What to Wear When Bowling

If you bowl often, you might be wondering what to wear when you go bowling. 

In most cases, you can wear anything that feels comfortable and allows you proper movement. But if you are in a bowling league, you may need to wear a uniform. 

Regardless of the reason, if you are planning to bowl and want to make sure you are dressed the part, here’s what to wear. 


Bowling Outfit Ideas

If you love bowling and want to have even more fun playing, it’s a good idea to research some ideas of what to wear. The right pair of shoes and outfit can make all the difference to your confidence on the lane. 

If you need some inspiration, visit a sports good store where they usually have a full range of options. Here are some ideas of what to wear when you go bowling.


As mentioned, most bowling alleys don’t have a specific dress code; however, many people still prefer to wear a certain style of clothing. 

Most people wear a short-sleeved, button-up bowling shirt with roomy pants. 

Some people have logos printed on their half-sleeve shirts and have them made in special colors that relate to the team. When choosing the right bowling outfit or bowling shirts for your game, wear athletic shirts that offer full movement and keep you cool and comfortable. 

But don’t think you have to be super smartly dressed to bowl; imagine you’re going to a casual-dress event and you should be good. If you want something more, you can always dress up your short-sleeved top or shirt with something unique like a leather jacket.


Your bowling pants should also be comfortable, but if you want it to be cute too, then you need to choose the right pants to go with your shirt of choice. 

You can even wear jeans if they are not too tight. Consider wearing skinny jeans that stretch, yoga style pants, loose jeans, leggings, athletic pants, and for the ladies, even a skirt. 

You will want to choose comfortable clothing that fits well and if you decide on a skirt, it will need to be the right length. Knee-length or mid-length is usually the best skirt length for bowling.  


The most important outfit essential is a good pair of bowling shoes that feel comfy. 

This really is a must when going bowling. Good shoes give you more control over your body and how you throw the bowling ball. 

You will also want to wear socks with your athletic style bowling shoes. When you wear socks, you won’t have to worry about your feet being in contact with bowling shoes that have been worn by others at the bowling alley. 

Performance bowling shoes are one option to consider. If you don’t have your own shoes to wear to the bowling alley, you can use rented bowling shoes instead. 

You can usually rent bowling shoes from the bowling alley for a small fee. 

The good thing about bowling shoes is that they match almost any casual outfit. While some bowling alleys have shoes that are bright and colorful, many also have ones that come in simple patterns or plain colors. 

If you are worried about how you look in your bowling outfit, you may want to see what types of shoes the bowling alleys near you have and then decide if you want to rent them or buy your own. 

Avoid wearing sandals and shoes that could cause you to trip or fall while bowling; your feet should also be fully covered by your shoe in case you drop the ball. 

Rented shoes may not be your first choice, but if you are required to wear bowling shoes and don’t have any on hand, it may be your only option. 

Why Is It Important To Wear The Right Clothing While Bowling?

When you dress for a bowling date or a tournament, you will want to wear bowling-appropriate clothing. Not only will you feel more confident when you are dressed right, but you may perform better as well. 

Experts recommend wearing bowling shoes; comfortable, regular clothing; and any socks that you already have. In fact, there are quite a lot of options. 

Here are some reasons why it’s important to choose the right bowling attire:


You can’t concentrate on your game if you aren’t comfortable, so you should aim to wear bowling attire that doesn’t make you feel restricted. 

Your bowling shirt, shoes, pants, and socks should be made of materials that absorb sweat and keep you cool. 

Your socks should be dry and clean, and your outfit should have a comfortable feel and be easy to move around in. It’s about trial and error, so if your shirt or your shoe doesn’t feel comfortable, swap it out for another one.


If you wear bowling shoes that fit well, along with appropriate clothing, it can actually help you perform better on the bowling lanes.

Similarly, going bowling in a too tight T-shirt or wearing jeans that don’t allow you to bend, may mean you won’t bowl as well as you would have in proper attire and bowling shoes. 

It makes sense then to wear bowling clothes that are designed to allow you to move more smoothly and perform better. Things that are stretchy and flexible, such as sports pants and leggings, as well as clothing that absorbs sweat are all great bowling outfit ideas to consider.

Dress Code

While your local bowling zone may not have a dress code, you still may be expected to wear certain types of clothing when you compete in a bowling game. Some bowling lanes require teams to wear uniforms or a shirt with the team name on if participating in a tournament. 

This can actually make bowling more fun. Ladies may still be able to wear leggings with any shirt of their choice, but it’s a good idea to check with a bowling alley to make sure they do not have specific requirements for ladies or men. 

Most bowling alleys will require you to wear socks even if you don’t use rental shoes. It’s a good idea to have a second pair to change into if your socks start to get too sweaty or if you just want to change them out to freshen up between games. 

Why not jazz up your look with some fun socks too?


When you are trying to decide what to wear to bowling, remember that cute bowling outfits are easy to put together. 

You can wear jeans and a T-shirt if you are just playing a casual game or going to practice, but if you are planning to compete or play in a bowling league, you will want to make sure you dress the part. 

So before you head off to a fun day at the bowling alley, be sure to pack a fresh pair of socks and a comfortable outfit and, most importantly, to wear bowling shoes!