What's appropriate bartending attire? A lot of it
will depend on the venue you're working at and your personal preference.
Classy and Simple
Your outfit should be classy, yet simple. Sexy, but comfortable. You don't want to spend a 6 hour shift in something
that's going to leave you crying at the end of the night.
Because when you boil down to it, you are gonna be on your feet for most of the night with little to zero opportunity to sit down and relax.
So opting for a practical over cute is key.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't look hot or cute while working. It's totally doable.
I've listed a few pointers to keep
in mind based on my own experience.
The first place where I started bartending was a lounge
. More specifically, it was a lounge connected
to a restaurant next door.
As such, there would normally be a trickle of people coming from the
restaurant to enjoy a before or after dinner cocktail in addition to the local regulars and
The restaurant was slightly on the high-end side. The waiters wore all black. Naturally because
the lounge was connected to the restaurant, I had to coordinate my bartending attire to what
they were wearing, which was pretty much all black.
In fact, the rule of thumb was to wear all black
All About the Black
No sneakers. Just black.
So I simply wore a black dress pants and a dark top. During the summer, I'd wear short-sleeved or sleeveless
tees or tank tops and during the winter, I'd wear long sleeved shirts to keep me warm from the cold draft that
came in everytime a customer entered or exited the bar.
The beauty about wearing all black is it conceals
most stains. You'd be amazed at how much stuff and gunk you'll get
splashed on you by customers, the other bartenders, and even yourself.
Juice might splash on you while pouring or mixing a drink; drunk customers might
accidentally spill beer all over you (yes, it happens); or beer foam from an almost-empty-tap might
spray all over you.
Lesson of the story is, black conceals most if not all stains. So try to opt for black when choosing your bartending attire
As a rule of thumb, when working at a restaurant - be it on the casual or high-end side - wearing all black
(black dress pants and black top) is a smart and safe default.
That is only if the restaurant or bar doesn't have its own uniform. Some places might provide you with a uniform,
in which case you won't have to worry about what to wear when you bartend.
Photo Credit: photostock
You can also use this guideline when working at night clubs
Different clubs will have varying dress codes.
Some clubs may require that you wear a uniform, in which case, you don't really have a choice. But most places
will just give you a loose guideline.
Again, the all black rule works superbly.
The first club I worked at required all black. So naturally, I wore all black. Because it was a club, however,
I wore clothes that wore slightly trendier than the clothes I donned at the lounge. For instance, I'd wear
a black fitted dress pants and a dressy black top
, or a sleek black dress.
Of course, these places may also have various theme nights such as casino night, black & white night, caribbean night, etc during
which you'll have to dress the part.
You'll want to wear something that's flattering, but not too revealing.
An example might be a dressy black tank top or a lacy sleeveless dress shirt.
Have fun with it, but don't go overboard.
Go for black dress pants that is fitted, and not baggy. You might be able to get away with black denim.
Check with the establishment before you opt for jeans,
but clubs tend to be less strict when it comes to dress code.
Think sexy, not slutty.
Cute Black Bartending Top
Something like this black top would be perfect for the spring and summer time when bartending at a sports bar, lounge or club.
Made from 48% organic cotton, 47% lyocell, and 5% elastane, this top is machine-washable and easy to take care of
This is super important! Whatever top you buy should be easily washable.
Don't bother with something that needs to be dry-cleaned.
Opt for something that is low-maintenance, like the Lole tank top.
Plus, its flattering cut
and lacey prints will bound to get you complements at the bar.
It's cute. It's flattering, and it's black.
You can get this
Lole - Focus Tank Top
As for work shoes, wear
something that'll keep your feet comforatable for the 4-5 hours you will spend standing up and bartending. Wearing high
may look sexy, but after a few hours running around the bar, your feet will be killing you.
Here are a few examples of appropriate bartender workshoes
Again, this might not be an option at some clubs because there are clubs that require
to wear stilettos. But if that's not the case, opt for something comfy.
Dark work shoes with rubber soles are
great. I've even seen a bartender wear black converses while working.
Whatever the venue guideline is, choose something that complies with the dress code but keeps you
comfortable and looking hot!