Whether you like a nice glass of Sauvingon Blanc, a Merlot, a cocktail or you prefer to stick to a soft drink, heading to a bar to put the world to rights over a drink with friends is always fun. Now that many bars have opened again (albeit with certain rules and restrictions), let’s take a look at the bar outfits you might choose to wear.

What to wear to a bar

First, what to think about when heading to a bar?

Do you need layers?

Usually, I’d say no as bars tend to be warm. However, in some places at the moment, you have to stick to drinking outside in the bar garden and, in others, there are fewer people inside so you may find it’s colder. Take a jacket, a cardigan or a wrap with you.

Dresses with sleeves

What to wear to a bar - Beth wears a leopard print dress | 40plusstyle.com

Dresses with sleeves are ideal whether it’s warm or a bit chilly. If you’re in a sunny beer garden, they’ll keep your upper arms covered and stop you getting surnburnt shoulders. If you’re inside, you won’t need an extra layer.

Beth @styleatacertainage above (read her style interview here) opts for an outfit that would work for most venues.

Steal her look with this similar dress, boots, bag, necklace, belt and sunglasses.

Flat shoes or heels?

This really depends on personal preference. But if you are at a bar rather than dinner, you may be standing up more. Or, if you are in the beer garden, you could be walking on grass, so you may prefer block heels or wedges rather than thinner heels.

Jeans are always a good go-to

What to wear to a bar - Cathy in jeans and a silk top | 40plusstyle.com

If you aren’t sure what to wear, jeans are always a good option. You can dress them up with a nice top. Obviously, if you’re going somewhere particularly swanky, check the dress code first. If you aren’t sure, you could always look at the bar website and social media for photos.

Wearing a nice top with jeans when going out is such a popular look that you can search on Amazon for tops with jeans.

Cathy @themiddlepageblog above (read her style interview here) adds a touch of luxe to her jeans with her silk top.

She is wearing a silk top from Cinq à Sept, jeans from FRAME and sandals from Inez. Here is a similar kimono and sunglasses to complete the look.

Focus on your top half for your bar outfits

Depending on where you’re going, you may be sitting at a table, so your legs won’t actually be visible. Focus on your top half, with a stylish top and / or statement jewelry.

Karen Kane asymmetric faux wrap top | 40plusstyle.com

Karen Kane asymmetric faux wrap top

The best bar outfits


What to wear to a bar: All the bar outfits you need for your night (or day) out | 40plusstyle.com

When it comes to the tops you choose, choose a bright color, a stylish print, or you could choose for a little rock chick vibe.

Angela @angelamashelle above chooses an on-trend puff sleeve top. Depending on the whether, you could style with shorts or pants.

Get her look with this similar puff sleeve blouse, shorts, sandals, clutch and earrings.

Tops to wear to a bar | 40plusstyle.com

Nordstrom pleat front woven topURBANCLEO dolman drape topVero Moda floral print blouseAnine Bing graphic tee

jackets & cardigan

Depending on the whether, you may need an outerlayer, particularly if you are sitting outside.

Jackets and cardigans to wear to a bar | 40plusstyle.com

Vince Camuto notched collar blazerNordstrom mesh open cardiganBLANKNYC moto jacketBLANKNYC leopard print moto jacket

pants & jeans

Jeans are a classic look when heading to the bar. Depending on the venue, you could dress more casually with a t-shirt and sneakers or dress your jeans up with a nice top and heels.

Jeans and pants to wear to a bar | 40plusstyle.com

Mavi Jeans bootcut jeansMax Mara Leisure rib knit pants7 For All Mankind coated skinny jeansFalina capri leggings

dresses & skirts

Dresses and skirts to wear to a bar | 40plusstyle.com

Of course, you don’t have to stick to jeans and pants when you head for a drink, you could dress up and choose a dress or skirt.

Julie @stylishparadox above (read her style interview here) chooses a black dress and adds a splash of red.

Recreate her outfit with this similar dress, sandals, clutch, earrings and necklace.

What to wear to a bar - dresses and skirts | 40plusstyle.com

Fraiche by J faux wrap dressNordstrom Signature silk shirtdressBaum and Pferdgarten bicolor cap sleeve knit dressVINCE asymmetric overlap skirt

shoes for your bar outfits

Flats, heels, sneakers – anything goes when it comes to dressing for a bar. If you may be standing for a while, choose block heels that won’t be painful to walk in.

Shoes to wear to a bar | 40plusstyle.com

Bella Vita strappy sandalLinea Paolo pumpFly London wedge sandalMunro sandal


Accessories to wear with your bar outfits | 40plusstyle.com

You can dress up even the simplest of outfits with your accessories.

Melanie @melanie.rae.miller above opts for oversized earrings and a clutch bag.

Check out this similar top, jeans, sandals, clutch and earrings.

Accessories to wear to a bar | 40plusstyle.com

House of Want frame clutchBTB Los Angeles wicker clutchHobo leather clutchKarine Sultan crystal cluster necklaceKarine Sultan drop earringsAllSaints double chain link earrings

Your bar outfits together in one capsule

Below, you can see the clothes, shoes and accessories together in one capsule. Mix & match to your heart’s delight and wear everything in many different ways.

For example, you could wear the striped shirt dress open as a duster jacket. You could wear the leggings with any of the dresses. You could go very casual with the graphic print t-shirt and jeans or choose a more formal outfit by teaming the wrap top with the skirt.

Pub capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

shop ALL items for the bar outfits below:

What do you usually wear to a bar? Let us know your favorite bar outfits!

Continue reading:

  1. What To Wear To A Winery: The Best Winery Outfits Whether You Love White, Red Or Rosé
  2. A Style Guide And Capsule Wardrobe For The ROCK Style Personality
  3. How To Wear Jeans Over 40 – Guidelines And Lots Of Ideas

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What to wear to a bar: All the bar outfits you need for your night (or day) out | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Angela @angelamashelle


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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