Dressing Up to Live it Up in Houston: A Men’s Style Guideby Brett Clawson

Photo by Vlad Busuioc on Unsplash

Houston considers itself, “the city with no limits” and there’s no limit to the good times in this Texas city. With great food and an exciting but laid back nightlife scene, Houston is sure to please. But what should you wear for a night out or to a Sunday brunch so you aren’t immediately pegged as a tourist?. Fortunately Houston makes it easy to fit in with the right look, so you can live it up on your next visit to Texas.

Dressing Up and Dressing Down

Houston is a very diverse city but tends to be on the conservative side. If you’re headed out downtown for a nice dinner or to a nightclub, plan to dress up. Houston’s downtown business district fills with those unwinding after a day of work, so suits and business casual attire aren’t out of place, though most prefer business casual.

Houston is a city where comfort is okay though, so there are many places you can go to dress down. Jeans, especially tailored jeans in a dark color, are great for a trip to a bbq restaurant or a local bar.Try pairing your jeans with a guayabera shirt for comfort and style.

When Shorts are Okay

Shorts can even be acceptable in some places like hotel pool parties. Texas is big on pool parties during the summer, which makes sense with such high temperatures during the summer months. There are some great custom pools Houston to party at. At a pool party, shorts should be paired with boat shoes or loafers. Steer clear of flip flops and sandals. If you do wear sandals, do not pair them with socks. Make sure you’re wearing a nice shirt, like a short sleeved button-up, rather than a t-shirt as well.

Cowboy Hats and Boots

Outside of the right pants, many men often wonder about the actual prevalence of cowboy hats and boots in Houston. Boots are not uncommon and in fact, some of the best cowboy boot designers in the world work in the Houston metro area. As long as you’re wearing boots in good condition that are well-cared for, they are a welcome accessory for dinner, a drink and most other activities in the city. Pants should be worn over boots and never tucked into them, no matter how cool your custom design is. Houston is a great city to leave with a new pair of custom boots, if you’re in the mood to splurge.

Cowboy hats are a different story though. Donning a cowboy hat as you’re living it up downtown or at one of the trendy bars off Washington Avenue, will make you stand out as a tourist. The one exception is at the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show, where cowboy hats are expected and welcomed. If you want to wear a hat out to a bar or club, try a fedora or a stingy brim style to accent your ensemble, though these sort of hats are more prevalent in Houston’s neighbor to the north, Dallas than in Houston itself. Baseball caps should be limited to baseball games or other daytime activities like running and exercise.

Exercise Attire

If your definition of living it up involves hiking, biking or other outdoorsy exercise, plan to dress up for that too. Houston has many hiking and biking trails located throughout the city. Locals tend to wear running pants or shorts that coordinate with their shoes while using them. Items like old t-shirts and ratty sweatpants should not be worn in public exercise areas. Though it’s acceptable to head to brunch at less formal places in workout gear, as long as you’re actually going post-workout, it should be high-quality, well-fitting workout gear. If you’re brunching somewhere nice, plan to head back to your hotel to take a shower and clean-up before sitting down for brunch.

Houston is full of fun and exciting places to explore, as long as you have the right clothes for the occasion!