If you live in New York, you have been rejected at least once by a doorman. I don't care who you are. Celebrities sometimes don't even make it past the velvet ropes. There is no shame in the game of taking a chance, but there are ways to improve your odds. More than bribery, but probably less than some convincing name dropping, is your outfit.
The New York Times delves into what looks can improve your chances at certain clubs. They talked to a number of hip owners to get the scoop, but anyone with common sense should know these rules. Some, like Mulberry Project's Ed Hardy ban, are obvious. Sporting the Jersey Shore/Jon Gosselin (that guy who used to be on the TLC show with the 8 kids) look is not gaining you entry. It's not stated but safe to assume that your Von Dutch trucker hat, ultra gelled hair, and bedazzled pants aren't getting you in either.
“There’s nothing that dresses a room like a crowd. The ambience of the experience is the people around you, so it’s important for us to keep those people fashion-forward and eclectic and interesting and engaging.”
Provocateur, Day & Night, the Continental and more echo his sentiments. It's snobby and elitist, but it does have a purpose. Superficial or not, style can be defining. One of the main functions of fashion is for personal expression. People can use clothes to self-identity, to proclaim themselves a certain type of person. Just look at the mirror image outfits at any suited bar in Midtown, polo shirted (occasionally with popped collar) haunt in the UES, and the plaid shirts and beards that permeate Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Each person may add their own personalized components, but the main elements are pretty much the same.
It's all about where you are going. Those same looks that get you denied at Mulberry Project, could be your entry into Cielo or some other Meatpacking club. Give Pacha a try and they'll likely welcome you with open arms and a compliment on your attire. And, if the clothes do make the man, you would probably have more fun there than you would at a place that won't accept you for you.
Dressing to get in somewhere is the same as you would dress for any other occasion and all it takes is a little bit of thought. Experts and those in the know can tell you only what you could probably figure out yourself. Your outfit for a Hamptons bash will be different from what you would wear to see a show at Pianos, a night at Provacateur and Day & Night should included branded items that signify you spent a lot of money on them while a night of East Village pub crawling from Heathers to Niagra requires jeans and a leather jacket.
When in doubt go with the safest option. For ladies, a little black dress and heels can go a long way. For men, basic is best and bring a jacket just in case. Or do a little research. If you are super nervous about being inappropriate, Google the place or search it on this very site. See what the crowd looks like and mimic to the best of your ability, adding your own personal flair in accessories and other items. Or just go by neighborhood vibe. If you don't have the cash to spend on goods for some of these places, a fake can always be covered by confidence. Let Forever 21 be your Mecca.
“Fashion is totally personal now. So it’s kind of a joke when someone says, ‘This is our dress code.’ It’s how a person holds himself up. It’s all personality.”
What this translates to when run through our bullshit decoder is: If you are a model, or just really good looking, discard all of this. Wear whatever you want. Hell, wear nothing.
Full NYT article can be found HERE.