If you’re new to the dazzlingly colorful world of casinos, dressing to impress may pose a challenge. Are you confined to glamorous gowns and sharp tuxedos? Or can you get away with your travel clothes? What’s the middle-of-the-road option?
Much of the dress code comes down to what you plan on doing after you leave the floor. Are you going to eat in a fancier restaurant? Just head back to your car or hotel? Gamble at a high-stakes table or in a private room? It’s easier to plan your wardrobe when considering what else you’ll be doing during the day.
If you’re just going to play a slot or table before 8PM: Wear what you’d wear on a casual first date. Nothing over-the-top fancy, but nothing you’d schlub around the house in, either. Presentable and clean while representing your own sense of style.
If you plan on spending most of the evening there: This one depends on the casino. If it’s a well-respected chain, especially in a big city or a city known for gambling, you’ll want to dress on the fancy side. Many casinos have dress codes starting after 8PM that includes wearing close-toed shoes, sports coats, or otherwise upscale attire. If you plan on playing at a private room or table, you definitely want to dress your best. Get out the suit and tie or the cocktail dress.
If you’re only eating in the restaurant: Play it by ear. Some of the main attractions at casinos (in addition to the gambling, of course) are the elegant restaurants that employ some of the world’s top chefs. If the restaurant is a casual eatery, the no-fail dress code below is fine. If the restaurant is a top steakhouse, it’s time to get glamorous. Tuxedos or James Bond-approved suits for men, cocktail dresses or trousers with a fabulous top for women. Now’s the time to accessorize—bring out that heirloom watch, or that piece of statement jewelry.
If you’re just hanging out in the attached hotel: Wear whatever you want, unless you plan on going into a restaurant. Then see above.
Still unsure? Here’s a template for a no-fail dress code:
A pair of modern, dark jeans, clean non-athletic shoes, and a button-down shirt. If you tuck in the shirt, make sure you’re wearing a belt. If it’s the evening, wear a sports coat.
Dark denim trousers or skinny jeans, a colorful and comfortable pair of ballet flats (heels are fine, but if you’ll be doing lots of walking, they aren’t worth it), a top you’d wear on a casual date, and a jacket or structured sweater.
When in doubt, visit the casino’s website or call the front desk. They can let you know whether they have a dress code or what the usual patrons wear.