What to Wear for a Night out If You’re a Guy

There are – roughly – three categories of nightclub that you’ll end up in on an average lads’ night out. Republic Union explains what to expect from each venue, and what to wear to make sure you look the part.

The ‘classy’ club

We say classy with some reservations – sure, these clubs want to emit a sense of exclusivity but everyone knows that the clientele are the same people who’ll be queuing at 3am for a Big Mac. Characteristics of the classy club:

  • There’s a guy standing outside with an iPad – for no real reason at all
  • Strict dress code – absolutely no trainers
  • Extortionate drinks prices
  • You may only go here a few times a year
  • There’s a lot of fake tan kicking about – and that’s just the men
  • A lot of people are just standing around not really having a good time

The look

A smart shirt with a collar, most places will allow dark, smart jeans, but dark chinos or smart pants are a better option:what to wear in a classy club

Matinee stretch chinos in grey| Carabou Oxford shirt in mid blue | Matinee Harrington in black

Shoes: formal shoes – brown or black will do, make sure they’re in top condition.

The standard nightclub

Characteristics of the ‘standard’ nightclub:

  • Decent-sized entry queue
  • People in the queue are wearing a range of outfits, veering towards ‘smart-casual’
  • Drinks aren’t extortionate but certainly more expensive than the pub/pre-bars.
  • Mainly a young crowd
  • Your go-to club of choice on a typical night out
  • Plays a mix of house music, R’n’B, with the odd sing-along tune thrown in

 The Look

The dark jeans-and-shirt combo takes this to the smarter side of smart-casual.what to wear for a nightclub

Matinee straight black jeans | Le Breve charms shirt

Shoes: with this smart casual approach, the formality of your shoes can really define your overall look. Go for the laid-back approach with canvas shoes, or take it to another level with brown leather shoes. Just avoid anything too sporty if you opt for trainers.

The dignity-void club

We were originally going to label this the ‘dirty club’ section, but we feel that would do these types of club an injustice – your best nights out will often involve one or more of these clubs:

  • You can physically feel your shoes stick to the floor with every step
  • Mainly plays cheesy hits that you can sing along to
  • They’re pretty small
  • Obliged to play the likes of Mr Brightside by The Killers, Put Your Hands Up by Fatman Scoop, and Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
  • There’s never a queue – because it’s free-in and the bouncers don’t really care what’s going on inside
  • Drinks are so cheap it’s probably illegal

The Look

What to wear on night out guyMatinee basic stonewash jeans | Le Breve tipping polo in grey

Shoes: damage limitation really – probably a bad idea to wear your best shoes, but it’s also a risk to wear brightly colour canvas shoes because they’ll probably get ruined by the floor. Leather trainers are your best shout – the debauchery can simply be wiped clean off…

The Pub

The pub is a bit of a free-for-all – anything will do really, however there is one point to consider – you never know how far your ‘quick one’ is going to escalate. Your quick one could end up being just that, or who knows, maybe it’ll turn into a last-bus-home affair, and maybe, just maybe, it’ll turn into a night out. This is where we’re obliged to share (and you’re obliged to watch) Micky Flanagan’s stand-up sketch on this very subject:

“I only popped out – now look at me! I’m out out!”

That’s why your pub look needs to prepare for all eventualities:

night out attire for guysLe Breve tipping polo in white | Matinee MA1 jacket in navy | Le Breve Harrison rinse jeans

Obviously every club is different and most clubs will be a combination of two or even all three of the categories that we’ve identified. But this guide is a good place to start, and remember the golden rule: it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

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