Halifax’s Dome Nightclub is drawing a lot of criticism for announcing it will enforce a new dress code.

Clientele at the bar are being asked to “dress fashionably, smell fresh and be ladies and gentlemen” from now on. That means the bar will no longer allow baseball hats, sports jerseys, tank tops for men, white sneakers and overalls, to name a few.

“That actually makes me mad because I think (white sneakers) are in style right now, and a lot of people want to wear sneakers with their outfits,” says Halifax resident Madison Barnett.

“You don't go there to dress up and look fancy,” says Halifax resident Leila Mankowski. “If I wanted to dress up and look fancy, I’d go somewhere else. I definitely wouldn’t go to The Dome.”

Professor and activist El Jones feels the list is targeted towards the fashion of black men.

“This is a very common thing. If you talk to bouncers, they'll admit it that dress code is often used, precisely to monitor who's coming through the door,” Jones says. “Of course, should Jay Z show up wearing a do-rag and white sneakers and ripped jeans, I'm sure they'd let him in. But I think what we've generally seen is that there's a constant move to profit from black culture, but then to degrade black people.”

Other nightclubs tell CTV News they also have dress codes, and called them "casual."

Management at The Dome say the dress code is a reflection of a survey, where the overwhelming response was pretty negative. Alex Elshimy, vice-president of the group that owns The Dome, says the dress code is the first part of a rebranding strategy.

“We are changing from the ‘Dirty Dome’ to a world-class service,” says Elshimy. “If I'm going to a bar, I dress anything I want, whatever I wish for. If I go to a nightclub, I dress a little bit nicer, so nothing to do with race.”

Elshimy says there may be a need for some clarifications. Ripped jeans and white T-shirts are allowed, just not undershirts. He says the dress code is only the beginning, as the entire complex will be upgraded over the next six months.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.