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The ultimate guide to London theatre dress code

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London has some of the best theatres in the world, and visiting the West End is a must if you're visiting London! However, if this is your first show, you might be confused about the London theatre dress code. There is also a general London theatre etiquette that, if followed, would make your experience extremely enjoyable! Curious to know more? Headout's got your back! London

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London theatre dress code

First things first, London theatres do not have a set dress code. Many people jazz up their outfits for a show but do not feel pressured to do the same! If you have packed nothing but jeans, you will find your allies among other audience members who have paired their jeans with a nice shirt. But as a thumb rule, one can never go wrong with smart-casuals or semi-formals.

London theatre dress code tips

  • Opt for well-fitted trousers or a skirt paired with a stylish blouse or button-down shirt.
  • Choose comfortable shoes suitable for walking around the city.
  • Elevate your experience by dressing in formal attire.
  • Consider a classic dress or a suit and tie to blend in with the sophisticated theatre atmosphere.
  • Be prepared for unpredictable London weather with a complementary coat or jacket.
  • Plan for something that enhances your overall look, as you may wear it during the show.
  • Add a touch of elegance with accessories like scarves, jewelry, or a stylish tie.

Additional tips

  • Prioritize comfort and confidence when selecting your outfit.
  • Don't be overly concerned about what others are wearing.
  • Consider the type of show you'll be attending.
  • Avoid distracting elements, such as large jewelry or hats.

Ideas for fun outfits

Smart-casuals or semi-formals do not equal boring! Here are some tips that will spice up your London theatre outfits.

  • Incorporate Thematic Elements: For The Lion King, try a cute organic prints on your dress, shoes or shirt.
  • Play Around with Colours: Wicked would be the perfect opportunity to pair a black gown with a touch of green make-up.
  • Accessorise: For a whodunit like The Mousetrap, add a nice coat or scarf to your dress or suit. These will make your outfit classy and keep you warm when the theatre gets chilly!
  • Subtle Costumes: A period piece or a show with a hint of nostalgia like ABBA Voyage could be your chance to finally put on your vintage and retro hauls.
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When can I wear costumes?

This might disappoint the cosplayers, but costumes are generally not allowed at London theatres.

However, there are some exceptions. For special events such as Halloween shows, magic shows or a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, costumes may be encouraged. If you are uncertain about costuming for a show that might fall into the above categories, check with the theatre beforehand.

Be sure to check out our guide on the how to get cheap tickets for West End shows!