How to get in to Exclusive Clubs and Lounges – Part 1 – How Image Can Get you Into Clubs

When it comes to getting into NYC nightclubs– your image (how you present yourself) is a super important factor that doormen use when deciding who gets in and who does not.

NYC Nightclub doormen are basically social curators– who are paid (and paid pretty well, actually) to decide who gets in & who gets turned away.

Doormen at the most exclusive clubs want to let in people that they think will add something special to the room.

People that they think will behave in a way that helps other guests enjoy themselves. Or, people that look cool & have a bold sense of style. And of course, every doorman wants to let in beautiful people.

Image is more than what kind of shirt, or shoes you are wearing– it is the whole package that you present.

Image is like a short, entirely visual, biography (as embellished as it may be) that you share with everyone you encounter. It is your way of presenting your story.

NYC Nightclub doormen are experts at reading image– and letting in only those that they think fit in.

In order to get into the most in demand clubs in NYC– you need to present yourself in a way that matches the image which that specific club tries to encourage.

In some cases, having the correct image might mean looking like you just jetsetted in from Monaco. Or, it could mean looking like a disheveled poet who has ventured out of their SoHo loft for some night time excitement. It might also mean looking like an energetic young Manhattan professional.

At Social Yeti– we have identified 4 basic image types that can be used to describe pretty much any nightclub crowd that you might encounter in New York.

Lets take a look at the 4 crowd types– and then we will talk about how understanding these crowd types can help you get into the nightclub or lounge of your choice.

NYC Nightclub Crowd Types

upscale – These are your jetsetters, your movie stars and your fashion models. Clubs with upscale crowds usually have crowds that are more mature (but not necessarily older)– they also tend to be the most expensive.

downtown – These are your avant-garde, fashion forward creative types. If you like artists, the fashion industry or creative people that are disheveled, sexy and probably smoking a cigarette– this is your crowd.

young professionals – These are the young bankers, marketing professionals or accountants. They are probably in their early twenties and live somewhere in Manhattan. This type of crowd is full of youthful energy and is generally pretty attractive (though don’t expect leggy fashion models like you can find at downtown & upscale parties) Example: parties at Southside or Hotel Chantelle

Urban – These are your hip hop parties– they draw many famous hip hop artists and pro athletes example: Tuesday Baby Tuesday at Finale

You can read more about NYC nightclub crowd types and checkout a chart of clubs organized by crowd type by clicking here.

How Can Knowing About Nightlife Crowd Types Help You Get into Clubs?

Once you know what kind of crowd a certain club likes to attract– you can drastically increase your chances of getting in simple by making slight adjustments to your image.

There are some rules of thumb when it comes to image that exclusive clubs– By making small adjustments to your attire– you can bring your image inline with the club’s desired image & greatly enhance your chances of getting in.

Appealing image traits –

  • High Heels – Most upscale places a premium on height, especially for women– if you have a collection of heels- pick out the tallest pair and slide those puppies onto your feet– wearing them will definitely help you get in. Heels tends to be less important at parties that at not ‘upscale’ parties.
  • Slender build – Prevalent social norms associate a slender physique with health, affluence, and beauty.  Exclusive venues capitalize on this by favoring people with a slender build.
  • Affluent dress – Have a Hermes belt or Gucci loafers (for men) Louboutin Heels or a Gucci bag (for women)?  The doorman has a keen eye for these kinds of things and they can mean the difference between being admitted and being turned away.  Clubs seek to promote the idea that the crowds they host are affluent and successful, superficial details like this are instrumental in achieving the appearance of wealth.  Shoes are particularly important for men and women alike; and they are a topic which many men are clueless about. Having an affluent appearance is especially important at upscale clubs
  • Fashion Forward Style – If you have a unique sense of style, and can pull it off (not many can) they doorman will reward this.  Many doormen have a unique sense of style themselves. this is particularly important at clubs which have a downtown image
  • Beauty – Man or woman, if your looks are striking, there are very few doors that will be closed to you — this will help you out pretty much anywhere
  • The Fairer Sex – If you are a women, your social value is much higher in the nightlife world

Image Traits That are Discouraged

  • Outer borough image – The appearance of this crowd inside an exclusive venue may very well be the death knell that signals its fall from elite status — the reason is that crowds from the outer boroughs have a reputation for fighting, stealing cell phones and other undesirable behavior. In other words- try to avoid looking like you are from the Jersey Shore
  • Business Casual – Nightlife is about partying, the venue does not want to emphasize someone’s daytime existence as a cubical slave at J.P Morgan.  Lose the tie and keep the checked button down shirt in the closet.
  • Groups of only guys – If you are an unfamiliar face at these places and arrive with a large group of guys, forget about getting in.  By showing up with only guys you give the impression that your group is the kind that repels women.  They don’t want you coming in and scaring away all the ladies.  Bring some female friends with you.
  • Square toe shoes (for guys) — this is definitely discouraged in a nightlife setting & if you wear them New Yorkers will think you manage cellphone kiosk in a New Jersey shopping mall (not that there is anything wrong with that)
  • Tank tops, flip flops, sweat pants – Look like you are making an effort.  Unless you are a successful female model or a famous pop star you will never getting in wearing any of these things

Understanding a club’s image, and how you can present yourself to help promote the image it is trying to portray, can be your key to smoothly sailing past the doorman.

Other Articles About Getting Into Exclusive Nightclubs

How to Get Into Exclusive NYC Clubs & Lounges – Introduction

Part 1 of 4 – How You Can Tweak Your Image to Get Into Exclusive NYC Clubs

Part 2 of 4 – How “Bringing Value” Can Get You Into Exclusive NYC Clubs & Lounges

Part 3 of 4 – The Proper Way to Interact With a Nightclub Doorman

Part 4 of 4 – Who You Need to Know to Get Into Exclusive New York Clubs & Lounges