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West End Dress Code

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feinstein9
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joined:5/20/03
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West End Dress Code#1
Posted: 5/20/07 at 3:22am
Hello,

I am visitng London for the first time this summer in a six week program that includes frequent visits to the West End and other theatres of different tastes (what I assume to the equivlent of off-braodway and off-off braodway). My main question is about the appropreiate attrie for West End performances. In NY, I useally wear dark wash jeans, heels, and a blouse of some sort. Is this acceptable in England, or is it more up scale (or even less so)? I know the British useally look very sharp but I'm not sure what is and isn't appropriate. The last thing I want to do is look like a tourist. Perhpas it is less formal, I don't know. I was also wondering about the general weather patterns in London from late June to early August? I have read the numbers (relitivly mild) but perhaps some more details could be supplied? Light jackets, long sleeves, or does it get quite warm? Thank you very much for your time and I hope my questions were not too obnoxious. All the best.
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Mark_E
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re: West End Dress Code#2
Posted: 5/20/07 at 4:02am
To be honest I would just wear anything you are comfortable with. There will be two extremes, some people will get properly dressed up whilst others will be there in a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms/jeans. There isn't a dress code really.

And depending on where you are sitting in certain theatres, it could get VERY hot inside.

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ruthiefan_felix
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joined:10/6/03
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re: West End Dress Code#2
Posted: 5/20/07 at 4:45am
as our teacher tells us... just smart casuals will do... but not too draggy cuz it's still the theatres!
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vmlinnie
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joined:6/19/06
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re: West End Dress Code#3
Posted: 5/20/07 at 7:50am
The t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms crowd really agrivate me. They're usually the ones that call the interval 'half time'. Ugh!

I usually wear a shirt, open-necked, with nice trousers and a dressy-casual jacket. If you can find a female equivalent to that, you're probably around and about right.
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turquoisefish
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re: West End Dress Code#4
Posted: 5/20/07 at 7:56am
I wear all sorts, it depends on why I am in London and who I am with. If I have gone to a trade show or something like that (and decide to see a show in the evening) I will be wearing a suit and tie (as i did for Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors and Avenue Q recently). If I have gone on my own then usually jeans and t-shirt and trainers (but not scruffy).
You will not stand out unless you are really scruffy or wearing a prom dress :-p
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re: West End Dress Code#5
Posted: 5/20/07 at 8:37am
Im thinking of wearing a T-shirt and shorts and sandles for Lord Of The Rings since apparently the theatre's boiling hot! haha lol joking!
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Weez
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re: West End Dress Code#6
Posted: 5/20/07 at 9:20am
The problem with listed buildings is that it's a pain in the arse when you want more air conditioning and aren't allowed. XP

Well, I guess I'll just have to frighten my parents and wear a dress when we see LOTR...
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feinstein9
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re: West End Dress Code#7
Posted: 5/20/07 at 4:55pm
Thanks for your help guys re: West End Dress Code It sounds about the same as NY, more or less, except for that air conditioning part. Ha! I'll just try to keep it clean and sharp, maybe more casual on the smaller shows I see and that sort of thing. Thanks again. Cheers! (trying to sound British on that one)
SondheimFan2
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re: West End Dress Code#8
Posted: 5/20/07 at 9:46pm
considering that west end theater has been infested by tourists the last couple of decades, dress code was become more lenient. there will be people in suits and dresses, and then people in jeans and t shirts; although the locals tend to be dressier. in fact, london and europe in general is a little dressier than new york, so i'd recommend slacks and a shirt or a skirt and a sweater. for the more "off-west end" theaters, i'm sure jeans would be fine.
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re: West End Dress Code#9
Posted: 5/21/07 at 3:38am
what's wrong with tourists??? Im sure it's tourists that keeps Westend/Broadway running!
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Sister George
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re: West End Dress Code#10
Posted: 5/21/07 at 11:54am
Like New York when the show begins generally the lights go down and nobody cares what you are wearing.

The notion of dressing up for the theatre, is not a mark of respect for the actors who can't actually see what you are wearing or a mark of respect for the notion of 'theatre'; it's just a hang-over from the days when the theatre was attended to be seen at, rather than to see what was actually on.

