Leave Those Sweatpants at Home – What to Wear to Clubs & Bars in NYC

By Birthdays & Bottles,

  Filed under: NYC Nightlife Tips
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Leave Those Sweatpants at Home

If you have spent any amount of time whatsoever hitting the various dance clubs, discotechs, bars, and nightclubs in NYC, you’re likely aware that many venues have specific dress codes they expect patrons to abide by. Let’s take a look at some key elements of a standard NYC nightlife dress code for both women and men:

The cardinal rule of the NYC nightlife dress code as it pertains to the ladies is simple: wear heels. Above and beyond that, make sure you put in some effort to look good, though if a girl is pretty enough they will often gain entry regardless of how they are dressed. Below are some tips to successful dressing and a great night out:

Be on trend: One of the best ways to ensure you will get into the venue of your choice is to dress to impress. That being said, keep yourself up-to-date with the fashion scene. Not only will you look great, but you’ll score some style points along the way. One trend that is evident in fashion this summer is the off-the-shoulder top, which is not only flattering but shows a classy amount of skin in the process. A win-win in our opinion.

Watch that heel height: Make sure that if you decide to step up your shoe game and sport a pair of heels, you are comfortable. Heels may be a cardinal rule of NYC nightlife, but the second cardinal rule is don’t embarrass yourself. Maybe think twice about wearing those 7-inch designer heels. A few drinks in, and there’s a chance the ground will be a frequent friend of yours.

Avoid excessive colors: Don’t be a walking rainbow. But don’t wear all black either (unless the venue specifies this.) Try to have a pop color or do a mixture of neutrals. In doing so, you’ll be able to find an outfit that compliments you and one that isn’t way too showy or boring.

Dress Classy: While you may think that adorable bra you just bought is worth showing, it most certainly is not. Keep the undergarments where they belong-under your clothes. Make sure if you wear tight fitting clothing, you are still covered. While it may seem appealing to show off your goodies, it definitely isn’t appropriate.

For men it is a bit more complicated. To start with, ditch the business casual as well as any Ed Hardy/Affliction gear you’re considering sporting – keep that stuff in New Jersey.
Let’s talk feet: Avoid sandals, shorts, jerseys, tennis shoes, and baseball caps too guys. Polished leather shoes are a go-to for many. You can wear a cool pair of oxfords to add a sophisticated look to any outfit.

Button-downs are your new best friend: Wear a button down. But a cool one. Seriously. We aren’t saying a candy-striped pattern will buy you the ladies, but we are saying a cool top will get you into the venue of your liking. As stated above, baggy t-shirts, casual t-shirts, or business wear is a definite no. Be classy fella’s.

Maintain your mane: Style your hair, guys. Don’t expect to walk up to a bouncer with bed-head and expect to go inside. A little gel, or mousse will do your do well.

Both Men and Women:
Be clean: This should go without being said, but don’t go out with yesterday’s clothes on. Make sure your outfits are non-stained, non-wrinkly, and altogether fresh. No one needs to be looking at the coffee you spilled earlier today or the remnants of a donut on your clothing. (Although, both are delicious otherwise.)

While this is hardly an exhaustive list, it should help provide you some basic guidance as to what to wear to a club in NYC. If you’re worried about a specific venue and their NYC nightlife dress code, the best policy is always to call in advance and check.



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