Are you headed out on a big bowling date soon? Let’s say you’ve already brushed up on bowling tips for your bowling game, and now you’re not sure if skinny jeans and a leather jacket are the way to go for your bowling outfit.

What do you do? Should you wear socks that coordinate with your bowling pants? What are bowling pants? Do you need your own shoes and a bowling shirt to make an outfit work at your local bowling zone?

We’ve got the lowdown on all things bowling pants (and bowling wear) to help you out! From casual dress options to the plusses of athletic pants, we’re here to help you choose between tight jeans and pants with a comfortable feel for your big night out.

What are the best pants to wear bowling?

The best pants to wear bowling are those that allow you to maintain a full range of motion when approaching the pins. After all, bowling is a sport and you should always wear attire that won’t hamper you when the competition gets going. This doesn’t mean that you have to opt for ragged sweatpants or bowling pants that sacrifice style for comfort.

After all, there are comfy pairs of pants that look good and feel great when you’re striding to the foul line. If you’re not sure what pants to wear, try on a first pair and a second pair and see how you feel after a short burst of running or walking. If one pair constricts and the other works better, choose the one that feels great and doesn’t cause you issues.

Does bowling have its dress code?

As with most sporting communities, there are those in the bowling world who believe in an unspoken dress code of sorts. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to wear what they wear. You can infuse your stylistic preferences into your bowling attire and still dominate at the bowling lanes.

Just be mindful of other bowlers when choosing attire, especially if it’s a family-friendly environment. As long as you’re considerate and kind to others’ feelings, you should be able to make any bowling outfit work to your advantage.

Can I wear jeans as part of a bowling outfit?

You can wear jeans when bowling. Just opt for a pair that doesn’t constrict you or cause issues with approaching the foul line. Anything that messes with your ability to move comfortably could be a danger to both your bowling scores and your health. Tripping and hurting yourself isn’t worth wearing your favorite pair of skinny jeans.

Also, try not to wear jeans that you feel you constantly have to pull up. Either wear a comfortable belt or opt for jeans with a more athletic fit. You’ll be glad you did.

Can I wear shorts as a bowler?

Wearing shorts is a great idea for a summer bowling outing, especially if you have some crazy high socks that you can pair with them. Once again, though, you should opt for shorts that don’t constrict or cause you issues during your throwing motion. Loose, mid-length shorts that have plenty of room for movement are a perfect play for a fun June or July bowling date.

Also, try to be mindful of your exposed skin when bowling. Don’t rub grease or dirt from the ball return on your leg, or hammer your leg in the middle of an errant bowling shot. Just be careful, comfortable, and wear something that you feel good in.

Can I wear a skirt with my bowling shoes?

A skirt can be a tricky proposition when bowling. If you choose a short skirt, you run the risk of exposing your underwear in the middle of a shot or getting cold when the air conditioning is turned up. If you want to wear a skirt, a longer option such as a knee-length skirt might be the best play. This will keep you from having any awkward moments with your fellow bowlers while helping you to feel comfortable for a few games or so.

What other types of pants are good for maintaining a range of motion while bowling?

If you’re looking to move freely and bowl with a sense of fluidity, choose athletic-style bowling pants that promote such movement. You could wear athletic pants, yoga-style pants, or sweat pants that give you room to breathe. In short, you can wear anything that is mindful of others and doesn’t hinder your shot as you play.

We recommend shopping around online or in-store for different pant options, and doing a bit of trial-and-error testing. What do you feel most comfortable in? What works for you? Find out, and work within that fashion range.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I choose performance bowling shoes or athletic-style bowling shoes for my bowling attire?

If you love bowling and want to feel comfy at the lanes, owning a pair of proper bowling shoes is a fantastic way to go. Rented shoes can only take you so far as a player. And they end up costing you much more than just buying a pair of shoes when you throw rental fees into the equation.

Are rented bowling shoes a faux pas at my local bowling alley?

They’re not a faux pas, especially for novice bowlers. However, it’s hard to feel comfortable in a rented shoe. Plus, they’re not usually made to absorb sweat like better-made shoes. If you’re planning to hang out with a special someone after you bowl, that’s something to consider.

Should I try to coordinate my bowling outfit ideas with the color of my bowling ball?

It depends on what you’re wearing and your sense of style. If you have a short-sleeved top or colorful yoga-style pants that either match or complement your bowling ball, it’s really up to you if you want to coordinate to that kind of level. Sometimes, it pays to be subtler. Other times, it’s fun to go all out and match things up at the bowling alley.

What kind of bowling shirts make for cute bowling outfits?

What are you comfortable wearing when you play? Some players like half-sleeve shirts. Others like their arms to be fully covered with an athletic long-sleeve top. There is a full range of shirt options out there for ladies and men that work perfectly, so feel free to shop around. You might find a t-shirt that goes well with one shoe that doesn’t quite as good with the other shoe. Plan and dress accordingly to your tastes, not fashion conventions.

Should I opt for comfortable clothing or something cuter at the bowling alley?

It always pays to be comfortable at the bowling alley. Yet, you might want to change your bowling outfits for different types of outings. For example, you might wear something more modest when bowling with friends on a random Tuesday night than if you were on a hot date. There is no real dress code for you to worry about, so just make the clothing choices that make you feel good.

Closing Thoughts

Not that you know the best skirt length and/or bowling pant options to wear, it’s time to raid your closet or go shopping for your next bowling outfit! It’s fun to coordinate bowling shirts with bowling shoes, and cute bowling pants with a fun pair of socks. Once you get into a fashion groove, there are no limits to what you can do with your bowling attire.