Whether you’re looking for upscale night out outfits or casual nighttime bar outfits, you’ve come to the right place!
Nights out are for catching up with friends, meeting new people, going on an intimate date, or meeting your match. Regardless of all the fun that can happen on a night out, choosing what to wear can sometimes be overwhelming — especially if you’re going out for the first time in a while or if you’re conscious that you’ve been wearing the same style for the past few weekends.
Knowing what to wear to a bar really depends on what kind of bar you’re visiting. Will it be a saloon, a tavern, a club, or a pub? Identifying which one you’re planning to go to can also give you a heads up on the dress code.
Some clubs, for instance, are very particular about the formality of their guests’ outfits. This matters to them because it maintains the quality of experience that everybody has within their walls. More casual speakeasy bars permit casual outfits with jeans, t-shirts, and sandals.
Generally, you don’t want to look under or overdressed. Your night out outfits should always match the tone of the place you’re going to.
The Bar Dress Code
When dressing up for a night out, it’s not just about looking good. Regardless of what outfit you choose to wear or what the bar dress code is, an upscaled outfit is a must.
As mentioned, not all bars have strict dress codes but there are common rules that you can find in particular bars, among are the following:
Avoid Wearing Streetwear Style Clothes
Some bars do not allow the use of streetwear style night out outfits or anything that composes shorts, flip flops, sandals, ripped jeans, and t-shirts. However, other places permit these types of casual and cute bar outfits with exceptions. If this is a style you wish to wear, always check in with your local bars and pubs to be aware of their restrictions.
Wear Elevated Clothing
Generally, if you want to get into any club, you want to wear elevated and upscaled night out outfits. Even casual bars have their standards. Upscaled clothing means tailored clothing for both men and women and dressy fits for women. Cute bar outfits are more flexible with women’s clothing but are more particular with their footwear. Heels and close-toed shoes are the safest bet for most clubs. The smarter you look, the better.
Note: Typically, the only exceptions are beach bars and clubs in tropical places.
Skip The Sports Attire
Maintaining a certain mood and experience for everybody in the bar cannot be done by the establishment alone. Regardless of the dress code (smart casual, semi-formal, or formal), avoid wearing any practical sports attire when going to the bar. This includes joggers, leggings, shorts, sports hats, and beanies. Hikecore outfits are also not recommended.
One exception: You can of course wear sports-styled bar outfits at a sports bar!
Wear the right footwear
To make it clear, some bars do ban the use of open-toed sandals, flip flops, and Birkenstock sandals. However, some of them permit the use of sandals, as long as they are dressy or are elevated with heels. For colder months, knee-high heeled boots are also permitted.
Night Out Outfits: Staples
Here are some of our favorite pieces for night out bar outfits!
Silk & Satin Dresses
The safest and most common pieces of clothing for night out bar outfits are silk and satin pieces. Their beautiful glimmer reflects the night lights and drapes on the body very well. Such fabric compliments both curvy and slim types.
The best colors for satin/silk pieces are black, cream, and rose gold.
I love how a classic satin dress drapes and shapes the body!
If you want to incorporate the shimmer of satin in an alternate fit, you can wear it as a button-down! Unlike satin dresses, a button-down can be used for the day as well as in night out bar outfits.
A smart satin button-down is a good fashion investment if you don’t go out as often. To style it for your night out outfits, you can wear it with a mini skirt or wear it over a lace bodysuit and black pants. For the day or for work, you can use it with pants and a pair of close-toed heels. So versatile!
An oversized satin button-down can be transformed into a dress. Add a belt or cinch the waist and you’re ready to go!
Since the 17th century, lace accessories have been used in special occasions and social events. Before, lace chokers held gem pendants and pearls. Lace was also used as a hair accessory. This artistic and detailed material makes one look sophisticated, mysterious, and appealing. You can apply this element as a choker necklace or an accent to your outfit.
I love how subtle but moving this lace accent looks on Kendall’s minimal and monochrome outfit. Fits very well!
Black Denim (for smart casual)
A pair of black denim pants are versatile and stylish. You can pair them with a bodysuit, a bustier, a corset top — any dressy outfit you wish to balance or tone down with a casual fit. Black denim is also very seamless as it can divert the eyes to the upper body, where the accent of the outfit usually sits. A good pair can also elongate your legs.
I definitely recommend incorporating black denim into most of your night out bar outfits. You literally can’t go wrong!
Adding a flare to your usual black denim can spice up your night out outfits and add volume in the lower body.
