Getting turned away at the club’s door never feels great. The worst thing is that it can easily be avoided with just a little bit of research. So, can you wear jeans to a club?
Jeans can usually be worn to clubs with a more casual dress code, although baggy and distressed jeans would still be discouraged. Higher-end clubs will usually forbid jeans. It’s important to check the club’s dress code in advance to reduce the risk of underdressing.
Although that’s the short answer, there’s always more to it.
First, I’ll go through the main ways through which you can find out whether you can wear jeans to the specific club you’re going to.
Then, I’ll give you some tips on how to wear jeans to a club properly (if you’re able to).
Let’s get to it.
How To Know Whether You Can Wear Jeans To A Club
The trouble is that no two clubs are the same. You’ve got high-end nightclubs where there’s a real risk of underdressing and you’ve got low-key sports bars where you could literally wear anything.
Consider the following tips before making your decision.
1. Check The Club’s Website
While it won’t always have the exact information you need, a club’s website will often give you some indication of what sort of dress code they expect.
If it clearly says “no jeans”, you’ve got your answer. Don’t wear any style of jeans no matter how smart and formal they look – it’s not worth the risk of getting turned away.
The website may not explicitly say “no jeans”, but it may give you an idea as to whether jeans would be appropriate or not.
For example, if it clearly says “no sneakers” or “no T-shirts”, you may want to avoid jeans and go for a more formal option instead.
While these rules won’t necessarily mean that jeans definitely wouldn’t be allowed, they suggest that the club is quite picky about what people wear and it just wouldn’t be worth the risk.
If the dress code is clearly “casual” or “smart casual”, you’d usually get away with a pair of jeans.
It’s also worth checking out the photographs on the club’s website.
If the people in the photos are clearly dressed formally and there’s not a pair of jeans in sight, avoid wearing jeans and go for a pair of chinos or dress pants instead.
2. Ask A Friend Who Has Been There
Asking a friend who’s already been to the club you’re going to is often a good idea. While they may not be an all-knowing source of information, they’ll probably have a pretty good idea.
If the website isn’t of much help, a friend would usually be worth asking.
Ask them what the general vibe of the club was. Was it formal, semi-formal, smart-casual, or casual?
In general, what were people wearing? Was anyone actually wearing jeans?
Did the bouncers at the door seem pretty strict about what people were wearing?
While they may not know the exact answer, the information they give you would give you a good picture of how dressy the club is and whether a pair of jeans would be too casual or not.
If there’s any doubt, go for a more formal option instead.
3. Consider The Location And Entry Price
This won’t give you the exact answer either, but it’ll also give you a good indication as to whether a pair of jeans would be too casual or not.
If the club you’re attending is in a fancier part of town (eg. downtown Manhattan), there’s a good chance it’ll be a little stricter with what you wear.
You’ll want to be more careful and go for a less casual option than jeans.
Also, consider the club’s entry price.
A club that doesn’t charge for entry would usually (but not always) be more relaxed with its dress code.
Jeans would probably be OK.
But a club that charges crazy fees just to get inside is likely to be pretty high-end and less likely to accept jeans.
If they do accept jeans, there’s always a risk you’d stand out due to underdressing.
How To Wear Jeans To A Club (If You Can)
If you’ve considered the tips above and decided that jeans would probably be fine for the club you’re going to, it’s important to do it the right way.
Unless you’re going to the most casual and laid-back club out there, you’ll still want to dress up for a night out.
These tips should see you through.
Go For A Slim Fit
Baggy jeans will always look a lot more casual than slim-fit and tapered jeans.
While baggy jeans would be fine while hanging out with friends or going to a local bar, when dressing for a club you’ll want to level up a little.
Whenever possible, always go for tapered jeans.
“Distressing” refers to the process of intentionally making a pair of jeans look older and more vintage during the manufacturing process.
Rips, frays, stone washing, and acid washing are all methods that are commonly used.
While distressed jeans have their place, avoid them when going to a club wherever possible.
The less distressing, the better. You don’t want to risk those jeans coming across too casual and unfortunately, distressing would do just that.
Dark Jeans Are Best
When you’re looking to wear a more “formal” looking pair of jeans to a club, the darker the better.
Black jeans look more formal than blue jeans, but if you do want to go for blue, choose a dark tone of blue to be safe.
In the dark rooms of a nightclub, it can actually be difficult to tell the difference between a pair of tapered dark jeans and a pair of dress pants.
Dress It Up (Enough)
Finally, consider the other items you wear with the jeans.
Wearing jeans and a T-shirt may make the entire outfit look too casual for a club, but pop a blazer over it, and all of a sudden you’ve got a functional and appropriate smart-casual ensemble.
The OCBD (Oxford Cloth Button Down) shirt is a great option when wearing jeans. They’re versatile enough to be worn to most types of clubs, ranging from casual to formal.
Avoid sneakers when going to a club unless you’re certain they’re allowed. If you’ve got any doubt, go for a pair of leather or suede dress shoes instead.
Alternatives To Jeans For A Club
If you feel as though a pair of jeans just wouldn’t be formal enough for the club you’re going to, consider these alternatives instead.
Chinos, much like the OCBD shirt, are versatile enough to be worn to both casual and formal clubs.
In the dark, it’s difficult to tell the difference between a dark pair of chinos and a pair of dress pants.
When wearing chinos to a club, go for a dark and tapered pair if you feel there’s a risk of underdressing.
For more relaxed clubs, a lighter and more classic pair of khakis would do.
2. Dress Pants (Slacks)
If you really feel as though a club is pretty high-end, don’t go for anything less than dress pants.
Dress pants come in a wide range of fabrics but they’ll all generally look pretty formal. Unlike suit pants, they can be worn without a matching jacket.
You could either wear dress pants with a dress shirt or go for a turtleneck/T-shirt and blazer combination instead.
It’ll partly depend on the weather, as well as how formal this club really is.
You’ve got plenty of ways of dressing up and dressing down a pair of dress pants. No matter what you do with them, however, they’ll always look more formal than a pair of jeans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to a couple of frequently asked questions to really round things up nicely.
Can You Wear Ripped Jeans To A Club?
In general, it’s best to avoid ripped jeans when going to a club unless you’re very sure that the club has an extremely casual dress code. It’s usually better to go for a dark wash, tapered pair of jeans with minimal distressing just to be safe.
When going to a club, the more boring those jeans look, the better.
You don’t want the casual features of a pair of jeans to draw the attention of a bouncer and lead to getting turned away at the door.
Jeans may technically be OK for the club. But it’s important to wear the right type of jeans.
Can You Wear Jeans To A Country Club?
Higher-end country clubs will usually forbid jeans, while more relaxed ones may allow for them as long as they’re dark denim and not baggy. It’s important to check the country club’s dress code prior to attending any social events, even if it means ringing them up in advance.
Underdressing is always a risk when going to a country club event. Unfortunately, the dress code can vary widely among the clubs and it can be difficult to know what’s appropriate and what’s not.
Hopefully, that’s everything you could ever need to know before making your decision.
Jeans may well be appropriate for the club you’re attending, but it’s important to be sure in advance to reduce the risk of underdressing or even being turned away at the door.