What to Wear to a Bowling Alley?

If you love bowling, you should definitely think in advance what to wear for your next bowling game so you could maximize the fun. When you plan out what to wear when playing at a bowling alley, there are several items that should be considered.

See the following bowling tips for what to wear at bowling alleys when playing this popular game.

When bowling, dress for comfort and ease of motion. Choose a comfortable outfit that allows you to move around freely when you play, such as bowling shirts and pants. Wear bowling shoes that don’t ruin the lanes and wear socks in the shoes. Avoid wearing any clothes or items that make you uncomfortable. Most importanly, have fun.

Proper Bowling Outfit

The clothes you wear for bowling should be comfortable and casual. Many people like to wear loose fitting clothes, such as sweatpants and a T-shirt. You may also want to consider what type of shoes you will be wearing.

This guide will provide you with a list of comfortable clothing to wear to a bowling alley.

Bowling Shoes or Rented Shoes

A good pair of bowling shoes will be what you need to prevent blisters and sore feet. Also, they create an enhanced grip, which is what gives you the ability to throw the ball with more force than without bowling shoes.

You can easily spend up to $40 or $50 on your own shoes for a good pair of bowling shoes, or can wear rented bowling shoes if you are just an occasional player.

Two types of shoes that are really popular are performance bowling shoes and athletic style bowling shoes. Each have their own characteristics that are useful to learn more about.

Choose the right fit and size for your shoes, as this will be crucial to your bowling game. As a general rule, you want your shoes to fit snugly so they don’t move around when you bowl.


Jeans or Bowling Pants

Jeans are what the many bowlers choose to wear. Jeans can be wiped off much easier. This will also allow you more room to move, which you may need especially if what you normally wear is more fitting on your legs.

Athletic pants, such as sweatpants, are made to be baggy and comfortable. They will also allow you to move easily without any restriction. This is what you want when playing a physical game like bowling. Yoga style pants can also be a good choice for the ladies.

Bowling Shirt or T-shirt

A bowling shirt is not mandatory, but it is a good idea. This is a button-down shirt that should have short sleeves, so you are not too hot while playing. There are several bowling shirts to choose from at both men’s and women’s apparel stores that aren’t expensive.


Wearing socks is strongly recommended. They help to reduce any blisters on your feet, which can occur if you plan to go bowling for several hours. They also absorb sweat and keep your feet dry.

Wear socks that match your personal style, and don’t be afraid to be creative. Patterned socks can also add a fun touch to your outfit. Some fun socks to wear are those that have bowling balls on them, or colors and designs of different bowling pins.

Hats and Headbands

A hat or cap or headband can help absorb sweat and keep your hair out of your face. This is especially important if you have long hair.

Sports Bras

If you are a woman and you plan to wear a sports bra while bowling, make sure it is one that fits well and is comfortable.

Sports bras offer more support than regular bras and can help to prevent any unwanted bouncing while playing.

Clothes You Don’t Want to Wear for Bowling

Now that you know what to wear, there are a few items of clothing, and bowling outfits you will want to avoid when you consider the outfit ideas. These bowling attire no-nos are the following.


This is mainly because it will be hard to maneuver in these clothes. Even if you can, you may not want to wear something that rides up easily while bowling.

A mini skirt is a bad choice, as well. If it is too short, you will end up tripping over it while throwing the bowling ball.


Shorts possibly don’t provide enough coverage to make them suitable for playing at a bowling alley. It’s important whether bowlers choose knee length or mid length shorts. If you wear shorts, make sure they are loose and baggy, and don’t restrict your movement.

Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans have a slim fit, which will make it difficult to bowl in them. You will not be able to move as easily and you may also get a skin irritation from the tight jeans.

Wearing clothes that fit tightly can constrict your movement while bowling, which is why these clothes should be avoided. You want to be comfortable while bowling.

Sandals or Street Shoes

Sandals are too easy to slip out of. Plus, it is harder to get the right technique when wearing sandals or street shoes while bowling.

Street shoes are not recommended to be worn because they can damage the bowling alley’s floor. Your obvious choice should be bowling shoes instead.

Jewelry or Other Items

Jewelry should be kept to a minimum. Anything that might get caught in your bowling ball should be left at home.

You should also leave other items, such as unnecessary cell phones, wallets, and keys behind.

These can cause you to lose focus on your game because you may get distracted by them. If they are not essential, leave them at home.

Bowling Outfit Ideas

Now that you have an idea of what to wear or not to wear, here are some outfit ideas to help you get started.

Get yourself in the bowling zone and on the bowling lanes!

Casual Bowling Outfit

For a casual bowling outfit, try pairing light blue jeans with a grey T-shirt and comfortable bowling shoes.

Feel comfy, cool and casual all at the same time. A couple of cool and hip bowling accessories will also add a personalized touch to your outfit.


Bowling Team Design

When you bowl in a league, or with your best friends, it is always fun to have some type of team spirit. Clothing with team design can be purchased at many sports stores.

Featuring the team name and an individual bowling style, and color choice, these clothes will make you look like a team player and help you identify each other in the glimpse of an eye. This will have an added bonus if you are playing on a team.

Bowling Date – What Do You Wear to a Bowling Alley on a First Date?

If you are looking to take your date night up a notch, consider bowling. A bowling game is a fun and relaxed way to spend some time with your partner.

There are many clothing stores that have special date night outfits. But a casual outfit could be a good choice for both of you.

Don’t Wear Tight Clothing

Tight clothing is not recommended because it can restrict your movement and cause you discomfort while playing. Choose clothes that are comfortable and allow you to move around with ease. You will be more focused on your game if you are not worried about your clothing.

Dress According to the Season

When you are playing at your favorite bowling alley, it could be hot or cold depending on the time of year. It is very important to dress in layers if it is cold outside because it can get warm inside when you are bowling.

On the other hand, if it is hot outside, it is best to dress in light clothing so you do not overheat. You will want to avoid wearing anything heavy that will make you too warm while playing.

Choose a Fun, Cute Bowling Outfit

If you are looking to have some fun with your outfit, choose something that is cute and stylish. There are many different clothing stores that have outfits specifically for bowling. You can also find these clothes at online stores or even at thrift shops.

Closing Thoughts About Bowling Attire

You deserve to feel comfortable and confident in your decision. If you’re wondering what to wear bowling for the first time, we hope that the advice provided above will help guide you through this process!

A great rule of thumb is looking at other people’s attire before deciding on an outfit. This way you can get an idea of how fashionable or casual they are dressing when going out with friends.

Also be sure to dress appropriately depending on the day/time of year it is because different weather conditions may require different outfits.

Finally, if there are any events happening at your local bowling alley that night (e.g., birthdays) then consider wearing something festive! We hope these tips were helpful and that you have a great time bowling in whatever outfit you choose!

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