For some reason, there’s this aura of nervousness and mystery associated with a night out. Nervous wallflowers the world over fret over what they’re going to wear, how to dance, and when it’s acceptable to offer to buy someone a drink. Answer: Anytime (who doesn’t like a free drink?)
This kind of over thinking can kill a night. With all the other things to consider, the last thing you need to worry about is what you’re wearing. So for the benefit of those still tearing apart their closets and racking their brains we're here to explain just ‘How To Dress For A Night Out Anywhere.
Just by considering the club you’re going to, and adjusting your wardrobe accordingly you can really make yourself stand out from the status quo.
The College Club
It’s a college club. The usual mix of frat guys, sorority girls, serious students looking to cut loose, and older high school kids with fake IDs. People are drinking. A lot. It’s a generic venue that doesn’t cater to any specific style.
What To Wear: Casual. Nowhere else will effort be more apparent than at a college bar. Throwing on a suit or even the latest designer t-shirt will be a wasted effort here that will mark you as a slumming yuppie.
A decent pair of sneakers or slip-ons, a clean fitted t-shirt, and jeans will work just fine. If you feel the urge to wear something really nice, designer denim is never a bad choice.
The Top-40 Club
Sort of a grown-up version of the college bar, these places offer the same sort of noncommittal, everyguy entertainment. A good mix of 9-to-5ers, and the bridge and tunnel kids who don’t know of any better clubs. Expect remixes of radio hits, and girls who freak out and start screaming and high-fiving when the latest track comes on.
What To Wear: Casual smart. A lot of these places have dress codes that ban hooded sweatshirts, hats, sneakers, or anything too distressed. Unfortunately this mentality really lends itself to guys rocking jeans paired with a club shirt, it’s the easiest path to take.
For those looking for something a bit different, consider trim black slacks paired with a polo shirt, or a pair of slim khaki’s and a nice navy cardigan.
It’s a more downbeat crowd; it’s an older crowd, with the occasional discussion about 401k’s, girls in cocktail dresses instead of leggings, and a lot less dancing. DJs working these venues throw out terms like ‘Minimal House’ and ‘Progressive’ with dead seriousness. A great choice if you’re feeling a bit too old to go out and dance in a crowd of kids wearing shutter shades.
What To Wear: Many of these places are pretty strict about dress codes, and sometimes don’t let in people in runners and jeans. Even if you do manage to get in while wearing those ratty old Adidas, nobody is going to want to take your broke-ass home. You’re going to have to suit up.
Don’t just wear that same old work suit; pick something in a slim cut, and with a matching shirt underneath. Rock a necktie only if you feel comfortable in it, otherwise they’re unnecessary.
The Hip-Hop Club
Who’s down with OPP? This whole party, that’s who! It’s the kind of place that blows up once the DJ drops Clipse or R. Kelly, and the kind of place that you wish you could walk into in slow motion, because that’s invariably what they do in the music videos.
What To Wear: The big mistake people make when dressing for a hip-hop club is the notion that you have to dress like the rappers whose music pumps through the speakers. Just take your normal weekend attire and add a few little touches if you feel you need to, such as some low-key jewelry or a fresh pair of new kicks. Try swapping your regular pants for a pair of easy-fit jeans and some Air Jordan’s.
Don’t go crazy though; Lil Wayne can drop his jeans around his thighs, but that’s strictly because he is Lil Wayne.
The Mega ClubI hope you absolutely love house music; otherwise this is going to be a very long night. Multiple rooms hosted by DJs and promoters high off of their own sense of achievement. However, these events offer some of the most fun, and lead to the best stories you will ever be a part of.
Expect to see people in costumes, fog machines, and people with nicknames as strange as their attire. Don’t be surprised to wake up with glitter on your crotch; that stuff takes forever to get out.
What To Wear: You may feel the urge to pick up candy necklaces or Day-Glo mesh shirts, but resist. It’s not 1995, and rave is not what it once was, thank God.
Start with a clean, bright top. Add a comfortable pair of pants that breathe well (you are probably going to sweat no matter what).
Don’t wear anything you would object to having champagne and confetti spilled onto. In many of these places, sitting room is at a premium, so make comfortable shoes a priority.
General Club Advice
Though every club is different, there are a few rules for all of them that you ought to keep in mind.
- Don’t wear anything you’re going to object to getting dirty, especially shoes, since they will end up sticky and probably covered with dirt.
- Most clubs get very sweaty, very fast. Owners don’t object to this, because it sells more drinks. Take this into consideration when planning what you’re wearing. Leave the Mohair sweater at home.
- Use the coat check.
- Don’t build your entire outfit around one item. Being ‘awesome story guy’ or ‘surprisingly good at dancing guy’ is one thing, but nobody wants to be ‘hat guy’ or ‘popped collar guy.
- Just by considering the club you’re going to, and adjusting your wardrobe accordingly you can really make you stand out from the status quo.