What To Wear To A Bar

Welcome to my comprehensive guide on what to wear to a bar. Whether you’re planning a dive bar night out, an evening at the lounge, or anything in between, it’s important to know what look is appropriate for which setting. Read on for clear and informative guidelines that are sure to help you feel confident in selecting your ensemble. In this guide, I will cover:

  • The importance of clothing as non-verbal communication
  • What counts as “dressing up” these days (and how much)
  • Dressing for your body type

You want to be comfortable and also presentable.

People can get pretty uptight about what to wear when they’re heading out for a night at the bar. And yes, it’s important to be well-dressed and clean when you’re in public—but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in uncomfortable clothing all night long. There are plenty of ways to dress that keep both comfort and presentability in mind. Luckily, jeans are an acceptable choice just about anywhere these days—and if you choose the right pair, they’ll look more polished than your average pair. For example, try dark wash denim with no holes or distress marks. You can also wear a t-shirt with graphic elements as long as it’s tucked into your pants and not drawing attention away from the rest of your outfit.

For women, dresses or skirts with heels or boots are also acceptable at most bars. The short length of these skirts is balanced by the fact that you’ll be wearing shoes with some height—so you still look elegant but don’t feel like you have to pull something over your knees if things get chilly! Just remember: no shorts (they’re often too casual) and no sandals (they show off too much skin). The perfect compromise between dressy outfits like suits and laid-back looks like jeans? A blazer over top of a nice button-up shirt works every time!

Jeans are fine, but you also want to look like you made a little bit of an effort.

Jeans are fine, but you also want to look like you made a little bit of an effort. Jeans that are too distressed or faded, or that don’t fit well (too tight or too loose), can be a sign that you took zero time to get ready. Same goes for sandals with socks (don’t) and sneakers (don’t).

T-shirts are fine. However, if you’re going to a bar that is on the nicer side, then you don’t want to look like you just came from the gym. A nice button-down shirt could work for casual, or even a polo shirt can look good.

T-shirts are fine. However, if you’re going to a bar that is on the nicer side, then you don’t want to look like you just came from the gym. A nice button-down shirt could work for casual, or even a polo shirt can look good.

Avoid wearing t-shirts with offensive messages or graphics. You want people to approach you and start conversations with you, not avoid you at all costs because they find your clothing disgusting or vile. Make sure your t-shirt doesn’t have any holes in it either—that’s never attractive!

Avoid wearing t-shirts with a logo that is too big or that is associated with a sports team. Keep the focus on your face and not on some huge logo on your chest when it comes time to talk to someone new and interesting during the evening. If it’s an article of clothing that works as advertising for another company, then there’s no reason for someone to focus on it while they get to know you better! Avoid wearing t shirts that are too dirty or stained as well–you don’t want someone else getting turned off by how gross your clothing looks before they even get chance meet fabulous person beneath those clothes!

If you are wearing denim, it should never be distressed or faded jeans.

Denim is a versatile fabric that can be worn just about anywhere, but it’s important to pay attention to the details when you’re dressing up. If you are wearing denim, it should never be distressed or faded jeans. These two styles of denim seem to have been in vogue for at least a decade now, and they are simply not appropriate for a cocktail lounge. Instead, look for a pair of nicely-fitting dark jeans that have not been washed too much—the darkness will make them look dressier, and so will the lack of fading from being in the wash too often. Your jeans should fit well. That means that they shouldn’t be too tight (if your skinny jeans could double as leggings, you’re headed into potentially tacky territory), but neither should they be so loose that you might trip over them. They also shouldn’t bunch up around the ankles; if your jeans are on the long side and need to be rolled up once or twice at the bottom, so be it; otherwise, cuffing them is fine but anything more than an inch or two is too much.

Nice shoes can mean either dress shoes or loafers, depending on how dressy the bar is.

You should wear nice shoes to the bar. This can mean either nice dress shoes or loafers, depending on how dressy the bar is. The shoes should be brown or black leather and in good condition. They should also be comfortable and clean (and polished if necessary). You should not wear sneakers or sandals to the bar.

Unless you are going for a specific look, avoid wearing sandals with socks.

Unless you’re going for that specific look, don’t wear sandals with socks. It’s not necessarily an offensive look, but it’s not great, either. It’s just a little weird. You’ll end up looking like a tourist or like a dad who has been on vacation for too long and has run out of clean clothes to wear. Remember that if you’re in an area with lots of tourists (and many bars are), people will probably assume that you’re one, too—and no matter how cool your outfit is otherwise, the sandals/socks combo will not help your cause.

Avoid sneakers if you can help it. You need to wear street shoes in the bar anyway and sneakers make it difficult to transition into dress shoes when they’re required later in the evening.

Although you might plan on spending the whole night in sneakers, it’s best to avoid them if you can. This is because when you’re at a bar, typically your clothes need to be flexible and ready for changes in what type of vibe the evening takes. Sometimes sneakers can be appropriate, but most of the time they aren’t.

If you find yourself in an upscale bar with a dress code, it’s important that your shoes don’t get you turned away at the door. Sneakers are not considered appropriate shoes by people who work in upscale bars and restaurants, so wearing them will make it difficult for you to see your friends inside without embarrassing yourself. Worst case scenario, you’ll have to go home and change your shoes before coming back to meet up with them (and pay for two Uber rides!).

Additionally, if you want to engage in sports or other activities while at the bar like bowling or karaoke, chances are those events will require street shoes rather than sneakers. It is more convenient and less embarrassing if your plans are flexible and allow for this possibility.

If you know that certain things cause stains (ketchup and mustard!), don’t wear clothes that will show them easily.

There’s nothing worse than getting your new white jeans a mustard stain in the middle of a bar. (Especially when you have a hunch that it was your ex that did it.)

Be comfortable, but presentable as well

You want to look and feel good, but you don’t want to be uncomfortable. You also don’t want your clothing to cause a stain or an odor on the bar’s furniture or benches. So, it’s best to wear something with room (not too tight) that will allow free movement and avoid stains (something with a dark color). Also consider wearing clothes that are easy to clean.

Also, take into account the type of place you plan on going when deciding what to wear. If you’re going out at night, it may be appropriate to dress up more than if you were just running in for a quick drink in the afternoon. The activities you have planned also play a role in determining your outfit. For example, if you’re planning on dancing all night long then wearing jeans might not be the most comfortable option; however, if there are no plans for dancing and instead only drinking then jeans would be okay.

Conclusion

So there you have it: a breakdown of how to rock your look at the bar. Just remember to dress comfortably, wear something that’s appropriate for the occasion, and don’t forget your ID. Always tell a friend where you’re going, and be prepared with an outfit that works in every situation.

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