I can just imagine the conversation that goes on among bros before hitting the clubs on a Saturday night.

“Hey bro, whatchoo gonna wear tonight?”

“Bro, what else? My Going Out shirt, yo! The ladies love it!”

“Aww snap, sweet yo. I just picked up a new Affliction tee at the mall, I’m totally rockin’ that tonight.

“Dude bro, but what if the bouncer says you gotta wear a collared shirt?”

Ugh. This hypothetical conversation alone is the reason I hardly ever go out (to lounges and clubs). Being in the same room with broz wearing Going Out shirts and graphic tees drives me crazy and induces vomit, even with minimum Old Fashioned consumption.

Why there is no such thing as a “Going Out” Shirt

Bros and their Going Out shirts - Effortless Gent

Sweet shirts, broz. See you in line at the club!

Image credit: left, middle, right (please, please don’t actually purchase any of these. The fact that the middle one is found on Zappos and is SOLD OUT disturbs me a bit. Okay, a lot. Hopefully by the time you read this, they take the link down… forever.)

Okay, maybe in your mind, there is a Going Out shirt, which roughly translates to a shirt with some crazy bold stripes, or a super dark colored shirt with ridiculous embellishment or embroidery (to match that stupid ass pair of artificially distressed boot-cut True Religion jeans), un-tucked (of course!) with the first three buttons undone. Extra points for the sunglasses, over-gelled hair, and square-toed “dress shoes”.

Here’s a little motion picture to more succinctly explain the G.O.S.:

(YouTube Link here)

Duuude. Give me a break. There is no such thing as a “Going Out” shirt, just like there aren’t any “Sitting In My Cubicle” shirts. It’s either acceptable shirts, or terrible shirts. Guess which category the above fits into.

If you see anything that remotely resembles the shirts in the photos or the video, please, just step away.

Details of a Going Out shirt on a bro

Dude bro, those are some sweet buttons on your Going Out shirt.

Why cant I wear these shirts?

You can, technically, but then we’ll all be pointing and snickering when you’re not looking (and when you turn back around, we’ll be doing the same thing, but in our heads).

The Going Out shirts you see above are tacky, contrived, and make you look like you don’t know how to dress (because you don’t). It’s like wearing Ed Hardy or those Affliction tees (which coincidently, some guys do) to the lounge or club… or anywhere in public, for that matter.

You’re putting yourself into the “D-bag” category when you wear this shirt to the club, and all the ladies are thinking, “Oh there’s the d-bag with his d-bag broz all wearing the same shirt.”

You’re not dressing up when you put this shirt on with your Sevens; it’s the opposite. You’re categorizing yourself as a guy who doesn’t know how to dress.

Look, if you’re this guy, don’t worry. I don’t hate you. No one does. But now that you know you’re committing a crime, how about you just stop?

Do yourself a favor: take those Going Out shirts, and drop them off at the nearest dumpster.

Okay fine, I’ll stop wearing my favorite Going Out shirt. What do I wear to the club then?

If you’re going to an establishment that requires you to look presentable (i.e. wear a collared shirt and dress shoes), then instead of donning the bare minimum, why not step your game up?

Here’s an example of one basic outfit that you can wear 200 consecutive weekends in a row, and you’ll always look good, never trendy, and best of all, this involves no Going Out shirts.

How to dress like a real man when you go out

White oxford: J.Crew, Dark denim: Levi's, Navy blazer: LLBean Signature, Brown cap toes: Allen Edmonds, Socks: Corgi, Belt: Dockers

  • Put down your faded ass denim and throw on a well-fitting pair of dark denim
  • Put on a slim, white shirt (fine cotton, spread collar? even better), tuck it in
  • Brown leather belt
  • Brown leather lace-ups
  • Navy single-breasted, vented blazer

BAM! That’s it.

Looking to add your own flair? Maybe you want to spice it up a little?

Try a subtle stripe or pattern with your shirt. Try different colors (hunter green, lavender). Wear a tie! Put a pocket square in your jacket’s breast pocket. Wear a great pair of socks. Find an awesome striped wool blazer. You get the point.

