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What to wear to Theatre show?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Chaps

Not a theatre buff at all - in fact no interest whatsoever.

But the enemy has been wanting to go and this weekend as a special treat a show followed by a meal is planned.

So far, the show shortlisted is "˜The Phantom of the Opera' at Her Maj.Theatre

I intend to drive down and park nearby to Jermyn Street which has a tucked away spot I often find free when I visit on Sunday. Will check what times restrictions apply on Saturday on that part. This will allow us to drive into town and nit mess around with taxis and worse still public transport.

Have a restaurant in Pall Mall that we might pop into after the show - there are a few to pick from (but any suggestions will be welcome).

The question is what is appropriate dress for such a show. Bearing in mind this is not a royal event or a formal one in any sense. But, my initial thought of a sports blazer or a tweed jacket set off with a pair of jeans may be a tad too casual?

I dont mind wearing a suit - with my ¾ length overcoat - which is my daily work coat - but as I dress formally in my work days the cross over to "˜non-work days formal' is very slight and insignificant.

For work days I have a number f specific grey/blue suits for non work days I have a few other grey/blue suits in different shades. The ties I wear for work days I don't wear on no-work days and the same with the shoes.
Only the overcoat and if needed the Grosvenor (tribly/fedora) might get crossed over.

So bearing in mind all the above - any and all advise would be gratefully received.

Thanks in advance.

Flashy.
post #2 of 14
I go to the theatre a fair bit in London. The majority of people will be dressed very casually with it being a midday weekend production. Lots of people in jeans and jumpers. The having to dress up for the theatre, does not really exist unless it is a special evening. The majority of people you would find in suits in the theatre would be mid-week post work.

However, the restaurant after is also what you need to consider.

I would go with chinos or jeans and a jacket/blazer.
post #3 of 14
In this case, I wouldn't worry about fitting in so much as making it an occasion for your enemy. To that end, I'd dress just a little bit nicer than you do day to day. If you wear jeans, upgrade to blazer etc...
post #4 of 14
You can wear whatever you wish, no dress code for West End shows at all. We went to see Jersey Boys last week ( great show by the way ) and people were even turning up with their shopping bags.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigger View Post
You can wear whatever you wish, no dress code for West End shows at all. We went to see Jersey Boys last week ( great show by the way ) and people were even turning up with their shopping bags.

did you describe containers used for carrying purchases. or was it very loose clothing
designed for a comfortable shopping trip. shopping with ones [ahem] can be painful you know.
post #6 of 14
i would go for the blazer or the tweed and an open neck sport shirt.
skip the jeans and pick a nice trouser match up.
post #7 of 14
It really counts on your enemy because I would definately show up a tiny bit better than him; forget which show you are going to, just show up better. If he normally dresses casual for outing events, definately at least go with the blazer and jeans.

As for The Phantom of the Opera, it's pretty amazing.
post #8 of 14
Sadly, there is no dress code for the theatre. Shoes are barely required. To be honest, I am not absolutely certain that shoes are required. The vast majority of people attending will look just like the tourists wandering Picadilly Circus. In fact, the vast majority of people attending will be the tourists wandering Picadilly Circus. This doesn't mean you shouldn't make the effort, though. What restaurant on Pall Mall will you be going to? Roux? Anyway, you should definitely dress for the restaurant rather than the theatre.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks al for your tips! Really appreciate it. It appears the enemy (ie the wife) underestimated the difficulty in buying tickets for a West End musical with 3 days to go! So instead will watch Phantom in a few weeks time so we can do so on a Saturday night. We will be going to cinema instead, to Leicester Sq as I still want to drive down anbd come back to Roux for dinner! (Bounder how did you guess?) BTW, I will be wearing an open neck blue-ish shirt wide/full cutaway St James collar with tweed jacket (with suede elbow patch), jeans, leather shoes with my Hermes belt! Will either watch 'Never Let Me Go' or whatever that western movie is called.
post #10 of 14
Interesting thread, this. It's funny how way back years ago going to the theatres and cinemas were a huge deal where people would turn up dressing in their best evening wear. Seeing how some theatres' interiors are just so majestically decorated makes me wonder what those evenings were like.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post
Interesting thread, this. It's funny how way back years ago going to the theatres and cinemas were a huge deal where people would turn up dressing in their best evening wear. Seeing how some theatres' interiors are just so majestically decorated makes me wonder what those evenings were like.

Like the final scene from Inglorious Basterds
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashman View Post
It appears the enemy (ie the wife) underestimated the difficulty in buying tickets for a West End musical with 3 days to go!

Just a suggestion, but you might try the TKTS booth on Leicester Square on the day as they often have late availability tickets. There's also some sort of booth at Piccadilly Circus that sells theatre tickets. You can also just try at the theatre itself as they may have some returned tickets.

As for dress code, as most people have said, there isn't really one and most people going to see Phantom will probably be dressed quite casually. That said, if you're making an occasion of it, you should make a bit of an effort.

For restaurants, if you're around Leicester Square you might try Clos Maggiore in Covent Garden. Very romantic, food is good and a wine list that's about an inch thick. I've not been there for a few years though. If you do manage to get tickets for Phantom, then Covent Garden is a bit of a trek, so maybe Brasserie Roux but I'm stretching a bit as I don't go out much in that particular part of town. I'd suggest you look at toptable.com and see what's around.
post #13 of 14
Casual will best fit a London theatre these days.

Your choice of restaurant might dictate something but trousers as opposed to jeans at most. Many will simply welcome the trade and not set themselves up as judges of apparel.

Given your description of your wife, chain-mail might be better.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashman View Post
We will be going to cinema instead, to Leicester Sq as I still want to drive down anbd come back to Roux for dinner! (Bounder how did you guess?)
Lucky guess. There are very few public restaurants on Pall Mall. In similar situations, I usually go to Rowley's on Jermyn Street as I think it is open later. The food at Roux is more inventive but Rowley's is pretty good, for what it is, and it is a nice space.
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