Fashion Faux Pas You’re Likely To Spot at Casinos

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casion spelled out in lights
BetMGM Mar 06, 2023, 8:02 AM

There are two reasons to read through this blog about fashion faux pas. The first is that what we wear tells people who we are before we’ve said anything at all. The second is that people tend to make up their minds about who and what we are within seconds of meeting us, with those judgments often based on how we’re dressed. What you choose to wear may be more important than you might think.

Whether you’ve been invited to an event at a brick-and-mortar casino, simply want to watch the roulette ball bounce or try your luck in person on the slot machines – or even if you usually prefer the casual excitement of online casino games – it will benefit you to take a few minutes to find out what not to wear to a casino. Let’s find out the history behind casino fashion, along with the most common casino fashion mistakes to avoid.

Casino fashion: A history

Believe it or not, but ever since the first casino house, the Ridotto, opened its doors in 1638, formal attire has been part and parcel of the in-person gambling experience. Today, when most people think about the many different casino games to play on the casino floor, they also picture a gathering of well-dressed gamblers living their best lives. Back in the early days of the casino, it was no different. 

Casinos have always been the picture of sophistication, with most men donning stylish suits and women slipping into the glitziest formal dresses they could find. During the 17th century, it was common (and, in some cases, required) for gamblers to wear three-cornered hats and masks before entering a gambling establishment. Then came the 19th century, when gambling was a big part of ‘cowboy culture’ and a main entertainment feature at many local saloons. This time period saw the slight ‘dressing down’ of gambling attire for a short time, with men unashamedly wearing their cowboy hats and boots and women sporting sparkly corsets. 

Following the prohibition of gambling in the early 20th century, the popular pastime moved out of the spotlight and into secret clubs with exclusive access. If you want a pretty good idea of what the inside of one of these gambling clubs looked like over the course of this decade, think The Great Gatsby in the 1920s and its iconic fashion and flappers. This legendary casino fashion movement is also the reason why 1920s theme nights are still popular at many modern-day casinos across the US. 

Casino fashion underwent yet another makeover as the rules surrounding gambling gradually relaxed and Las Vegas emerged as the US’ gambling ‘mecca.’ The focus was now on elegance and ‘black tie’ quickly became the norm – and then the expected! Today, many years later, it’s still a good idea to dress your best on a visit to the casino (in most instances) and to do your utmost to avoid the fashion faux pas as explained below.

1. One size does not fit all

A group of fashionable friends play casino table games.

Do casinos have a dress code? While playing online casino slots or live dealer casino games in your PJs is completely acceptable, it’s a whole different story at land-based casinos. Most US establishments are happy for customers to wear casual clothes. However, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself at a swanky gambling establishment in Macao or Monaco, for example, you will be required to pull up your socks and get your wardrobe together. So always check what the casino’s dress code is before you leave your home to avoid any embarrassing misunderstandings.

2. Leisure instead of casual wear

Keep in mind that there is a difference between casual and leisure wear. You might remember the trend a few years ago of teaming sweatpants and a vest or sweatshirt with a formal bag and shoes – this attire would not be appropriate for a casino. This is a good example of how leisure wear differs from casual.

Anything you’d wear at the gym or for a day off around the house is going to look out of place when indulging in gorgeously classic casino table games. While you don’t have to channel James Bond or Vesper Lynd, you do want to avoid flip-flops, T-shirts and anything oversized or grubby. One of the biggest fashion faux pas you’re likely to spot at a blackjack table is open-toed shoes (not counting heels or sandals.) Another is sleeveless tops – a badly timed flash of a hairy armpit could potentially put players off their game!

3. Clothing that offends

We’re not talking about questionable style, such as failing to visit your shoemaker regularly or not knowing the exact waist and neckline that suits your shape. Rather, we’re highlighting the sartorial no-no that’s likely to bar your entry to hours of heart-racing, in-person casino-gaming fun, which is wearing any item that displays offensive images and messages. If you’re not sure exactly what may be offensive, ask yourself whether a religious leader would wear it – that should do the trick!

It’s also best to avoid displaying any obvious logos. That’s especially important these days when brands tend to evoke loyalty, polarized opinions and many other emotions depending on the personal experience or belief set of individuals.

4. Evening attire during the day

So, you’ve been in the rush of online casino slots for some time now, but getting your hands on real-life machines on the casino floor seems like something new and fun. Obviously, you’ve got to dress for it. You’re probably picturing Robert De Niro or Sharon Stone in the movie Casino. You may already have your suit or gold cocktail dress picked out. Perhaps you think it’s safest (or more exciting) to simply dress as formally as your closet will allow whenever you visit a casino. That’s not always the case.

Remember, though, that day-time casino has a different dress code to night-time casino. None of us are strangers to overdressing – when we’ve been longing to go all out and get dressed up for something and a particular event seems like just the occasion. But a casino is not a place you want to be overdressed for, but that’s exactly what you’d be doing if you wore evening wear to a casino in the daytime.

For day wear, an outfit inspired by Casino would be a little bit over the top. Instead, opt for business casual – the type of clothes you’d put on for holiday parties or an office job. Save your smart suits and cocktail dresses for a special occasion held at a casino or a spot of night-time gambling.

5. Be careful what you reveal

Fashion-conscious men and women pose on a balcony.

Revealing too much skin can be a particularly embarrassing grooming gaffe. But what exactly is “too much?” If you don’t want to break out the measuring tape, a good rule of thumb is: whatever you’re wearing should hint at a particular part of the body without putting it on display. This could be opting for a long, slit dress instead of a mini, wearing a shirt in a draping fabric such as silk or cashmere or choosing a dress with a low-cut back instead of revealing anything that could be censored on Instagram. And finally, underwear should never be visible, even through your clothing.

At BetMGM, your style is always your own

Still worried about a fashion faux pas? Why not play online casino games at BetMGM instead?  It’s easy and convenient, with an ever-expanding list of casino games to choose from. Whether online casino slots are your thing or you’d like to try your hand at immersive live dealer casino games at our live casino online, simply register and join in the fun, no matter where your posh threads are at.

Want to learn how to play craps at a casino or maybe learn more about the top three most popular card games of all time? There’s loads more in store if you choose to browse our blog further!

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.