Outfit Recommendations For Bars In Nottingham

Lucy Tombs

Its Friday night, you’re about to get ready to go on a night out – albeit ending at 10pm – and you’re struggling to decide what to wear. What outfit would fit the vibe of the bar you’re going to? What is the aesthetic you want to go for? So, you decide to text your friends and ask the classic line: “what are you wearing tonight?”. Leading to the even more classic line: “oh just jeans and a nice top”. This could mean anything from skinny jeans and crop tops to baggy jeans with bodysuits, which leaves you even more confused than before!

However, I’m here to shine a light on this situation and provide you with a guide to styling every night out in Notts. From Spoons to the Alchemist, Nottingham has a range of bars for every student to choose from. This article includes five that I know and love, and provides a guide to picking outfits to wear to each location.

For this alternative vibe I challenge you to channel your inner punk.

Coco Tang

Walk through the slim doorway and proceed downstairs to its underground bar area and you will be transported to a 1980s cityscape. Coco Tang’s urban aesthetic is achieved with glowing neon lights, exposed brick walls and metal tables. For this alternative vibe I challenge you to channel your inner punk. Grunge style fits the feel of this bar perfectly; a pair of Doc Martins would be a great option for footwear. Paired with a plaid skirt, white crop and an oversized black denim jacket, this creates the ideal edgy look to go sip on a Fight Club Iced Tea.

Cookie Lounge

If you have a sweet tooth that can’t be tamed (like me!) then the Cookie Lounge is for you, because why not combine our favourite things: sweets and alcohol! Delicious dessert drinks are the speciality of this bar/café, making cocktails from cookies sounds like it shouldn’t work, but trust me, it does! Try sporting something sweet for this spot such as floral pastel colours, anything from pastel pink to baby blue. A white jumper with a pastel pink mini skirt would work wonderfully here! However, if legs out aren’t quite for you this Autumn then some light-wash denim jeans would make for a more modest look.

For this bar I would say nothing is too ‘extra’ – go the extreme

The Alchemist

If you are looking for an opportunity for a glam night out, then the Alchemist is the best bet! The Alchemist might be on the more expensive end of the spectrum for students, but for birthdays and special occasions this is a great spot. For this bar I would say nothing is too ‘extra’ – go the extreme with a cocktail dress and heels if you are up to it! A bodycon Oh Polly dress would fit the atmosphere perfectly and provide great Instagram photos. The best option to dress this down would be to pair any mini dress with an oversized leather blazer. These are so versatile and create a grungy yet classy vibe for any outfit, high quality options for these can be found in Zara and Urban Outfitters!

Penny Lane

Penny Lane screams coastal town with its pier arcade set up. As you walk in, sounds of the arcades will hit you as you get ready to play some air hockey and skee ball whilst sipping on a cocktail. If you are paying a visit here, I would suggest channelling your inner Zoella with some cut off denim jeans and a cute fedora hat. Round this all off with a flowy and lightweight button up shirt and you’re ready to roll those sleeves up and win time and time again on the air hockey table!


I had to end this piece with a student staple, and that is: Spoons. Wetherspoons is a classic; its drinks menu is familiar to everyone and it offers the classic cheap and cheerful food it’s known for. Grab yourself some halloumi fries and a pint with your friends and settle down at this casual, friendly spot. My personal favourite Wetherspoons for Nottingham students is the Llyods No.1 Bar in Lace Market which has a central bar and balcony seating. For somewhere like Spoons I would recommend a really casual outfit such as a pair of oversized joggers or jeans with a crop top. A front tie t-shirt or cropped blouse would look super trendy. Going casual for this night out is a must!

Lucy Tombs

Featured image courtesy of  Steven Miller via Flickr. No changes made to this image. Image license found here

In-article images courtesy of  Pennylanenottingham and Houseofcocotang via Instagram. No changes made to these images. 

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