Once upon a time, we viewed a night at a nice casino (say, in Vegas, Montreal, or somewhere in Europe or the Caribbean) as a fun chance to dress up and have a fancy evening. It was an opportunity to wear something nice, dine out at an upscale restaurant, and basically feel like a movie star at the poker tables. Unfortunately, there’s a perception that this is changing. So, can you still dress up for a night at the casino? Is there such a thing as a fancy night out at a casino any more?
Fashion, in general, is getting drastically more casual. We find ourselves choosing comfort over style, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Always keen to stay on top of the latest fashion and culture trends, NYTimes.com noted last year that even Wall Street is seeing relaxed norms. As even the workplace is starting to offer more relaxed dress codes, there’s less of a reason to buy and wear fancy but potentially uncomfortable clothing.
It’s clear that the same trend has taken root in casinos, and not just insofar as the occasional poker pro on TV might be dressed in a hoodie or a pair of sunglasses. Poker.org provides perhaps the most comprehensive round-up of poker and casino news online at any given moment, and one look there today reveals an undefined and largely casual mishmash of clothing worn by today’s gamers. Every fresh piece covering a different casino event or poker pro shows people wearing (seemingly) whatever they feel most comfortable with –– further solidifying the notion that dress codes and even semi-formal norms are no longer part of casino culture.
Your dress can also be tailored to help you with your game. For instance, sunglasses might not seem practical indoors, but they do hide your eyes, which are a big tell. Some players dress quite extravagantly, looking to hide behind garish clothing to make their tells easier to spot. Dressing down, at least for poker in a casino, is the new dressing up, and comfort is ahead of style for many players.
That said, the idea of dressing up was always a bit overstated anyway. For decades now, there’s been a bit of a gap between the perception of Hollywood types in suits and gowns and what you actually see at the poker tables. As much as we sometimes want to dress up as Eva Green in Casino Royale, we probably need to face the fact that that backless purple gown will only see one night of fun at the casino before we shove it into the back of the closet forever (in a plastic bag to protect it, of course). Black tie suits are great for charity dinners, but very rarely will you see anyone at your local casino wearing one. The stereotypical casino from films bears little if any resemblance to the average casino in your city. The same goes for the fashion on display.
In the end, this doesn’t mean you can’t still be stylish. Sure, you might not want to dress like you’re going to the Met Gala (can you imagine how long it would take to get ready?), but staying trendy and stylish is always in play. To answer the question, of course, you can still dress up for a night at the casino, but just don’t expect everyone else to have followed suit.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy our other fashion pieces, including ‘The Best Way to Style Camo Pants This Winter’. Who knows, you might even be able to pair camo pants with a suitable top for a trip to your local casino.