Teenage style: what to wear for a night out

Samantha CheneyFashion 8 Comments

Editor’s note: Please say hello to Samantha Cheney. Sam is Miss SY’s best friend from school and a journalism student. Each month she’ll share some style tips that are relevant to teenage girls – please leave us a question if you have a teenage style question you’d like answered.

Hello there, Stylers. It’s me again – Samantha! And yep, it’s been a month.

Easter has been and gone…and Summer has too. FINALLY. Hoorah to this cooler Autumn weather!

Now before Christmas is here in a blink of an eye, let’s get straight into it.

Today I will be answering a reader’s question.

What to wear for a night out?

My daughter is in her final year of high school (and yes wearing her threadbare hideous uniform for the last year!). What is suitable attire for a nightclub for someone venturing into them for the first time? I could give her great advice … e.g. taffeta with puffy sleeves, or a new romantic shirt … but perhaps I am just a tad out of it, seeing it was 100 years since I set foot in one! Fiona

Well Fiona, I will gladly take care of this one.

Being 18 years of age, and living in the era that I do, style is an absolute MUST!

When venturing out into the nightclub scene, there is a very fine line between what is and isn’t acceptable.

The golden rule is to be dressed in something that you’re comfortable in, yet at the same time still trendy.

On an average night out (let’s use Brisbane as an example), you’ll find me in either a fitted midi dress or a block coloured shift dress, paired back with my classic black heels and a few statement accessories.

In winter, I will generally swap the dress and heels to a pair of high waist black jeans, an anorak jacket and a pair of heeled boots.


Samantha’s going out style: Dissh dress | Lipstick heels | The Horse watch | Colette clutch 



What do you wear on a typical “night out” in summer?

Alex: My outfits vary depending on the venue and occasion, but on a typical summer night out you’ll find me in my short, black pleather skirt paired with either a neoprene crop top or a loose-fit top tucked in.

Bonnie: Since turning 18 recently, I can’t say I have encountered many “summer” nights. However, I believe shift dresses are ideal, as they can be dressed up and down. The cool and light material helps tolerate those long summer nights. Pair up with some heels or dress down with your trusty converse. Too easy!

What to wear to a club in summer

Second post (edited)

1. Bardot midi skirt $40 (on sale) | 2. Topshop cropped cami $15.58 | 3. Miss Shop heels $69.95 | 4. Sportsgirl clutch $29.95 | 5. Colette earrings $4.50 (on sale)

… and in winter?

Alex: On nights out in winter, a lot of girls will brave the cold and wear their usual summer attire (no pain, no gain…am I right?). However, if you’re like me and are not a fan of the cold, you might like to wear a pair of black jeggings, a loose-fit top and heels or wedges.

Bonnie: Winter… denim, denim, denim! Why? It never dates. Spice up your outfit throughout winter, whether it be a denim jacket or a pair of high waisted denim jeans. Both very appropriate and trendy. Add accessories to emphasise your outfit!

What to wear to a bar/social gathering in winter

secondd (edited)

1. Sportsgirl pant $79.95 | 2. Topshop cropped tee $11.37 | 3. Sportsgirl denim shirt $89.95 | 4. Country Road clutch $79.95 | 5. Rubi shoes boots $49.95

*Try this look with the denim shirt wrapped around the waist, just above the hips*

What bag do you use?

Alex: Most girls opt for the standard size Mimco pouch as their go-to clutch for a typical night out. However, when I upgraded my iPhone, it no longer fit in mine. So I now use (and love) my larger Mimco pouch, with an over-the-shoulder strap. The strap allows for less chance of losing your belongings when you’re out.

Bonnie: When going out, I usually take my trusty Alphie Douglas Satchel or a small clutch to save carting things around. Easy and very appropriate to carry the necessities.

What accessories do you wear?

Alex: I tend to stick to simple accessories. If I’m wearing a statement top/dress I like to wear a fine, metal necklace with some simple, matching earrings. However, if my outfit is more basic I might spruce it up with a statement necklace.

Bonnie: I’m not a huge jewellery girl! But I definitely don’t mind adding a little bling when I believe my outfit is lacking. Belts are a must, sometimes they can add so much by doing so little. Add a BOLD pair of earrings for fun!

alex going out

Alex’s (Miss SY) going out style: Country Road top | Country Road skirt | Country Road boots | Mimco pouch

alex going out 1

What kinds of styles tend to be most popular?

