The truth is that what women should wear clubbing in the city largely depends on where it is they’re going. Unlike Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo’s female clubbers usually like to dress up.
You can never go wrong with a mini skirt in São Paulo. In the more affluent neighborhoods of São Paulo, such as Vila Olímpia, Itaim Bibi or Jardins, clothes like jeans, T-shirts or tennis shoes are no-nos. In fact, some clubs won’t even let you in if you show up dressed as if you were going out for a stroll in the park on a Sunday morning. You could also possibly ditch the crop top / mini skirt combination for a mini dress, as you’ll also find many women with these types of clothes.
If you’re going to some of the more pricey establishments such as the Royal Club, where you’ll find some people closing off VIP areas and spending up to R$4,000 a night, it’s advisable to wear high heels. Some high-end clubs in the city prohibit the entrance of women with flat sandals or mocassins.
If you prefer a more relaxed dress code, then head towards the areas that attract people with a more alternative lifestyle, such as Rua Augusta, in Consolação or Vila Madalena and Pinheiros. In the clubs there, you’ll find women wearing a variety of styles. From hipsters to goths, these areas are where you’ll find many types of fashion statement, from shorts to jeans to T-shirts and crop tops.
Some areas in São Paulo that aren’t as affluent as the above neighborhoods will accept any type of clothing. In the various clubs in the Barra Funda area, you’ll find women wearing outfits ranging from crop tops and mini shorts to T-shirts and jeans. Wearing shoes that are more casual to these clubs is not a problem, and you won’t get any trouble from dressing a bit more liberally.
Compared to women, men have significantly more leeway in what to wear when going out to clubs. No matter where you are in the city, all men will be dressed casually as if they were going out to lunch with a friend.
The highest level of formality for men who want to go clubbing around São Paulo would be a social shirt. Many, however, wear shirts with artsy or mainstream prints on them. Polo shirts are also a good bet if you don’t want to call too much attention but still look sharp. You’ll find that most choose to go with a simple white or black T-shirt, sometimes with an open buttoned shirt above it.
Do not overdress or you’ll just look like a snob. There’s no need to wear dress slacks unless you’re going to an elegant, posh club. Most men out clubbing in São Paulo tend to wear dark-colored jeans.
Although temperatures can get quite high in the summertime, sandals are never the choice when it comes to men and clubbing. Sandals may be used for outside bars or a walk in the park, but in the evening, São Paulo partygoers refrain from using them, instead choosing casual shoes or even dark-colored sneakers to dance the night away.