Dress Codes for Nightclubs

Minnie Jacobs

Nightlife in Puerto Vallartais truly epic, with a reputation as of one of the best party cities in Mexico, attracting jet-set beautiful people from major urban centers like Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, to come hang with glitterati locals and visitors, for next level, Insta-worthy partying.

The best nightclubs in Puerto Vallarta – like Strana, La Santa, Biblioteca, Mandala, Bar Morelos and La Vaquita – all have dress codes in effect, but the good news is that dress codes for Puerto Vallarta nightclubs are all lot more relaxed than in other famous party cities, just like the town itself.

You’re here for a chill good time and clubbing in Puerto Vallarta is no different, so the vibe at the door is generally pretty relaxed, if you arrived dressed to hit some base level expectations.

Making party life easy, the dress code for clubbing in Puerto Vallarta is pretty standard at most of the clubs, with the exception of La Vaquita – and we’ll get back to that one later.

Furthermore, if you have PV Nightlife book your VIP Puerto Vallarta nightlife experience, the dress code regulations are sometimes even a little more relaxed.

The Basics of Dressing for Clubbing in Vallarta

  • No baggy jeans
  • No rubber flip flops
  • No baseball hats
  • No gym shoes or workout gear
  • No jean shorts
  • No cut t-shirts or tanks for men

Vallarta’s hottest nightclubs are all going to have these “official dress codes” in place, but that said, in Puerto Vallarta, just because something is official, doesn’t always make it so.

But to make partying in Puerto Vallarta simple, the above list is a reliable guideline when getting dressed and heading out for some club action.

And, because we’re cool like that, we’ll answer your questions about exceptions before you even ask them.

What about for girls?

There is no such thing as gender equality when it comes to getting past the doorman on the Vallarta party scene, just like pretty much anywhere else in the world.

Basically, girls need to look like they made the effort to pull it all together, and the hotter the girl, the smaller the effort required.

You’ll see everything from glam girls in sequined mini dresses and sky-high Louboutins snapping selfies for their fashion blog, to boho beach girls in crocheted crop tops….and guys aren’t going to be mad about any of it.

But ladies, pro tip for getting into the best clubs in Puerto Vallarta without having to wait? Unless you are a professional model, get it together girl.

The hotter and more pulled together the look, the better the chances that you’re bypassing the line. #truestory

And ladies, while we’re talking about the Louboutins, keep in mind that nightclubs here stay open until dawn and beyond, so know your limits, girl. If you can’t stand in them for 6 to 8 hours, don’t wear them, because the most shameful Walk of Shame is the chick, barefoot leaving the bar, carrying her stilettos in her hand.

Don’t be her. You’re better than that. Go for a super cute sandal or wedges, instead.

Can I wear a t-shirt?

Yes…and no. Even in high-end Vallarta nightclubs, it’s pretty common to see men wearing t-shirts, because this is a tropical Mexico party vacation destination, so we roll on a more casual vibe.

That said, there are some t-shirts that are going to get you a hard no at the door.

Rule of thumb: if you bought it on the beach or at a souvenir shop, you’re not getting in…and you should feel a little ashamed of yourself for even trying, to be honest.

But a slim-cut, fashionable t-shirt should get you past the door, no problem. And if it is Gucci, Prada, Balenciaga or Versace, you’re getting in and maybe you’re getting offered a table for bottle service. (Not for free, don’t get too excited. It’s a t-shirt. Manage your expectations.)

Ladies – do not underestimate the power of Bride Squad matching t-shirts. You’re getting in, no worries, and you’re getting special treatment. You’re also probably going to get away with matching flip flops, breaking a cardinal club sin, because you’re celebrating, so yesssssss, girls, work that comfort! #squadgoals

Should I wear a button up?

Yep, go for it. You’ll see a lot of local guys wearing slim cut, button up shirts to the clubs in Puerto Vallarta.

Style tip: trendy Mexican guys generally button their shirts one button less than American guys – manscaping optional. So, feel free to give those gym-earned pecs a little extra breathing room.

Polo shirts cool?

You got it, baby. Polo shirts are a staple for dudes doing some Puerto Vallarta partying. Ralph Lauren and Lacoste are classic favorites, but any slim fit polo has you set.

How about shorts?

Again, these are a yes and a no. For girls, if you’re adding a cute wedge or a heel to complete your look, you can pull off anything from a daisy duke to a more tailored short, nobody’s complaining.

For men, a cotton or linen, tailored, just above the knee short is, again, probably not going to give you an issue, if accessorized correctly.

Add a loafer or a driving shoe and aim for a polo or a short-sleeved, button down on top. A Ferragamo or a Gucci belt never hurts, but a nice leather belt in general is a good idea.

What’s not going to work for you is beach shorts or gym shorts.

If you look like you just rolled up straight from a beach club or the gym, you’re not going to make it. Keep it fresh, keep it polished, and you’re good to go.

Can I wear jeans?

Jeans are welcome and normal at Puerto Vallarta clubs, just be forewarned that in the summer months, that’s a pretty sweaty option.

But the rest of the year, for men and women, jeans are a thumbs up and common club gear, if they aren’t too baggy or looking too ragged.

Kicks and Sneakers?

If you wear them to the gym, nope.

But if you’re wearing streetwear kicks, that’s going to be cool at pretty much any nightclub in Vallarta.

Plus, the comfort level when you’re partying until the sun comes up makes a sick pair of trainers a pretty stellar sartorial option. But choose wisely. Think more Yeezy, less Sketchers.


Technically, yes. But unless you are Pitbull or J Balvin, people will be mocking you. #getoveryourself

What bag should I bring?

Ladies, we cannot stress this enough, choose your bag carefully.

Bags should not be left at the table or at the bar unattended. The “bags on the floor, girls dance around them” technique? Not only is this absolutely NOT done in Mexico, you really just need to stop doing that wherever you are because, let’s be honest, it’s gross.

What you’re aiming for is a crossbody, wristlet, shoulder bag or a small clutch that can be held or tucked under your arm while dancing/drinking/flirting.

You can pack light for a club night in Puerto Vallarta: hotel key, lip gloss, credit card, cell phone, cash and you’re good to go. Maybe toss a condom in there. Even if you don’t need it, you can be the helpful friend. #safetyfirst

What about La Vaquita?

Right, thanks for reminding us. La Vaquita is located on the famous Puerto Vallarta Malecon, near one of Vallarta’s most iconic nightclubs, Mandala.

But unlike Mandala or other clubs on our party list, the dress code at La Vaquita is decidedly more casual.

While you’re going to see, particularly as the night goes on, girls in heels and club dresses and guys turned out, you will also see a more beach-to-club look happening, especially earlier in the night when the doormen and promotors are pulling people in off the Malecon.

So, if more casual comfort is your Puerto Vallarta party goal, this is a place you’re going to be just fine and have a good time.

If you are heading for a Puerto Vallarta party vacation, whether it’s a group trip, bachelor party in Puerto Vallarta, girl’s getaway or just a reason to visit one of the best cities for nightlife in the world, keep in mind that Puerto Vallarta has standards for nightclub dressing, but like clubs around the world, those standards can change.

Depending on several factors – how the doorman is feeling that night, how hot you are, how expensive you look, how busy the club is, what time you arrive, if you are getting bottle service, if PV Nightlife booked you a reservation, how drunk you look when you arrive – the dress code can be pretty fluid, from getting waved right in, to getting a hard no at the door.

But dressing up for a night out in Vallarta is like anything else – the more effort you put into it, the greater the reward, whether that be by-passing the line, getting some free shots or scoring the good hook up. It’s all worth it.

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