A Fashion Guide to Clubbing in Southampton


You finally arrive at university, you’re in a new city with new people, and you want to impress. But then comes the tricky bit: the dreaded first night out and the panic as you start to question what you’re expected to wear. Just imagine the scene: you’re ready in your heels and dress, only to find out you’re headed to an overcrowded cave of booze and bodily fluid.

Southampton is the proud home to a vast selection of clubs, so here’s how to dress for every one of them.


Simultaneously the Palace of Dreams and Europe’s worst nightclub, Jesters is the home to countless messy nights. First thing’s first: wearing something comfortable is a solid choice. It’s best to wear an outfit you don’t mind having covered in cocktails, sweat, sick, or whatever substance has inevitably flooded the floors. My second piece of advice would be to invest in a pair of ‘Jesters’ shoes’ which you buy solely with the intention of getting a little dirtied up – you certainly won’t regret it.

After a couple of jesticles, no one will care what you’re wearing anyway.


As informal as Jesters, yet slightly more respectable, Sobar is one you’re bound to run into during your time at Southampton. Sobar needs a chilled attire – jeans, skirts or shorts and trainers. The main room gets VERY hot, so short sleeves are advised.

A note on heels: ditch them – you’ll be grateful you decided against them after enduring the deadly flight of stairs to the outside area.

Credit: Avila Diana Chidume

Café Parfait

The first club you’ll come across as you venture into the city centre, Café Parfait attire lies somewhere between Sobar and Oceana – not too casual, but not overly smart. With student night on a Thursday, smart trainers are acceptable.

Bedford Place

Home to clubs that include the likes of Buddha Lounge, Orange Rooms, and Popworld, Bedford Place is a bustling area where smart casual wear is acceptable on all regular nights. There is no need to go all out. Likely outfit choices feature a t-shirt for boys, and a nice top with jeans or a skirt for girls.

Saturday night witnesses a different story. Then, the clubs are swarmed with high-heeled wannabe models. Here, you shouldn’t take the motto ‘dress to impress’ lightly.


The host of unmissable events every Saturday, as well as Southampton’s beloved Retrojam, ‘wavy garms’ are a must for a Switch night out. If it’s Switch’s Friday ‘Juiced’ event that you’re going for however, the dress code becomes far more relaxed. ‘Juiced’ is a typical student night; boys realise their shirts are no longer necessary, and while heels are welcomed, these are in the minority. Even those who have blagged their way into VIP are often wearing denim skirts and Adidas jackets.


The largest club in Southampton – and a popular night out for society socials on Wednesdays, and post-ball celebrations – Oceana is known for hosting events featuring renowned DJs. If a trip to Oceana is on the cards, then this is your time to shine. On a Friday and Saturday night don’t wear trainers: girls, glam up and put on your best heels; guys, shirts and smart shoes! Any other week night, smart trainers are acceptable (Vans and Converse are allowed), and you can tone down the glam.

Warning: if you turn up in sportswear, including Nike and Adidas, you’ll be turned away at the door.

The Edge

Southampton’s award-winning LGBT+ nightclub hosts a rather chilled affair. Smart, casual attire is your best bet for the weekend, however on weeknights, the dress code is pretty laid-back.

Happy clubbing xoxo


History student and aspiring journalist

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