How to dress for Moscow nightlife

How to dress for Moscow nightlife

You know this situation.

You don’t know what to wear and you are not sure about the club’s dress code. In the end you spend an hour trying to find the right outfit and you like nothing. And when you’re in a city away from home it’s even worse. There is nothing worse than being recognized as that one person in the club, who didn’t know how to dress properly.

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I’ll make sure this does not happen to you in Moscow. That is why I put together this little guide on how to dress for the club in Moscow.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • A photo guide on what people wear in Moscow clubs
  • Why style and dressing well is even more important in Moscow than in other cities
  • The 3 mistakes you must avoid when choosing what to wear to the club in Moscow
  • The exact guide what to wear to a club to look stylish and nail the Moscow nightlife dress code

How people dress in Moscow nightlife

When you go clubbing in Moscow you will notice one thing very fast:

People dress up much more and look much fancier than in most other cities. The Moscow nightlife dress code is more formal than in most major cities. Unless you go to the “down and dirty” places like bars with cheap beers or underground electro clubs, you’ll quickly notice Moscow’s inofficial nightlife uniforms: suits for the gentlemen and heels for the ladies. Let’s look at a few examples:

Special measures have been taken to ensure the anonymity of these beautiful ladies

Usually ladies wear skintight dresses in muted colors, but occasionally you will see red as well. Heels are an absolute must. 80% of women you see on a night out in regular to higher-end spots are wearing heels.

An alternative are jeans or pants, again skintight, with a blouse that can be more or less revealing. You can already guess what kind of shoes go with that.

Remember

For ladies: Moscow dress code is sexy. To show off your best side is not an option, but a must. Moscow’s women are dressed very well. It's no secret that the city has some of the best-looking women in the world at night, due to their sense of style.

Gentlemen are generally rocking a blazer or a suit like the gent in the first picture. Alternatively, an option is being slightly more casual: a sweater, or, as in this case, a leather jacket coupled with a fashionable shirt.

For men in Moscow, it is all about projecting status and wealth. Hence, the style is much more uptight than in most other cities, except for maybe upscale places in London and New York. On average, men will be dressed much more formal than they would outside of Russia.

Remember

For gentlemen: Moscow dress code is smart. Don't worry about being overdressed, you pretty much cannot be overdressed in your standard nightlife venue. Men overall are dressed formal, but less sharp than the ladies. Getting your style and the details right will ensure that you stand out from the rest in a good way.


Why the Moscow nightlife dress code is more formal

Now that you have seen what fashion the Moscow crowd prefers, you might be wondering why that is actually the case. Why do looks and style matter more than anything else?

Because Russians in general, and Muscovites especially, still live by the proverb:

"Clothes make the Man"

How you dress, and what kind of image you present, will determine your entire night out. It will have an effect on:

  •  How people treat you (the fancier you look, the better)
  • Whether you are or you are not even going to get into the club you want
  • How much attention you receive from the other sex

On average, Russians are much more attentive to what they wear and how they present themselves than people in Europe or the US. The more fashionable and fancier you look, the better you will be treated by staff and other guests. 

That does not mean that you have to adhere to a strict dress code at all places, and that you should be buying suits and heels en masse. Plenty of spots have a more relaxed dress code, where you can throw on your favourite sneakers and a t-shirt. That’s mostly the case in electro clubs and cheaper bars. Overall though, there is one iron style rule that applies for mainstream and higher-end venues:

You can (almost) never be overdressed

Understatement is not a thing in Russia. The bigger, more expensive or more exclusive, the better. You show what you have, be it wealth, style or beauty. The way people dress is a reflection of that. Nightlife multiplies that effect. Even if you are not part of the elite, dressing up gives the impression and the feeling that you can be, and can unlock the doors to almost any venue.


The 3 style mistakes to avoid when you want to know how to dress for the club

Unfortunately, not everyone seems to understand how to dress well. Looking great is not easy, but by following some basic rules you already improve a lot. Avoid these three basic mistakes to drastically improve your chances of success when going out:

  • Do not wear checkered shirts

This does NOT belong into a nightclub or a bar. Even if you are as jacked as the guy in the picture. Your shirt should be unicolor and tucked in. No shirts hanging out of your pants either, especially not with a blazer. And open the top two buttons, you are going partying, not to a job interview.

  • No square toe shoes or any other kind of funny-looking shoes

No, no and no. These are a massive turn-off for the ladies and door managers alike. Also no sneakers, unless you go to one of the bespoke places with a laxer door policy where it is ok to do so. Your shoe selection is key, so pull out a pair of sharp looking dress shoes.

  • For ladies: wearing informal clothes

Ladies, you get away with much more, especially the more attractive you are. But bear in mind that Moscow is one of the cities for attractive women and Russian women will absolutely not hesitate to throw on a pair of ridicoulously high heels and tight dresses. So experiment at your own peril, but I advise you to NOT wear one of these:


How to dress for the club in Moscow

Now that I told you what not to do, here's a quick guide on what you should do.

For ladies

Your magic word is sexy. Moscow dress code dictates that heels are a must, unless you go to a place with relaxed door policy (and even then I'd advise to do so). What you wear should accentuate your body shape. Women are at fierce competition in Moscow, so play to your stregths. Dresses should finish above the knee. Bonus points for stylish accessoiries. These do not have to be expensive at all, but they need to fit your overall look. As they say, the devil is in the details and door managers have a keen eye for that.

For men

Your magic word is smart. Moscow dress code is sharp without looking uptight, as if you just came straight from the office. Wear neutral colors, nothing bright. With a shirt a blazer is optional, but with a t-shirt it is an absolute must. Absolutely no fancy colors, symbols, logos or patterns. Shoes are crucial as I mentioned, pick a pair that looks stylish without trying too hard.


Did you find this useful? Let me know if you feel well-prepared for looking stylish in Moscow's bars and clubs. Leave a comment if you think I'm dead right and leave two if you think the article is horribly wrong!

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