Need some inspiration for your next night out? Check out our guide on what to wear to a club.
Putting together a clubbing outfit can be tricky even for seasoned veterans. There are all kinds of clubs, and usually they don’t have explicitly stated dress codes, so it can be difficult to know what style of clothing is appropriate for a specific club (especially if it’s new to you).
And if you’ve never been to a club before, then you likely don’t even know where to start thinking about your clothes.
Thankfully, there are some basic style principles that you can use when putting together an outfit for the club. I’ll share those principles as well as some example outfits to give you a better idea of what to wear.
(Full disclosure: This advice mostly applies to the average nightclub. It won’t apply to more casual clubs, like hole-in-the-wall joints that don’t even require you to wear shoes.)
So what do you wear to a club? Read on to find out!
Before You Go
Before you think about what to wear to a club, you need to consider the club you’re going to and the people you’ll be going with.
Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself before putting together an outfit:
What type of club am I going to? Is this a simple dance club or a fancier place? Looking up some photos of the club and/or looking at social media can help you get a better idea of the atmosphere.
Who am I going with? For example, going to a club with a group of friends and going with a date are very different, and you probably won’t want to wear the same outfit for both occasions.
How much activity will I be doing? If you’re going to be dancing a lot, you want to dress appropriately so you’re not drowning in a pool of your own sweat. Likewise, if you’ll be club hopping or otherwise out on the town, you probably won’t want to wear anything stuffy.
What to Wear to a Club for Men
Here are some solid choices…
A comfortable, lightweight button up is a nice club-ready choice that can be worn in many different kinds of clubs. Be careful to avoid any heavy fabrics like flannel (unless you really want to sweat). Instead, choose a lighter, thinner OCBD.
The formality level of the club should dictate what kind of shirt you wear, so do some research beforehand and see if the club has a certain dress code.
If you’re going to a really ritzy spot, you might want to trade in the button up for a dress shirt and toss a sport coat on top.
This classy, refined outfit is ideal for clubs with a more formal dress code. So if you’re heading to a premier Vegas club, this is probably the outfit you’ll want to go with.
If you like to rock pocket squares, you might want to choose one that adds a splash of contrasting color to your outfit. Again, this all depends on the formality of the club.
Camp Collar Shirt
If you’re going to a casual club but still want to look a bit dressy, consider a camp collar shirt. A camp collar has the advantages of a button up while being more relaxed and breathable, so they’re ideal for club environments.
Since most clubs are pretty dark, it’s best to stick with solid colors or simple patterns. You can wear something loud, but people aren’t going to see it. It makes more sense to aim for a more minimal look when you’re thinking about what to wear to a dance club.
Long Sleeved Polo
If you’re going to a more formal club where you’ll be hanging out more and dancing less (or not at all), try a long sleeved polo. Polos are similar to camp collars, but they’re more structured and generally more fitted.
Why long sleeves? Short sleeve polos are a bit too casual for the club. Long sleeves really change the look, making the shirt more smart casual.
These are especially great for fall and winter when you want a little extra warmth (which isn’t necessary if you’re going to be dancing).
A simple relaxed yet well-fitting t-shirt is a versatile choice for just about any club, especially if you’re going to be out on the dance floor a lot.
T-shirts are light and breathable, which will come in handy when you inevitably work up a sweat from dancing. If you wear a shirt with moisture-wicking material like polyester, even better.
A good t-shirt can serve as the centerpiece for tons of great outfits. This is especially true for the club. For instance, if you’re going to be dancing all night at a laid-back club, you might find that a t-shirt and a nice pair of pants is all you need.
Chinos (or really any twill pants) are generally good for clubs. Some chinos are more breathable than others, so be sure to take that into consideration when selecting a pair.
A dark grey or navy color will suit the club environment well. Olive also works well when paired with other dark tones.
You could opt for a loud color if you’re putting together a more easygoing outfit, but be sure to take the club into consideration. For example, you might not want to wear bright salmon chinos at a techno club.
While jeans are undoubtedly classic, you still want to pay attention to the cut, wash and fit. The last thing you want is to show up at a club with light wash Affliction jeans like you just stepped out of 2007.
Dark wash jeans are always a safe bet. Go for a slim (but not skinny) fit that’s not too baggy or too tight.
Light wash jeans are a little harder to wear, but they’re still suitable for many clubs.
If you prefer wearing lighter colors, then light wash jeans could match that palette nicely.
A good jacket is a great finishing touch to an outfit, especially in colder weather. Even if you don’t end up wearing the jacket the whole time, it can still elevate your outfit when you’re waiting in line, hanging outside or just battling a chilly clime.
A bomber jacket is an excellent choice that goes with just about any outfit.
Make sure you choose a slim fit bomber. A bulky jacket will often weigh down your outfit, especially if you’re going to a trendier place.
If you’re going for an edgier, more streetwise look, change out the bomber for a thin leather jacket.
This gives you a more rock-and-roll vibe and can even exude a certain retro charm if you have the right outfit. (A leather jacket with a clean white crewneck underneath gives you that classic greaser look.)
You might be wondering what to wear to a club in winter. If you’re heading out in colder weather, you can always throw on a coat over your outfit, but when it comes to footwear, things get a little trickier.
If it’s not too snowy out, then dressy lace ups or
Even during spring and summer, boots are always a great choice for the club, especially a nicer pair of Chelsea boots.
Chelsea boots are some of the more lightweight options out there. They’re sleek and stylish but still afford some protection against the elements.
If it’s really snowy, you have fewer options. A dress-work boot like the Oliver Cabell SB1 offers a bit of protection without sacrificing style.
Plain black or dark brown boots are the most versatile, although you could opt for a pair with some subtle broguing or other decorations if you’re feeling fancy.
First of all, make sure to check the club’s dress code (or even Yelp reviews) before choosing your footwear. Some clubs are cool with any type of shoe, while others forbid casual footwear (like
That said, let’s assume the club you’re going to is okay with
Of course, your shoes might get scuffed up a bit, so be prepared for that. A good pair of
It’s hard to go wrong with a pair of dark
If hightops are more your style, check out Beckett Simonon’s Garcia
No matter what shoe you end up wearing, make sure it’s comfortable. Most high quality shoes (like the Reid) will have premium leather insoles that are soft and breathable. If you’re going to be busting out some serious moves––or if your feet just need some extra cushion––consider getting a padded insert a la Dr. Scholl’s.
While this is our guide to what to wear to a club for men, there are tons of great club outfits. Feel free to use this guide as inspiration for your next night out.
What do you usually wear to the club? Share your style in the comments below!