Going Out: Deciphering What to Wear

» By Andrew Snavely

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What is this?

Surprisingly, knowing what is appropriate is harder than it should be


A lot of guys assume that dressing well means dressing up, but luckily that isn't always the case.

Instead of dressing up strive to dress intentionally.

On Primer we always encourage you to dress well, even if your no-style pals drop one-liners on you, but it also doesn't make sense to wear a cardigan and dress pants when you're meeting your buddies for a few beers at a sports bar.

Here, we have layers of common casual basics that create a great, rugged look. Your friends won't hassle you, and you'll still look sharp.

Night on the Town

Lucky you, you're being dragged around town all night to clubs.

Clubs have a peculiar dress code. You have to dress to a certain level to get in, but light enough that you'll be comfortable stuck in a room with hundreds of people dancing.

In many cities you won't be allowed in with sneakers or some boots. That means footwear that is dressier than a pair of Red Wings, but less dressy than your Allen Edmond wingtips.

Men are so consistent when it comes to what style of shirts they wear to clubs that it's become a cliche: dark striped dress shirts, most likely from Express.

To ensure you look better than a stereotype, switch up the material your shirt is made with. This chambray shirt adds texture without adding the heat of something like flannel.

Finally, ditch the black square-toed shoes and choose something classic and simple.


So you're meeting a girl for a date at a cocktail lounge to appreciate artisan mixology, nice! But what to wear?

You could go with a suit sans tie, but it's pretty dressy, and you may be outdressing her. Never a good idea. You could wear dark jeans, but you are trying to do something nice and different, so upgrading from what you'd wear on a normal date is smart.

Opt for a texture, like this herringbone sportcoat. Pairing with corduroy pants creates something more than jeans, but doesn't dress you up.

Balance out the earth tones with a colorful checked shirt.

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author bio image

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.