical is a special experience, and dressing up can make it feel like even more of an occasion. Other people prefer to keep it casual and stick to jeans and comfortable shoes. One tip before we get into where to find your perfect outfit: it can be a good idea to dress in layers. Broadway theaters are air-conditioned, and it can get chilly!

Shopping on Fifth Avenue

Just east of Times Square, you’ll find one of the most famous shopping districts in New York: Fifth Avenue. Here you’ll find everything from Hollister and Uniqlo to Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf’s. No matter if you’re going casual or dressing to impress, you’ll find clothes appropriate for a matinee, an evening performance, an Opening Night, or a dressy gala. And if you visit during the holidays, many of the buildings feature elaborate window displays. Here are some of the most visited stores (and if you’re with kids, don’t forget to check out the LEGO store, the famous FAO Schwarz toy store, or the American Girl Place, all located on or just off Fifth Avenue):

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue at 611 Fifth Avenue is a luxury department store featuring designers like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Burberry, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, and Versace. 

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton located inside Saks Fifth Avenue at 611 Fifth Avenue is known for its luxury leather goods including shoes, purses, and watches. 

Nike NYC

Nike NYC at 650 Fifth Avenue spans 68,000 square feet and 6 floors. Referred to as the House of Innovation, this store allows you to browse both Nike classics and new, cutting edge designs, as well as utilize their customization services or speak one on one with a consultant in their Expert Studio about finding the perfect apparel or sneakers for a race, an event, or a night out. 


Tiffany’s at 727 Fifth Avenue is known for its diamonds and silver jewelry, sold in its iconic blue box. In addition to perusing the jewelry, you can also see the 128 karat Tiffany Diamond and a display of historic watches. You can even live your Audrey Hepburn dreams by having breakfast at Tiffany’s in the Blue Box Café (currently closed during a renovation, but back open soon). 

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman at 754 Fifth Avenue is a luxury department store featuring designers like Prada, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Lanvin, and Saint Laurent. 

Shops in Times Square

Looking to find your perfect outfit for the theater without having to travel? Here are the stores right in the heart of Times Square: 

Forever 21

Forever 21 on 1540 Broadway at 46th Street and H&M on 1472 Broadway between 42nd and 43rd Streets both sell trendy clothes at an affordable price.


Express on 1552 Broadway offers clothes for both day and night. Find a dress shirt and blazer, sweaters, dress pants, jeans, dresses, jackets, and jewelry. 

Free People

Free People

Free People at 10 W. 49th Street sells modern and vintage style fashion. If your taste skews bohemian, you’ll find a great outfit idea here. 


Levi’s Store

Levi’s Store at 1535 Broadway has a large selection of denim from dark jeans to jackets and accessories. 


Rainbow Shops

Rainbow Shops at 603 8th Avenue is marketed to teens and young women and offers a variety of fashion options at a low price

Grand Slam shopping

Grand Slam New York

Grand Slam New York at 1557 Broadway is your go-to for souvenirs and New York City T-shirts. If you’re looking for I Heart New York classics, Yankees sports shirts, or New York City themed tchotchkes, this is your place. 

Other Popular Shopping Areas

Search for even more outfit ideas for an evening or matinee Broadway show at these shopping locations, popular with tourists and New Yorkers alike. 

Shops at Columbus Circle

The Shops at Columbus Circle

The Shops at Columbus Circle at 10 Columbus Circle: Walk just a few blocks north to Columbus Circle where you’ll find Aveda, Coach, Lululemon, Boss, J. Crew, Montmartre, Michael Kors, Sephora and more. While you’re there, grab a bite at Momofuku Noodle Bar (try the pork buns) or grab a drink at the Ascent Lounge, which overlooks Central Park. 



Nordstrom, just north of Times Square at 225 W. 57th, has both a men’s and women’s store across the street from each other and offers designer clothes, affordable options, shoes, purses and more.  This flagship store also has restaurants: Bistro Verde, Jeannie’s and Wolf. Or grab a cocktail at the Shoe Bar before finding the perfect pair of dress shoes or sneakers to go with your Broadway outfit. 



Macy’s, located just a short walk or subway ride south to 34th Street/Herald Square, is the flagship of this iconic department store as well as its headquarters. It may look familiar – it’s also the site where the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is filmed. This location has been in operation since 1902 and still has working wooden escalators. Find everything from casual attire to a winter coat to a cocktail dress and heels. 


SoHo is another famous shopping district of Manhattan and offers everything from affordable to high-end fashion in every possible style, from smart casual to formal attire to vintage. 

The Garment District

The Garment District is located in central Manhattan between 34th and 42nd Streets. Known for its density of fashion designers, garment production, and wholesale fabrics, this neighborhood is as full of history as it is of shops. Here you can find fabrics, textiles, custom shoes, clothing repair, accessories and more.

Show Merch

Seeing a Broadway show can be a great excuse to dress up – whether you’re going full wizard to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child or rocking a T-shirt with a quote from your favorite Broadway musical, here’s where to get Broadway merchandise:

Broadway Merchandise Shop by Creative Goods

Broadway Merchandise Shop

Broadway Merchandise Shop is an online resource selling official show merch. You can search by product type or by show. Hoodies, T-shirts, mugs, magnets, jewelry and more are all sold here.  

Harry Potter NY store

Harry Potter New York

Harry Potter New York at 935 Broadway in the Flatiron district offers exclusive Harry Potter clothing and accessories, including wizard robes, T-shirts, and wands. You can even take a break at the Butterbeer Bar and enjoy butterbeer, ice cream, and other treats. 


Hamilton: The Store

Hamilton: The Store is located at 235 W. 46th Street, just across the street from the Richard Rodgers Theatre. It has a huge array of Hamilton merchandise from apparel to books and posters, and even the cast recording on vinyl. 

Playbill Store

The Playbill Store

The Playbill Store is an online resource selling everything from show apparel, playbill binders, posters, stuffed animals and more. 

How to Access Tickets

Looking to buy a ticket to a Broadway show? Check out our article on Discount Broadway Tickets to find information about the TKTS Booth in Times Square, apps that can save you money, and other tips and tricks to get show tickets last minute. 

Kathryn Willingham

Head of Creative Development at Jean Doumanian Productions

Kathryn Willingham has worked in entertainment for over ten years, and recent credits include: Co-producer of SHRINK currently streaming on Peacock, Associate Producer of the independent film UNA, and Creative Executive on multiple theatrical productions including HANGMEN by Martin McDonagh on Broadway, NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour Off-broadway and Associate on productions EVERY BRILLIANT THING by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe and THE EFFECT by Lucy Prebble. She was Producer of Todd Almond’s musical travelogue “Wyoming and Parts of Kansas” and Production Coordinator for Karen O and KK Barrett's “Stop the Virgens.”


Education: B.A. in English, Literature & Creative Writing from Rhodes College
Knowledge: Theaterical Production


Nov 6, 2022

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