Alex: Popular styles among young girls are black high waist skirts or shorts (do not confuse these with casual, denim shorts) teamed with a brightly coloured, loose-fit top tucked in. It is also popular to “flip” this look and have a bright or patterned skirt/shorts paired with a plain black/white top. Colourful/patterned shift dresses are always a comfortable, yet trendy look. I’ve noticed that black and white stripe, high-neck, tight-fit tops have become a bit of a trend lately as well.

Bonnie: Going out this past week I have noticed many trends. Midi (knee length) skirts and dresses, seemed to be the major style I recognised, mostly in black or white. Heels are also a major must.

How important is the height of shoes for “clubbing”, and what do you consider comfortable, yet trendy?

Alex: When you go out to clubs similar to the kind in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, it’s expected that girls wear heels. If you’re terrible at wearing and walking in heels, don’t panic – there are ways around this! Wedges or a thick heel are a good option so you’ve still got that height, but with a bit more comfort and support. Most girls will also wear platform sandals as a super comfy alternative.

Bonnie: I believe comfort comes first! I suffered big time from wearing a stiletto-like shoe last week, and definitely copped the consequences from doing so. Small heels tend to be quite on trend; these are ideal for comfort and your little feet may thank you for it the morning after. Wedge like heels are also much easier on the sole! Plus so much easier to walk in! PHEW!

What is your hair and makeup regime for nights out?

Alex: My mum will tell you that I’m not overly skilled in the hair and makeup department, but I do know the basics for preparing myself for a night out. I’m very lucky in that my hair will usually dry naturally into nice waves, so on most nights out I will just let my hair be. However on other occasions when I’m feeling up to it, I’ll straighten my hair. In terms of makeup, I’ve recently taught myself how to do a reasonably good cat-eye, so I’ll usually team that with either a pale pink or red lip, depending on my outfit.

Bonnie: Hair regime, BASIC! Flick my hair to the side, give it a little tease and I’m ready. Being a make-up artist I am quite lucky in that most nights I come home from work with a full face, and may only have to touch up the odd lippy before going out. Bold lippy and an eye is a major statement, and is totally ok when going out at night. Deep reds, purples and browns can add so much to your outfit.

What to wear to a bar/social gathering

2nd post (edited)

1. H&M jumpsuit $49.95 | 2. Adorne earrings $19.95 | 3. Billini heels $79.95 | 4. Dissh belt $19.95 | 5. Mimco pouch $49 (on sale)

Have you noticed if there is a certain “dress code” for particular venues (i.e. clubs vs. bars)?

Alex: Most of the outfits I’ve covered you would wear to most clubs; you can think of these outfits as kind of a middle ground. If you were to go to a pub/Uni bar/backpackers bar you might wear a toned down, more casual version of these outfits. So maybe the same skirt and top but with flats. At some of these kinds of venues you can even get away with wearing Converse or Dr Marten’s style of shoes. At the complete other end of the spectrum are your classy, “having a few drinks after work” kind of bars. At theses sorts of places heels are definitely a must, and you might consider wearing something a bit nicer like a cocktail dress or jumpsuit.

Bonnie: Oh definitely! At a club you should totally dress in something comfortable and easy to dance in. Be sure to wear comfortable heels, as you will most likely be standing for long periods of time. I wore flared pants to a bar last week, and it was totally appropriate. I believe wearing pants to a club, could be quite difficult to dance in (e.g. bending) – nasty! A bars dress code seems to be quite more sophisticated in comparison with nightclubs.

Bonnie 1

Bonnie’s going out style: Bardot bralett | Bardot pants | Lipstik heels

Bonnie 2

Now tell me, what did you wear out in your clubbing days? And do you have a son or daughter going out for the first time? I’d love to know!

Comments 8

  1. looking fabulous! … love the pieces and styling girls!
    you would rock anything! … you are young and gorgeous!;)
    criteria met!
    if I need to go to a club, i’ll get my lessons from you guys!
    seriously, I could still wear most of these things but not the crop tops!;0
    enjoy! … love m:)X

  2. Love this post but can you do a male equivalent? Very hard to know what is the “right” brands and styles. My son is very shy and just starting to get out but clueless with fashion!!!!!

    1. For smart-casual going out wear, check out either General Pants or The Universal Store. Young males venturing out into the nightclub scene tend to wear a pair of chinos, with a button up and some leather lace ups. Hope this helped – Sammy 🙂

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