If you’re planning on going to watch a boxing match, you might be wondering what to wear. Should you dress up and go formal, or dress down and play it cool?
Well, this largely depends on the type of boxing match you’re attending. For example, you’d dress differently for a college fight than you would for a professional event, and you'd certainly dress up more for a title fight in Vegas than you would for a match at your local community hall.
Another factor that impacts dress code is the placement of your seats. The closer to the ring you’re sat, the more formal you should dress. Another reason why people dress up for boxing events is because they usually meet friends or hit the club before or after the fight, and nightclubs or bars usually have a formal or smart-casual dress code.
Confused? Don’t sweat it, we’ll take you through the basics of boxing dress codes…
For most boxing matches, spectators will be expected to dress semi-formal, unless it’s a community boxing match, then it’s unlikely you’ll be held to the same standards as a professional fight, in which case you can probably get away with casual or smart-casual.
College-level fights will usually also be semi-formal, although many men will still dress in suits for these. However, for professional matches - particularly a title fight - the dress code is strictly formal.
Your seats also impact what you should wear. The basic rule of thumb is the better the seats, the smarter you should dress.
For example, front row seats for a title match will draw some very sophisticated outfits, which is why you often see photographs of celebrities attending big fights in tuxes or glamorous dresses.
Even if you’re sitting further back, such as the second deck or higher, for professional matches you’re still expected to dress smartly, so it’s always best to air on the side of “formal” rather than casual if ever you’re in doubt.
Dress Code for Women
Youth and amateur league fights are typically smart-casual, and female spectators tend to wear jeans and a smart top for these, however at some amateur titles, many women will wear dresses.
College-level fights usually attract mixed attire but those in the first few rows will commonly wear a formal or semi-formal dress with heels, while female spectators at professional title fights will almost certainly wear heels and a formal dress with lots of eye-catching jewelry - particularly in the first few rows.
Dress Code for Men
Similar rules apply to male spectators: the lower level the fight, the more casual your dress can be.
So at youth and amateur levels, you may see male spectators in jeans and a smart shirt, while some will also wear suits at college fights, despite the dress code usually being smart-casual or semi-formal.
For professional fights, you’ll want to avoid jeans, and a smart shirt and slacks, or in some cases a suit, is appropriate depending on the venue.
Dresscode can often depend on the venue. Casino fights come with more formal wear to match the pre-party and after-party, but various arenas in different states will have different reputations in terms of just how “flashy” or “formal” you need to go.
For example, most spectators watching a UFC boxing match in Vegas will be dressed to impress, so the location, as well as the venue is also something to consider.
Things to consider
- Where are you going before or after? If you’re attending parties or going out to paint the town before or after the fight, this is even more reason to dress up in your best clothes, as the dress codes for certain bars, clubs and restaurants will also likely be formal.
- It’s not a nice thought, but if you do have ringside seats, it’s worth remembering that if you’re right at the front, you may be in the “splatter zone” - ie. if it’s a particularly “messy” fight, you may be close enough to experience some blood splatter. If you do have front row seats, it’s worth perhaps dressing in a darker color or even taking a pair of shades with you.
- Different level events in different venues and locations will vary in terms of dress code, so before you splurge out on a new outfit, consider the level of the fight and how formal the venue is - as these are usually clear indicators of what you should wear.
- How much did your tickets cost? Ringside tickets for a professional title fight easily go into the thousands, so generally, the more expensive the ticket, the “fancier” the dress code will be.
- Don’t stress! While boxing matches do often attract suavely-dressed individuals, this doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on a designer wardrobe. The main thing is to ensure you look smart and put-together, and that you’re not drawing attention to yourself - for all the wrong reasons.
- That said, if it’s a big fight and the TV crews are there, you may want to draw attention to yourself, and if you have front row seats, the classier you look, the more likely you are to make it onto the camera!
There isn’t “one rule fits all” when it comes to boxing matches, and usually, the level of the fight, the venue, and your seats will be the best indication of how “formal” you should dress.
As a blanket rule, it’s best to assume the dress code is semi-formal to formal, so guys can wear a smart shirt and slacks, whilst girls can wear a dress and heels.
As we said, there are many different factors to consider, and the main thing is to not get too caught up in the dress code politics, especially when attending amateur or college-level boxing matches.
By all means, dress to impress, but don’t get so stressed about the dress code that you forget to enjoy the fight.