Would-be patrons of Riverside, CA club ProAbition were justifiably outraged this week when the questionably named venue required women to wear heels in order to gain entry to the “Roaring 20s” themed spot. Though the owners graciously made an exception for ladies with an injury, ProAbition did take to Facebook to pseudo-apologize, clarifying that the rule applied only to a single event, and besides, they just wanted “to promote the growth of beautiful Downtown Riverside.”
We’re not exactly convinced ProAbition realizes just why ordering women to wear a specific item of clothing in order to look presentable was so offensive, but the controversy got us thinking: What would the ideal nightlife dress code look like? According to ProAbition, theirs “changes with the time of day, day of the week, and with any event that is scheduled,” but there are some universal faux pas it’d be better for everyone to avoid altogether.
Here are our nominations for nightlife dress code rules—for men and women:
- Don’t take the theme too literally: Speakeasies are popular right now, but just because you have to give a password at the door doesn’t mean you need to rock a flapper dress or suspenders. Save all that for a Boardwalk Empire premiere party. Or don’t save it at all.
- Absolutely no novelty t-shirts related to drinking: Self-explanatory. Also a good dress code rule for life in general.
- Walk away from the neon: We get it. It’s way too dark in Club X/Bar Y. Nineties-era nostalgia is really in right now. Black gets boring after a while. But please avoid electric green anything dyed with rave candy and PLUR. Take heed or risk looking like a walking American Apparel ad.
- Ditto for American flag print: Fourth of July obviously excluded. This mostly applies to frat bros with questionable taste spring-breakin’ it in Cabo (and their postgrad counterparts in Murray Hill), but stars ‘n’ stripes tank tops/swimming trunks/cutoffs are also on display at one too many hipster-y dive bars. It’s not patriotic, it’s not ironic, it’s just lame.
- Leave quadruple-digit clothing items at the door: If you can’t handle a drink being spilled on it, don’t wear it out. Looking good isn’t worth the risk of some drunk dudebro ruining a perfectly good watch/bag/pair of shoes.