FashionStyle Tips

What To Wear To The Theatre

Once reserved only for the hoity-toity rich way back, going to the theatre today is normal and the perfect excuse to get a little boujee. While theatres here in Australia don’t enforce a dress code, smart casual is the unspoken standard. Hmm, that still confuses the hell out of us sometimes. For some it will be the first time attending a show, therefore you’ll feel more comfortable if you consider carefully what to wear instead of winging it on the day. That’s why we’ve deciphered what’s kosher attire for your upcoming theatre debut to avoid embarrassment. Break a leg! 😉

If you’re going to…

The matinee

If you have tickets to the afternoon show, then you’re granted some leeway because it’s typically a casual affair. Lucky you, that includes jeans. No one will bat an eyelid; in fact, you will probably have plenty of company in jeans and a top. Just make sure they’re clean and sans rips and your mid-drift isn’t taking centre stage. 

When in doubt: jeans, white top, heels and show-stopping earrings.

An evening show

After dark calls for some taste and class, opt for cocktail attire.

Shop our party dresses here. Just remember no gaping fronts, you’re a society girl now darling so save your cleavage for later. Drape your jacket over your shoulders so you feel posh and you can ditch it inside at the cloak room. 

When in doubt:  really big earrings (yep they literally elevate any outfit) with a black dress and mid court heel.

Opening night

Ok this is the one time when you won’t get away with wearing any ol’ thing. Take it seriously and respect the occasion by getting glammed up! A touch of theatrical style will be celebrated at a premier – cue embellishment, sequins, feathers and floor length frocks. Take inspiration from our occasion dresses here.

When in doubt: Maxi dress, strappy heels and hair out (just in case you get papped).

Other etiquette notes:

  • No matter how contemporary the performance promises to be, there is no place for thongs or sandals in the theatre
  • Don’t be liberal with your perfume, you’re sitting down for an hour plus so your neighbour won’t appreciate the extra spritz
  • Arrive early, some theatres won’t seat you even if you’re only five minutes late
  • Resist snapchatting and turn off your phone. Even if you think you’re incognito you’re likely to piss someone off
  • Save your chattering for intermission and after the show
  • Feel free to laugh, cry and applaud (the actors love it)
  • Don’t sneak in snacks, it’s frowned upon!


Words by Jennifer Aitken

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