From Chicago Street Style

Oh look, here’s practically the same outfit I described above, plus some serious personality and style injected (and a bit of badassery, if I do say so myself).

There you have it, a solution to your nightlife woes, and a chance to ditch that terrible shirt you’ve been wearing this whole time.

Thoughts? Objections? Are you pro-Going Out shirt and want to rip me a new one? (Ha)

Are you glad someone finally said something (though I’m sure I’m not the first one)? Other questions? Let’s hear them below.

Till next time!

61 Responses

  1. Erick Salinas on

    It’s strange to have a creation out there. A deeply mutated version of what is supposed to be dressed-up. running loose and screwing everything up… I wonder if this
    is how parents feel… great article!

    • Barron on

      Really? That’s like the most vanilla combo a guy can put on. It always looks good and works for practically every situation (besides say, spelunking, or rock climbing).

      What don’t you like about it? You might change your mind if you wear it a couple times.

    • TakeTwo on

      There’s literally nothing worse than seeing a guy in a blazer with jeans. Now THAT’s someone who doesn’t know how to dress.

  2. Vincent A. Cipollone on

    My only issue with this is if you go to a bar that allows smoking, your entire outfit runs the risk of picking up the smell. Also, drunk girls spill things. Furthermore, if you get lucky, that’s an awful lot of stuff to bring back from her place. I agree with everything else, but these are just my qualms

    • Barron on

      You could argue that with a lot of things. Like going to an ethnic restaurant (you’re gonna stink when you leave), or partying in Vegas (you’ll smell like smoke and you’ll probably spill shit on yourself). But that just happens, don’t not look your best just because you might stink a little or get something spilled on you. That’s what washing machines and dry cleaners are for 🙂

      And if you’re wearing a bro shirt, you’re still running the risk of stinking and spilling. But you’re not advocating the bro shirt, right?

  3. Dan on

    I like it – more evidence that buttoning down does not a tasteful shirt make.

    Of course, for dive bars and the like I don’t mind keeping it really casual either. Also I like the socks.

    • Barron on

      Yeah totally, when I’m hitting up our local spot or going to dive bars with friends, I don’t suit up or anything (not always, at least). But for the classier spots, it’s good to step it up, and this is where the broz think Going Out shirts are “stepping it up”.

      The socks are awesome huh? I love em. I think J.Crew carries em (online).

    • Barron on

      What do you prefer, personally? I feel pockets are less formal (like on oxford button downs), but really it goes either way. It’s all preference.

  4. Moose on

    Good post. I have a few “favorite” shirts that aren’t on the level of what you suggested but they are understated and they arent anywhere near the gos types. Thankfully.

  5. Christopher Dravus on

    I just want to say that this is one of my favorite fashion articles in a long while. It’s spot on. Macy’s INC line, Penny’s Ferrar line and a bunch more i could think of are notorious for these kinds of nightmare fuel. But more disturbing is that there must be a group of women for which these shirts are working on. The Axe crowd have no brand loyalty, they use what gets them results and someone must be telling them this looks good. I mean, it doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination, but someone must be faking it for them. 


    • Barron on

      I think it’s just that they know no better, which is understandable, considering the majority of dudes aren’t looking to up their style game. But in any case, it just needs to be said, because those shirts are terrible. Thanks for reading.

  6. Jack on

    While I fully agree with your disdain for ill-fitting dress shirts and their popularity amongst young men as choice evening wear, I’d hardly recommend the standard  jeans / blazer / oxford combo as a replacement for all occasions. Date night, sure. Night club, absolutely not. You’ll look old, stuffy, and out of touch with youth culture (the primary inhabitants of the scene). That’s not to advocate an alternative bro shirt, merely stating that you should dress for the occasion, not replace one “go to” look with another..

  7. Jack on

    While I fully agree with your disdain for ill-fitting dress shirts and their popularity amongst young men as choice evening wear, I’d hardly recommend the standard  jeans / blazer / oxford combo as a replacement for all occasions. Date night, sure. Night club, absolutely not. You’ll look old, stuffy, and out of touch with youth culture (the primary inhabitants of the scene). That’s not to advocate an alternative bro shirt, merely stating that you should dress for the occasion, not replace one “go to” look with another..

