Not sure what to pack in your bag when going out in Istanbul? For the guys out there, don’t worry, here’s a quick guide to the do’s and don’ts of Istanbul nightlife fashion.
Now here’s the tricky but also convenient part: late night venues in Istanbul vary tremendously. Places for going out can fall anywhere on the spectrum from a dive bar to a posh dinner and dance club. So let’s break this down by location.
The Golden Mile
If you’re curious about Istanbul’s famous high-end nightclubs on the bosphorus shore, check out this article. To get through the tough bouncers and fit in with this fashionable crowd, dressing smart is a must. Jeans are definitely permissible as long as they’re sharp (usually the darker the wash, the better). As for the top, a button-down is a safe bet, but many Turkish men go for the leather jacket look. Shoes should definitely not be sneakers or open-toed.
Karakoy and Nişantaşı
These two neighborhoods are up-and-coming spots for the trendy at night. Bars such as Fossil in Karakoy and Corridor in Nisantasi are somewhere between the Golden Mile clubs and the bars of Taksim. They generally cater to the young-professional crowd rather than students, so you’re more likely to see guys still in their business clothes (especially on weeknights). Go with a similar dress code to the Golden Mile; something with a collar is definitely not too dressy. T-shirts could actually be alright in these places- just make sure it’s not the same one you wear to the gym!
Taksim and Kadikoy
For those of us who are a little more laid-back (and maybe have thinner wallets), Taksim and the bar street in Kadikoy are perfect because pretty much anything goes. These are hot spots for students and attire in general is extremely casual. There’s usually a fair amount of hipsters wearing ironic graphic tees, but you can pretty much get away with whatever you like (as long as it’s clean!). Need help picking a place to hit up around Taksim? Here are some great choices!