Barefoot Bowls Style Guide

What to wear to barefoot bowls

With Summer here, so too is the season for barefoot bowls. A favourite Australian pastime, it’s the perfect way to spend a sunny day with friends and family, but what isn’t always clear is what to wear. We’ve put together our favourite barefoot bowls outfits and tips to help you make the most of your day!

Barefoot bowls outfits

Before we jump into the outfits, the question that often gets asked is; do I have to go barefoot? Despite the name, most bowling clubs will allow you to keep your shoes on for barefoot bowls. Usually, they ask for flat-soled shoes so trainers or sandals are okay, but heels or chunky boots will need to come off. You can of course go barefoot too!

Beyond this, you don’t need to wear anything specific to play bowls so it’s a great chance to show off your summer style. Here are our top picks - stylish yet practical and perfect for hitting the jack!

Women’s barefoot bowls outfits

Stylish sets

Sets are the easiest outfit to style, and this shirt-short combination is ideal for an afternoon of bowls. You’re unlikely to get much shade whilst you’re on the green so a lightweight long-sleeve shirt is a great way to keep the sun off without getting too hot.

We recommend going for a linen or cotton combination and pairing it with a white tank top and trainers. The hidden benefit of this barefoot bowls outfit is that you’ll be as comfy as can be, so you can focus on smashing the competition!

Top: Essential Ribbed Tank in White
Shirt: Canon Linen in Navy
Shorts: Canon Linen in Navy


When it comes to the actual bowls, you will be moving around a fair bit, including crouching down to collect and release your bowl. You may therefore choose to steer away from shorter skirts and dresses as they can be a little tricky to navigate. A mid-length, linen dress, however, is an elegant and timeless option. Whether you’re in the midst of a game or chatting to friends, you’ll be winning style points all day long.

Finish your look with a neutral-toned sun hat and flat, slip-on sandals.

Dress: Dolly Linen Dress in White

Men’s barefoot bowls outfits

Classically handsome

A collared shirt and shorts are a staple of most men's wardrobes, fitting for any occasion, including barefoot bowls. Opt for a short-sleeve shirt and tailored shorts for the ultimate in classic cool, and you’ll be able to stroll from the bowling green to an evening out without a care in the World. 

Understated tones are easy to pair, letting other features of your outfit stand out. A textured shirt fabric, such as cotton cheesecloth, will add extra panache to your outfit and won’t get creased as you go through the day. Pair with sunnies and trainers to complete the look.

Shirt: Bedford Short Sleeve Shirt in Peach
Shorts: Riviera Linen Shorts in White

Summer vibes

Nothing says Summer is here like a printed shirt, and your favourite patterned number will be just right for the bowls club too. Whether it's a neutral-toned print or bright and loud, pair with shorts or lightweight pants and you’re in great shape for the day ahead. 

Linen and cotton are the best fabrics for your afternoon’s activities as they’ll help to keep you cool and composed to win that final end. Leather sandals or deck shoes will add the finishing touches to your summer style and, so long as they’re flat-soled, should be good for the green too.

Shirt: Matthias Short Sleeve Shirt in Multi
Pants: Academy Beach Pant in Off White

For more inspiration for your Summer looks, check out the Academy Brand Instagram.