Shimmery Brasserie Tops
Shimmery brasserie or cropped tops bounce off the light when you dance or move. If that interests you or if you simply want to wear something bold, catchy, and trendy without having to wear neon, a piece like this can get you a long way. Plus, because it is heavily embellished, simple bottoms (black skirt or black pants) is all that you need to finish off your night out bar outfits.
Tube tops are versatile and fairly easy to style. You can simply wear it with a matching mini skirt and a satin button-down cover-up. You can also wear them with a pair of leather pants or a slit midi skirt to contrast the simplicity of this piece. Tube tops go with so many types of bar outfits!
The best time to wear a tube top to the club is during the summer because you can simply take off your cover-up when it gets warm or put it back on when the AC starts to cool.
If you’re looking for a “repeatable” night out piece, a tube top is a must have!
Bodysuits make it easy to move, dance, and groove all night without having you worry. Trust me — they will stay in place until the end of the night, no matter what you do.
Bodysuits are my ultimate favorite pieces to wear when going on a night out. They come in various designs, from plain tubes to brasserie/corset types. Depending on the weather, I usually pair them with a mini skirt or black pants for my night out bar outfits.
Simple but chic!
Speaking of brasseries, a modern bustier is a sexy and stylish choice for a night out. Unlike bodysuits, some can be made cropped to visually cut the upper body from the lower body, a helpful technique for pear-shaped bodies.
To cover up, you can drape a leather jacket or an accent blazer over your shoulders. Pair them with high-waisted jeans, leather pants, or a midi skirt. You can switch up a leather jacket for colder months for a faux fur coat.
Pairing a bustier with wide-leg pants or A-skirts can emphasize your waist even more. This is a great piece for almost all night out bar outfits and works for any level of bar!
Unlike jeans, leather pants are more dressy and sophisticated. They are almost the equivalent of trousers that are built for the evening. So they’re perfect for night out bar outfits if you aren’t sure how fancy the place is.
Because of leather pants’ shiny and visually heavy material, they’re best paired with minimal or visually light tops like a tube, sheer, and monochrome tops.
Tie tops are trendy, feminine, and sexy. They are best worn in casual and smart casual settings depending on the material of which it is made. Some tie tops come in brasserie types while others reveal the skin minimally. A tie top can also be made from a button down, if that’s more accessible to you.
If you can’t wear neon, wear animal-printed clothing instead! They give off the same bold energy with a bit of fierceness and sophistication. Wearing animal prints on a night out can certainly change your aura. Wear it as a skirt or a fitted dress and you’re ready to go!
Wearing prints as bottoms is recommended for people with inverted triangle body shapes or wide shoulders. This directs the eye from the shoulders to the legs.
‘Skorts’ is the term used to describe the skirt-shorts hybrid, a skirt that similarly resembles the classic tennis skirt. Skorts are great for night-outs because they avoid wardrobe malfunction incidents from happening, especially when you’re going to dance. Just take note that skorts are for bars with casual dress codes.
If you’re daring enough, then go rock a mini skirt! Mini skirts are fun, preppy, and sexy. They give a youthful glow and outgoing energy to anyone who wears them. Mini skirts are best paired with fitted long-sleeved tops and cut-out blouses.
A touch of Y2K style is also a great way to spice up a mini skirt. Finish off with a pair of knee-high boots or keep it subtle with open-toed heels.
Black mini skirts are as versatile as tube tops!
Cut Out Dress/Top (Euphoria Inspired)
Night out outfits are for expressing your creativity and revealing your moons. I believe it takes guts to wear a revealing, but sexy, cut out dress, but if you have the guts to wear them, then go for it! My favorite cut-out top is inspired by Maddy’s iconic piece from Euphoria.
Wearing a sheer top can add a mysterious element to your night out bar outfits. Sheer tops usually come in tie tops, shirts, and cardigan-style. They’re usually worn over a tube top or a bodysuit. Sheer tops are versatile as they can also be styled and worn during the day. If you want a versatile piece, choose black.
Bold Colored Clothing/Accessories
Always stay cautious when deciding to wear bold and neon colors, as some formal clubs do not encourage them. Fortunately, bold accessories like neon belts, blazers, are more welcome. To spice up your outfit, you can replace your black mini skirt with neon colors or your jacket with noticeable, clean white shades.
I love how this button-down was styled with a neon corset!
A body-hugging dress is a great way to flaunt your feminine curves. Don’t let anyone stop you from wearing one! Feeling a little plain? You can simply add a cover-up to add a little accent. A purse with gold or silver metalware is also a great way to upscale a body-hugging dress.
This piece is a great choice for night out outfits to classier, fancier locations. You probably own’t want to wear a bodycon dress to a casual bar.
Nothing can go wrong with a body con dress!
