The subject of how to dress for the casino is a hot button for the “Old Guard” casino stewards. In the glory days of the Rat Pack and mobsters running the Las Vegas scene, everybody through the doors would be in a suit and tie or an evening dress. Newbies look at the casino’s marketing and see players dressed to the nines playing their favorite games, which seems to coincide with what we’re being fed by Hollywood. So, players arrive in their best dress and sometimes super formal wear.
However, the situation may not always warrant dressing in your Sunday best. The reality of casino attire for the overwhelming majority of gambling scenarios will be incredibly casual. Don’t let that deter you from looking and feeling your best, but you may benefit from matching your dress to the occasion. I’ve arrived at events both over-dressed and under-dressed, and my experiences have taught me that they can be equally uncomfortable.
Do you know how to dress for the casino? Let’s break down the dos and don’ts of how to dress in the casino. Then you’ll be prepared for every situation that comes in your direction.
Know the Different Types of Dress
Before we can begin to look at all the way casinos expect us to look as we arrive on the casino floor, it’s critical that we understand the different types of dress for casual and formal gambling establishments. Many casino gamblers are somewhat familiar with the differences between formal attire and beachwear. Still, that won’t always make things as straightforward as you’d hope.
So, I want to go through the various levels of dress and what they mean to guests. Let’s start with casual attire.
Casual dress should be intuitive for many of you and includes looking like you belong without going too formal or informal. Typically, the casual dress will include blue jeans or the like with a polo or blouse for ladies. The casinos know the importance of their guests’ comfort; in their industry, it drives everything.
Of course, there are limits to the relaxed atmosphere, and pants with rips and tears, tank tops, and sandals should stay at home. Most of the casinos you’ll visit will have a casual dress code but beware that some areas of the casino may have a more disciplined dress code during certain times.
The following form of dress code you’re likely to see during your casino adventures is semi-formal. Semi-formal takes a step up from casual with the most apparent exclusion of denim. Men should wear slacks or dress pants, and women may wear the like, or more commonly be seen in cocktail dresses or skirts. For the men, it’s usually encouraged that you wear a tie.
Shorts are a demanding “no” in semi-formal situations and leave the sneakers back in the hotel room. Semi-formal means looking your best without renting a tuxedo. At the pinnacle of the casino, the dress is the black-tie option. That means tuxedos for the fellas and an evening gown or cocktail dress for the ladies.
Black-tie is seen as traditional casino garb, which means it’s primarily a thing of the past. However, some casinos still require guests to look sharp in the evenings. If you’re traveling to Las Vegas, it may be wise to pack a black-tie option. Look good, feel good. Conversely, it may draw unwanted attention in other areas. Dress smart by knowing the expectation before you leave the house.
The Casino Standard
In the U.S., casinos essentially hold to casual attire for their guests. So, you’ll see a fair number of shorts and t-shirts. Despite their lax dress code, don’t assume anything goes. If you show up in flip flops, a ball cap, and excessively baggy or tattered clothes, expect to be asked to up your style game or leave the casino.
Don’t be dissuaded by the casino’s dress code if it doesn’t fit your style. Merely adapt and stroll into the casino in confidence. I prefer to wear running shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops; nine months out of the year, you’ll rarely find me in any other outfit. However, I understand the value of looking sharp when attending a wedding, visiting the casino, or, most importantly, taking my wife on a date.
You may find casinos with a dress code that allows for shorts or even beachwear when gambling on the casino floor. Just because you can walk straight from the ocean to the casino doesn’t mean you should.
Casino gambling is a rare treat for many of us; it’s vital to embrace all the venues have to offer and dress for the occasion. Avoid any unnecessary delays or inconvenience by knowing the casino’s dress code ahead of time. By ensuring that you’re in compliance, the trip will go more smoothly. It’d be a shame to get started on a sour note by having a negative experience that could’ve been easily avoided.
Stricter Dress Codes
Don’t assume that the black-tie option is off the table because you’re not gambling on the French Riviera. You’ll still find plenty of posh resorts that require formal attire, depending on the time and occasion. While the shorts and polo look may play during the day, a more formal option could be required once the sunlight begins to fade. That makes being flexible is almost as important as being prepared.
I’ve been on many casino trips where the dress code shifted after 6pm, and I was forced up to the room for a wardrobe change for the night’s activities. The break allowed me to freshen up, take a mental break, and evaluate where I was and my goals for the evening. Don’t squander any opportunity the casino gives you to get off the floor. Gamblers have a habit of becoming robotic on the casino floor and making the motions rather than playing the games.
That costs you money and may lead to eventual frustrations with your casino gambling. Allow for these times and use them as a natural break. Many of the fine dining restaurants in the resort will have a strict dress code without any wiggle room. So, if your dinner plans involve more than a sandwich from the deli, you’ll need to dress up in the evenings regardless.
Don’t look at the strict dress codes as a hindrance. Instead, embrace the change and live it up in style.
Dressing for Comfort
One thing that should be at the top of your list regardless of how staunch the dress code should be comfortable. Gambling sessions at land-based casinos last for hours, and any breaks in concentration mean opportunities for mistakes, which will cause you to lose more than needed. Whether you’re dressed in casual wear or a complete tuxedo, make sure the outfit is well-fitting to allow for maximum comfort.
Another factor that should always be accounted for is the climate; casinos are often kept cool to provide players with a degree of comfortability to keep them at the tables as long as possible. However, when you’re walking the Las Vegas Strip, this can have you jumping from the outside temperature of over 100 degrees to the cool crisp air of the casino at 68 degrees.
You’ll undoubtedly find the change refreshing at first, but it may become too cool quickly. Prepare for any variables by having a plan before you head for the casino. Making the most of your casino time means doing the proper amount of planning ahead of time. That will allow you to maximize your entertainment and enjoyment of the casinos.
Look Your Best to Play Your Best
I’m a solid believer in the notion that when you look better, you feel better. Taking pride in your appearance will instantly give you a boost of confidence. When you feel your best, it will automatically transfer into playing better. So long as you don’t allow that pride to jump in and dissuade your positive thinking, you’re on the right track.
I recommend you pick clothes that adhere to the casino’s guidelines while appealing to your personal tastes. Choosing brands you enjoy and colors that you prefer is indispensable. Making this the best possible way to approach the casino gambling aspect of your adventure.
You Should Avoid These Fashion Faux Pas
There are things you should stay away from when dressing for the casino. Many of these will be covered by taking 60 seconds to read the casino’s policy on dress code. Still, there may be a few unwritten rules that novice casino gamblers are unaware of until it becomes an issue.
For instance, gym clothes may be clearly listed on the list of “no’s,” but for sheer or revealing clothing may be a grey area that you’ll need to avoid.
Other fashion faux pas in the casino are neon colors, light-colored suits, ball caps, and t-shirts. Keep things classy in the casino. Remember, you’re going to a premier entertainment venue and not your local pizzeria with skeeball and cheap stuffed prizes.
Do you know how to dress for the casino? Most of what you’ll need to know will be outlined in the casino’s policy. For the things that aren’t clearly laid out, you’ll find the answers above.
Many of you may not be terribly concerned with how you look in the casino, but you care enough to read this article. The bottom line is that we all strive to look our best. You’re now in a much better position to do that.