Summer time sees an increase in club hopping for obvious reasons, but there's something about Fall and Winter nights that beckon as well. Sultry months may bring out skimpier clothing, but cold ones are undeniably more glamorous and festive. The impending holidays, the early nightfall and the brisk evening air makes going out just a little more exciting and special.

That said, the clubs worth dressing up for aren't always the easiest to get into. Indeed, the velvet ropes in Hollywood can be downright brutal. Now is as good a time as any to share our nightlife wisdom (culled from years of going out and some doorgirl duty back in the 90's). Standing in line, waiting to get into the hotspot du jour is no fun, especially in the freezing cold. And so, we offer this list of tips and VIPro ploys for getting past difficult doormen and gate-keeper gals, guest list Nazis and, toughest of all, the big men in black (bouncers) whose sole purpose is to keep you in line… and throw you out if you get out of line once inside. Think of this list as our early Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift to you.

Keep in mind that for the most part, we're talking Hollywood and Westside haps and nightlife havens here, though some of these tips (#9, #5 and #4) can work anywhere. Good luck, and you're welcome.

10. Trickery

We don't condone it, but if you're daring enough to try, fake outs sometimes can be effective. Recycled wristbands and dressing up as club staff has worked for some we know, but these desperate tactics are highly risky and mortifying if you get caught. Slightly safer bets: Befriending a fab-looking crew as they are walking to the entrance and dashing in with them, or the ol' glance-at-the-guest-list-and-take-someone-else's-name trick (unless it's ours!). You can also try sneaking through the venue's back exit (which is much easier to get to if there's a party with a step and repeat wall and red carpet that can you creep behind while everyone's distracted by the celebs and flashing lights in front of it).

Nylon mag parties always go to capacity.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

Nylon mag parties always go to capacity.; Credit: Lina Lecaro


Before social media, it was all about email, text lists and fliering. These days, Facebook for better or worse, is the most important tool for club promotion. Search out club venues and promoters, click “attending” on their event invites and, most importantly, make anticipatory comments on the invite page. Join the party's FB “group” if they have one, “like” their fanpage, etc. It makes the promoter look good and he/she just may reward you for it at the door.

Go get 'em!; Credit: Lina Lecaro

Go get 'em!; Credit: Lina Lecaro

8. Make friends with the DJ.

Most DJs have their own guest lists and if you support them, they are more likely to support you. Try buying them a drink. Don't bug 'em with requests. And of course, dance, dance, dance!

Fill the floor...; Credit: Lina Lecaro

Fill the floor…; Credit: Lina Lecaro

7. Bottle service

The easiest way to get past the bouncers and ahead of the raging riff raff is to pay for it. In general, bottle service tables read “douchebag” to those not partaking in them, but if you share your seating and your booze, this changes pretty quickly. For dudes lacking game, this levels the playing field with the ladies, making the 500 clams for a bottle of vodka actually seem worth it.

Sometimes bottle service buys you more than booze.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

Sometimes bottle service buys you more than booze.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

6. Look hot…or flashy

“Looking hot” is an obvious one, we know, but it's not quite what you think. Sure, gorgeous models and rockstar-ish studs don't encounter too many problems getting in anywhere, but standing out is often more important than being another pretty face or a buxom babe. In fact, a discerning door person will often let in a fashionably flamboyant or even freaky posse (think wild club kid looks, drag queens, chic or cartoony cute, etc.) over a hoochie horde in Snookie-tight spandex, even if they do have rockin' J-Woww bods.

They've got "It."; Credit: Lina Lecaro

They've got “It.”; Credit: Lina Lecaro

5. Blog

Everyone's got a Tumbler or Twitter these days, so if there's a party you want to get plugged into, a good way to do it is to write about it or take pics or even just post about it. Tweets are less powerful than blogs, but they can get you noticed. Swanky nightlife faves SBE and Dolce Group both retweet mentions of their establishments.

Start playing at Playhouse before it looks like this.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

Start playing at Playhouse before it looks like this.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

4. Come early

Non-VIPs can't afford to be fashionably late and sometimes nobody can (magazine/video game/phone-sponsored mega-bashes for example, often hit capacity). A way to avoid the headache is to arrive early. Sitting in an empty club for a bit beats standing outside while it fills up.

Hollywood is fantasyland.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

Hollywood is fantasyland.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

3. Money/gifts

Though most bouncers aren't supposed to accept cash bribes for entry, some do. But if you try, don't embarrass yourself by flashing a twenty. Two might work, but a C note is your best bet. Hey, it's cheaper than bottle service.

The gates will always be open for some.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

The gates will always be open for some.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

2. Be a girl (or be with girls)

Straight up, females always have a better chance than males getting in da club. Well, except maybe gay gatherings. A plain Jane even has a better chance than a handsome chap. This is because many establishments, hosts and promoters employ ratio rules (in Hollywood, two girls for every guy is pretty standard, sometimes it's even 3 to 1). Though the preferential treatment might seem fab for gals, it actually kind of sucks if you're single because the competition is fierce. If you're a guy in a posse of penises, try the befriending trick from #10, only make sure the group you approach the door with is girls only. Of course, most women aren't gonna simply welcome you into their estrogen entourage, so promise to buy a round of drinks once inside. And don't hit on them, unless they want you to.

They all got in...eventually.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

They all got in…eventually.; Credit: Lina Lecaro

1. Be cool — but not too cool

More accurately, be nice. Chill. Smile. Be confident. NEVER give 'em the “I know so and so” line, or worse, the “Do you know who I am” spiel. If you do know somebody that might be able to you get in, by all means text them to help you out (we do), but never expect or demand. If you employ just a couple tips from above — namely #6 and #9 — and try to be patient (girls: bring a little sweater for the chilly walk and wait, for god's sake!) you will get past the bouncer and be bouncing the night away sooner than you think.

See Lina Lecaro's weekly “LinA In LA” party picks here. Check out the latest “Nightranger” news covering L.A. nightlife's movers and shakers here.

Follow Lina on Twitter at @L_in_A. For more arts news Follow @LAWeeklyArts on Twitter.

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