Don’t let the cold weather stop you from looking your best! A leather jacket is the best option if you’re looking for a sleek, night-out ready cover up. It has a bit of shimmer to it, and it pairs well with common night out staples like lace, sheer, and bustiers. You can either wear them as a jacket or as a cape accent.
Knee-high boots make a good contrast to short dresses and mini skirts because they keep half of your leg unexposed. You can also wear them with a bustier and black pants ensemble to create an illusion of longer and slimmer legs. A pair of these is especially useful on cold nights.
No matter how often you go out for bar nights, a pair of stilettos is generally a good wardrobe investment. You can wear them to a variety of formal social events, black tie occasions, and parties. Stilettos can also add a significant amount of height which can help build up the confidence you need when socializing and meeting with people.
Just remember to bring extra flats during rainy nights to avoid slipping!
What To Wear To A Bar:
Still wondering what to wear to a bar? There are three steps that you can follow to find the perfect night out bar outfits no matter what bar you’re heading to.
It’s all about intention. What are you in the club for? For a good time? Have a nice time with a date or a potential date? To dance with friends? Knowing your intention can give you the hint or the theme you’re looking for. For instance, if you’re going out with friends to dance, you might want to wear something stable, like a bodysuit. If you’re looking for a potential match, you might want to wear something sexy and mysterious, like sheer or lace clothing.
The second step is knowing the season you’re in. In dry and warm seasons, adding layers is not necessary. In cold seasons, a bit of planning and technique is needed to formulate a layered fit that’s fit for a night out. You wouldn’t want to look too covered up or underdressed for the weather.
The third step is being aware of the bar’s dress code. Not all bars have one, but it’s always better to be sure. After all, you can’t have a good time without getting in.
On a spring or fall night
Spring and fall are the two seasons with similar weather patterns. Cold breeze, scattered rainfall, and windy nights. But this shouldn’t stop you from going out – it’s not cold as ice just yet. One-layer fits are still possible with the right fabric.
So if you are planning to wear one dress and nothing else, pick clothing made with wool, velvet, and leather. Any shiny fabrics with heavy stitching can make up for minimal layers. You can also wear fitted clothing to show your curves without having to expose much skin if that’s something you wish to achieve. If you can handle the cold, don’t hesitate to wear your slitted dresses and backless cropped tops. Just stay cautious and bring whatever you can change in if ever the weather turns you down.
If the weather does get colder, capping a leather jacket over your any of your night out bar outfits is also recommended.
On a rainy night
On rainy nights, you have to adjust your outfit a little bit to stay comfortable despite the rain. Avoid wearing sequin pants, heavy fabric (like velvet), and stilettos. Wearing stilettos during a rainy night can be dangerous, especially if the pavement gets slightly flooded with water. What you would want to wear are block heels with a good grip.
You can also wear flats going to the event and change into your dress shoes/heels as soon as you arrive at the venue. Just be aware that bad rain may cause damage to any heeled shoe.
On a dry, summer night
Take out your satin dresses, tube tops, sheer cover-ups, lacey bustiers, short skirts, and stilettos. Dry summer nights are certainly the best moments to dress with freedom! Summer nights, depending on where you live, are not equally warm for every state/country.
Always check in with the weather if you’re going out with showy clothing. A light cover-up (like a button-down of choice) is also a good idea since the temperature usually drops as the night progresses. On hotter days, the chance of rain at night is possible so bringing extra footwear that you can walk in the rain with can keep your stilettos from damage.
On a winter night
Winter night outs can be tough. How can you show a slip of your shoulders or wear a backless dress without freezing? Well, the answer is knowing how to dress with mystery, sophistication, and style.
Planning your layers, and knowing your fabrics are also helpful in building your technique. A fitted sweater dress, knee-high boots, and leather jacket is an example of a winter night out ensemble. For smart casual night-outs, you can wear a velvet dress with a draped coat. Winter is also an opportunity to bring out your fine faux leather jacket if you have any.
Where To Shop
Shopping for a night out is the best part of dressing up! To dress for the season, always remember to learn about your fabrics so you can manipulate your outfits. Don’t let the weather stop you from flaunting your assets!
Still can’t find the perfect night out outfit? Save and share this article with your friends so they can help you figure out what looks best on you. You can also check out these relevant articles:
- What To Wear To A Nightclub + Club Outfits For Inspo
- 20+ Euphoria-Inspired Outfits To Wear Right Now
- What To Wear In Vegas: 40+ Las Vegas Outfits For Every Occasion
Hopefully this post helped you figure out what to wear to a bar! Enjoy!
night out outfit ideas
bar outfit ideas