    • Pablo Retamero on

      I agree with you: dress for the occassion. Yet always feel comfortable with what you are wearing.
      We have to understand that Barron stated from the beggining he doesn’t like or go to clubs, therefore he is dettached of that culture and doesn’t try to fit in. Myself, I’ve had good success ratio wearing sportcoats in the bar/club. It makes me stand out and calls the attention of the right ladies that care about the same things I am. As they say “Birds of the same feather flock together”

    • Barron on

      It depends on the kind of night club you’re going to. For the classier lounge type places, almost everyone is wearing jackets, dress shirts, etc., other than the bros in their Going Out shirts. If we’re talking about Euro / house music rave type clubs, then yeah, bust out the pacifiers and glo-sticks, and leave the blazers at home.

      If you’re a grown man, and the club you’re going to is filled with young people who think wearing an oxford and blazer is stuffy and out of touch, then you’re going to the wrong places.

      • Jack on

        I worked as a DJ in NYC for nearly 10 years. I am rather fond of house music, and have never employed the use of a pacifier past my early developmental years. Implying that people fond of certain types of music are somehow incapable of dressing for certain occasions is wildly irresponsible and ignorant. Being versatile and able to dress appropriately for whatever situation you’re presented with is really what defines style in my book. Having a single uniform used to gather at a plethora of dull lifeless events removes a lot of the excitement from life, don’t you think? I imagine the man that can best adapt to his surroundings (sans Bro Shirt) while maintaining a level of style that sets him apart from the herd easily defines the cliched term “winning” as it were…

        • Barron on

          Wasn’t necessarily implying that people fond of a certain type of music don’t know how to dress for certain occasions.

          This article is addressing one piece of clothing (Going Out shirt) that certain guys wear when they go to certain places (more upscale, trendy, expensive lounges and clubs). The outfit I presented is one solution for one type of dude, going to one certain type of place.

          Most of these guys I’m referring to don’t know what to wear if not for their Bro shirts, so I’m keeping it simple for them and offering an easy solution.

          If I were to end the article by saying “stop wearing Bro Shirts”, all the bros wouldn’t know what to wear. On the other hand, if I’m too open-ended with my suggestions, they would give up trying because there are too many options.

          You sound like you have defined what style means to you, and that’s great, that’s why this whole site exists. So this article may not speak to you specifically, but there are some guys out there that need this kind of obvious, explicit direction.

  8. vinman on

    While I agree that some “going out shirts” (I believe sport shirt is the more commonly used term) are over the top (Ed Hardy or shirts with embroidery and epaulets and so on) I have no problem with striped or patterned shirts, especially if one isn’t wearing a sport coat. A solid white shirt with dress pants and no jacket can make one look like an off duty waiter. 

    • Barron on

      Definitely. This article isn’t anti-patterned shirt, especially when they’re in good taste. But these going out shirts are in a category of their own, and wouldn’t be classified in the same category as your standard, classic striped / patterned shirt.

  9. Alcantara on

    Awwww caman Barron! You’ve used a pretty broad brush here. I mean, I do agree that the shirts that you illustrated in the pic above all suck and that many of the shirts (to which you refer), especially the ones with the “Rock and Roll” prints are so 2010. But there are exceptions to every rule aren’t there? Take for example the brand “Stone Rose”. I have found these shirts to be superbly constructed and expertly conceptualized. I mean, I’m not a rep for them or nuthin’ but their attention to detail is phenomenal without going over the top. Also, I find the brand “AVVA” (made in Turkey) to be of exceptional quality and style. What do you think? Could these 2 be counted as exceptions to the rule?      

    • Barron on

      Some of the shirts those brands carry aren’t bad. Quality and construction aside (which I’m a big proponent of, if you read this site), we focus on timelessness here. A lot of those shirts you pointed out are fashion-forward, so leaning more towards trendy detail vs something simple and classic.

      Nothing wrong with that, and really, it’s your decision what you choose to wear, I’m just saying most of those wouldn’t be considered a classic look (which, again, is what we focus on here).

