The Return of the Dress Code
Now that the world is gradually returning to normality, we can once again focus our attention on the casino dress code. It is actually something that has undergone a great deal of evolution over the years and the modern dress code is far more subtle than it was in times past. That said, casinos have always called for formal wear and discouraged extravagance. Men were traditionally required to wear a tie while women were expected to wear formal gowns. However, people have always found ways to express themselves and casino visitors were no different. You would see men wearing skinny trousers with blazers with large shoulder pads. They may have opted for crew-neck t-shirts with pastel suits. Women may have chosen formal gowns with ruffle shoulders that would accentuate the silhouette. They would then accessories lavishly with diamonds, pearls, fur, gloves, and so on.
The End of the 20th Century
Prior to the 1990s, casinos were very much places where the rich would go to show off. Of course, this meant placing large bets, but it also meant dressing well. Women would often wear gowns adorned with jewels together with showy accessories while men would opt for sharp suits with sophisticated lines.
However, this all changed in the 1990s. For the first time, casinos truly opened up to people of all classes, and this necessitated a change in the dress code. It meant that people would go for a more casual look, and clothing became less of a statement.
The New Millennium
With the arrival of the new millennium, casinos dress codes began to fall out of fashion. Nearly all casinos, in every country, began to give players the freedom to dress as they wished. This coincided with a subtle shift in focus. While casinos have of course always been about gambling, the gaming became the real focus during this period rather than the social scene.
As a result, you would see a huge range of styles from jeans and casual t-shirts to stylish suites and cocktail dresses. Essentially, players were given the freedom to express themselves through clothing in any way that they wished. While some people certainly missed the formality of the previous era, many celebrated the freedom to be creative, and it is a trend that has continued ever since.
The last decade saw very few casinos impose strict dress codes on players. When it does happen, visitors are expected to wear a suit or a formal gown. However, this usually only happens at special events, and casinos are often very flexible with their rules as they aim to attract as many players as possible.
However, while the majority of casino visitors may have opted for casual wear, it does not mean that there weren’t some identifiable trends and fashions in the 2010s. Here we will take a quick look at some of the most distinctive styles found in casinos over the last ten years.
Upper Class Sophisticated
It may be a sweeping generalisation, but it is fair to say that visitors to casinos fall into two categories, the rich and the aspiring to be rich. Those who fall into the second of these will often look up to the rich and try to imitate their style whenever possible. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for them to look at the rich from previous eras and as a result, try to imitate retro fashion. This means that you would find many players, both rich and aspiring, dressed in tuxedos or glamorous dresses. Essentially, they are aiming to look sophisticated but without overstating it. Women will opt for backless and sleeveless evening gowns, while men will go with expensive looking suits that may have muted tones but lots of fine details and patterns that makes them stand out.
The Great Gatsby
- Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is a text studied across the world. Furthermore, it received additional attention in the last decade thanks to the release of the film in 2013 staring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton. The novel looks back to the early twentieth century, an era that has been heavily romanticised. During that period, gambling was illegal so it took place in secret locations. In the portrayals of the time, men would dress smartly in suits with high-waist jackets, broad lapels, and cuffed trousers. Women would wear flapper dresses together with furs. There is a popular sense of nostalgia for this era, and as such, it is no surprise that it became a common style on casino floors.
Celebrity Inspired Styles
People did not necessarily look back as far as the 1920s for style inspiration. The 1950s was a fantastic decade for celebrity, fashion and casinos. Therefore, it is no surprise that many people turned to them for inspiration. Here is a quick look at some of the most popular celebrity styles.
- Elizabeth Taylor – Often considered the epitome of bold and fierce looks, Taylor was well known for her eye makeup and glorious dresses with deep necklines. Ever since she donned her famous black and white silk cocktail dress and chiffon gowns, women have drawn inspiration from the look when heading for a night out.
- Audrey Hepburn – Many consider Hepburn to be the ultimate example of grace. The black dress that she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a true milestone in the fashion industry and it remains just as iconic today. Many have since opted to imitate the look, complete with sunglasses and white pearls.
- Marilyn Monroe – While Monroe’s fashion choices were considered unconventional at the time (think of the billowing dress), many have tried to imitate her ever since. Don’t be surprised if you see a number of women on the casino floor dressed in a way that was clearly inspired by this iconic woman.
- James Dead – Dean went for a minimalistic look, with blue jeans and a leather jacket. It is a look that has remained timeless and remains a popular choice with men who prefer to avoid suits.
- Elvis Presley – Presley had a style of his own and he remains an icon to this day. However, in many ways he can be credited with making fashion accessible, wearing clothes that most people could afford.
- Frank Sinatra – Frank Sinatra loved visiting Vegas and he would often do so in pinstripe trousers, a fedora hat, polka dot tie, and polka dot shirt. Don’t be surprised if you see many people trying to imitate this legendary Vegas figure.
Ultimately, the 2010s gave casino patrons the freedom to dress as they wish. You can be as formal or casual as you are comfortable with and do not have to worry about being turned away. However, if you are ever struggling for inspiration and none of the above helps, then you can always turn to James Bond, a truly stylish casino enthusiast.