But if you enjoy getting dressed up for a night out, then that's equally not a problem!
"I tend to think if god wanted us to believe in him, he'd exist" Linda Smith
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Weez
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re: West End Dress Code#11
Posted: 5/21/07 at 12:49pm
Well, dressing nicely is a mark of respect, but it's more for yourself as the respecter than for the respectees. I'm fully aware the cast and crew most likely won't see me and even if they do they won't care how I'm dressed, but I feel happier in myself if I'm dressed appropriately. :3
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Sister George
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re: West End Dress Code#12
Posted: 5/21/07 at 2:24pm
But it's that whole nation of 'dressed appropiately'.

'Appropiate' to whom and why? Who gets to decide what is 'appropriate'?

Why should a well designed t-shirt, jeans and trainers be deemed less appropriate than an ill-filtting, uncomfortable, bland suit or trousers and shirt and tie?

I have no problem with people dressing how they feel is 'appropriate', frankly I don't care what anybody wears as long as they don't smell and don't distract (i.e glow in the dark suit or wear a 3ft high hat); I just have problems with people deciding what they think I should be wearing as appropriate.
"I tend to think if god wanted us to believe in him, he'd exist" Linda Smith
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Weez
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re: West End Dress Code#13
Posted: 5/21/07 at 3:16pm
As mostly covered in my last post, appropriate to ME! I think jeans are appropriate for me if they're clean and not torn and if it's a casual show like 'Avenue Q'. But I wouldn't have considered them appropriate for me when I went to 'Follies In Concert', so I wore a dress. Wear what you will. As long as you don't smell. ^_^
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mrkringas
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re: West End Dress Code#14
Posted: 5/21/07 at 8:39pm
Anyone planning on sitting in the Drury Lane this summer wear as little as you can get away with. A couple of summers ago I was almost melted at The Producers. They were even handing out show themed fans for people to cool themselves and free bottles of water. I still have the fan...although annoying that we all had to use them for the duration!
DeathStar
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re: West End Dress Code#15
Posted: 5/22/07 at 5:00am
Good Lord, go to the theatre, wear what you like! The alternative is stay at home and wear something you don't like!
NS
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re: West End Dress Code#16
Posted: 5/22/07 at 6:01am
you have to dress how you feel comfortable, and like others said the most important thing is not to smell as that can really ruin a show for others (ive experience being sat near someone smelly and i wanted to leave at interval). It very much depends on your situation as well, if your in London with a hotel you can go back and refresh and change, but if your on a day out you dont want to be dressed smartly just because you have a two hour show at the end of the day.

Although I didnt like doing it as I felt too casual, I have worn shorts, t shirt and sandels before because it was so bloody hot. The only audiences I feel are still dressy are people that go to the Old Vic (the most snobby and stuffy audience ive experienced), the Savoy and sometimes the National. All others are pretty mixed.

People dont really take any notice of what people are wearing unless it makes you stick out like a sore thumb (eg something wacky and bright), you sat in the dark for most of the time. If your coming in summer be prepared for theatre to be very hot.


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re: West End Dress Code#17
Posted: 6/5/07 at 9:16am
The same problem is on broadway as well. The only difference is that on Broadway the theatres have air conditioning. This is why people don't even take tempreature into consideration. They might take it into consideration if they are walking around nYC prior to the show. But, no one talks about it in terms of what it is going to be like in the theatre itself.

I don't think you need to dress up at all to go to the theatre. I was talking too a girl I know about how I go see a broadway show so often that the whole idea of it being an event is long gone in my mind. And, i don't think it matters what you wear because no one will see you and the actors don't care what you wear so long as your there to support them and the show that they are working on. In fact the same girl was offended to hear that I didn't even bother to dress up to go to the theatre. I do agree that it is an idea from when a trip to the theatre was an event of high society. Not, the case today.
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ashley-h
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re: West End Dress Code#18
Posted: 6/5/07 at 10:24am
Yeah I agree. I never dress up either :-S
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re: West End Dress Code#19
Posted: 6/5/07 at 10:52am
I don't think you should dress up to the theatre but I was appauld when I went on a school trip and a pupil in my year was wearing a full out grey tracksuit. Now I think you should dress nicely, maybe not what you'd wear to a every day kinda thing but not smart. I'd say smart casual at least. Deffinatly not a tracksuit anything but. Jean and a nice t-shirt are fine to me! No body really cares but I just think tracksuit is not a nice thing to wear its something you wear out and about in your house not somehting to go out for a nice night.

You wouldn't go to a nice resturant in one!