      I’d have one or two of those in my closet maybe, I wouldn’t stock my whole closet with them though.

  10. Austin on

    Hey Barron, what is the name of the wash on those Levi’s? I have been looking for some Levi’s with that wash, but I haven’t had much luck.

  11. Greg on

    I totally agree with this article, I personally am huge on dress good, and dressing right.
    And it bugs the hell out of be when I see other guys who cant dress at all.

    However, I do on occasion like to be ‘that D Bag’ I like to wear out to a club a well fitted athletic cut button down, and leave 2 or 3 buttons, besides the collar, undone. Ya, these are the times my hair is well jelled and I wear some sort of chain and pendant too. But I just thought I was making a style choice for that particular evening.

  12. Dave Hahn on

    Oh man. Touched a nerve with some commentors on this one! Methinks your criticism has cut a little too deep for some readers. My favorite post of yours so far – cause it’s so true. I’m gonna roll through mid-town after work and I will definitely see an army of bros with untucked ugly ass shirts in True Religions strutting around like they’re a young John Travolta – and this crap ass uniform will just not go away! Late 90’s the streets of Hoboken are filled with these dudes every weekend and I guarantee they’re rocking the same steez. This outfit is indefensible – it’s sloppy, ugly and projects an image of a complete and total chode. Sadly, the reason I think it persists, is that some women will actually still have sex with a man dressed like this. I don’t hate all bros, either. Some of my best friends are bros!

    • Barron on

      Thanks Dave. I have bro friends, as well. A bit of bro may come out of me once in a while… not in clothing choices but maybe in my speech. Anyway, people may choose to be offended, but that’s okay. Perhaps that’s saying something about them? I’m sure there is a silent majority out there who looked past the irreverence of the article and pulled something useful from it 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  13. Matthew Makrom on

    great article man – i’m 22, and this is the kind of stuff i’ve been trying to tell my pals about style. it’s not about having the newest stuff or the coolest… cause females don’t actually like that. classic 50’s simplicity is always classy. ryan gosling is the best wardrobe gallery you can fine. just google image him. no thanks needed.

  14. Tyler on

    Am a fan of everything besides those pants hes wearing in the example picture. Horrified, to say the least. Khakis are your friend! Just my thoughts

      • Adam on

        For whatever reason, younger guys believe that jeans, regardless of style/quality, are not fancy enough for going out. Calling them “Khackis” instead of chinos makes me think this guy might be in that camp.

  15. disqus_Wx7w2eQFT6 on

    Sorry, that setup is horrible. Too feminine. Too cheap. Looks like it was pieced together from clothing found in a dumpster.

    Dark blue stylish well fitting jeans yes. Crisp White button down long sleeve shirt with a good collar yes. But scratch everything else listed.

      • Adam on

        I think you hit a nerve with this guy. It’s weird to hear someone urge a “masculine pattern” shirt in the same paragraph as instructions to shave your chest hair.

        A distinction that most of the critics here seem to miss is that between an establishment that requires you to look presentable and someplace where you can show up in streetwear. Then again, I have friends that are guilty of this… the same ones that have a ‘job-interview polo.’

    • DBL on

      Actually, the outfit pictured above is very masculine, but unfortunately over the last few years men have gotten sloppy and lazy with their appearance.

    • GoldCoast on

      Hit the nail on the head, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. You completely destroyed this article haha

  16. boston11 on

    So, is wearing a button up shirt untucked a no-no? I’m not talking about the flashy “going-out” shirts that bros wear. Just a nice, button up shirt and dark jeans in a casual setting. This isn’t necessarily about going out, but just in general, should I not be doing that? I work in a casual office and seems like a pretty large number of guys do this (including me), so wasn’t sure if I was doing something wrong.

    • JimLad on

      Obviously this is a really late reply and you should have found your answer already. If you haven’t, you can tell by the shirt length and general style whether it should be tucked or not. If it’s really formal shirt and if it over hangs a lot, yep you guessed, tucked!

  17. Jonny on

    A huge mistake I see a lot is men not tucking in a shirt that is meant to be tucked. It hurts my eyes!!!!! Or jeans that are huge in the waist!!!! The Pain!!!!