If you’re not a casino regular, knowing what to wear to a casino or preparing the perfect casino dressing code can be a daunting task.
To a certain extent, people associate casinos with old Hollywood glamour and modern-day decadence and celebrity lifestyle, even if just for an evening.
That’s why, when deciding on the proper casino attire, most people imagine movie stars at private tables, wearing cocktail dresses, bow ties, and diamond rings.
From the Viva Las Vegas to the wild Westers, tens of years of cinema suggest that all women must wear elegant evening gowns and men must wear black-tie outfits.
However, if you wear an impeccable tuxedo in a Vegas casino during the daytime, you’ll make people smile with your overdressed style.
In reality, any casino attire depends on the country, the time of day, and the type of event you will attend.
Dressing to fit in among the casino regulars, gambling whales, and high-rollers is easier than you imagine if you follow these simple tricks.
In this article, I’ll guide you step by step on how to find that perfect casino outfit and look the part.
General Rules of Thumb
It is always wise to check the casinos’ websites you plan to visit, as each casino has its specific dress code.
Also, different dress codes may apply, according to what you plan on doing while there.
Nevertheless, everyone must follow general casino outfit rules to ensure admission.
For example, American casinos accept slightly more casual outfits than their European counterparts.
Also, casinos are more relaxed towards your outfits during the day and more demanding at night.
The more high-profile a casino is, the more your clothes will be scrutinized by the staff and other players.
Now, let’s split your choice for casino wear into four main categories, according to the outfits meanings in the casino language:
1) Casual casino clothes
2) Semi-formal casino apparel
3) Business casual casino apparel (Semi-formal)
4) Business formal casino apparel
5) Black-tie casino outfit
6) White-tie casino outfits
Casual Casino Clothes
Shorts and flip-flops are acceptable only during the day – check in advance.
Plain t-shirts and less formal blouses are ok.
Sundresses, skirts, khakis, or jeans are preferable.
Shorts and slippers only during the day only – check with the casino in advance.
Plain t-shirts and jeans are preferred.
All colors and patterns are suitable.
Remember, any outfit choice you make depends on:
– the location/type of the casino
– the time of the day
If you are visiting a Monte Carlo casino, you will be required to wear elegant clothes at all times, regardless of the time of the day, weather, or type of activity.
On the other hand, the weather and types of casinos in Las Vegas (where casinos are part of a hotel), the dressing code is much more relaxed.
As you can enter the casino from the hotel, there’s no need to pass security.
Therefore, checking and enforcing the casino’s dressing code is almost impossible.
Also, as Nevada’s climate is hot most of the year, the most common hotel outfits are shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops; thus, seeing them on the casino floor is not that unusual.
However, “casual” does not mean old or dirty clothes; you still want to look nice.
Think of casual wear as the outfit you’d wear on a first date.
Moreover, the casual styles change fast after 6 pm, as visitors dress up to go out – evening dinners, clubbing, etc.
As a general rule, most Las Vegas casinos expect, after 6 pm, women to wear some form of cocktail dresses and mean to wear dark suits.
Semi-formal Casino Apparel
It is ok to wear short dresses, blouses, and classy separates.
Ideally, you’ll wear semi-long skirts/dresses or cocktail dresses in the style of the ever-so-popular “Little Black Dress.”
A broader range of shoes is accepted, from strappy sandals to flats and heels.
It is ok to wear lighter colors during the day but shift to darker shades in the evening.
Wearing chinos or jeans is not appropriate, so make sure you wear a pair of formal trousers.
Not yet the tux style, but make sure you pick a quasi-formal suit like those made from wool or cashmere.
You can safely skip the tie but make sure you wear a collared or a button-down shirt, as polos and t-shirts are too casual.
The semi-formal casino attire style is the most common dress code in casinos worldwide.
Semiformal is slightly more relaxed than the ‘Black Tie’ look and stricter than the formal look – hence the many options and ways to match.
Semiformal is usually reserved for events before noon as the daytime attire is generally a bit less formal, and a collared shirt, dark jeans, and leather shoes are accepted.
However, past-noon and before six PM, women sporting a semi-formal casino attire should wear cocktail dresses or pantsuits, while men should wear a dark business suit, dark shoes, and a tie.
Business Casual Casino Apparel
Go for skirts, pants, and khakis instead of stockings/hoses.
Collared shirts, blouses, and sweaters but without cleavage or revealing parts.
Sweaters, jackets, or anything that covers your shoulders.
Wear blazers or sports coats.
Button-down, collared shirts.
Even polo shirts are appropriate if matched with a top.
Wearing a tie is not mandatory but can look great in a “more business than casual” situation.
Loafers over sneakers.
Unless you play online, business casual is the most common style to wear on a typical day.
Business casual is how you would dress for white-collar office jobs or holiday parties, for instance.
Women should go for more dressy tops while men should swap shorts and t-shirts with a button-down or collared shirts.
Business Formal Casino Apparel
Pencil skirts and similarly conservative-length skirts with stockings.
Slacks, but not too tight.
Evening blouses, blazers, and jackets.
Casual shoes and understated jewelry.
Business attire and semi-formal attire are very similar, style-wise.
Dark suits with light-colored button-down shirts.
Ties are always great – but optional.
Business formal is the safest way to dress for any casino, any time, in any part of the world, especially if you don’t know the dressing code.
A business casual casino outfit contains clothes similar to those you would typically wear at your office job.
There’s no issue dressing a bit more formally; in fact, it makes you look rich.
But make sure you won’t look overdressed if the casino you’re visiting has a more casual atmosphere.
Moreover, the business formal outfit is equally comfortable and stylish, so you spend the whole day, from the morning to the evening, at the casino, without looking under or overdressed.
Black-tie Casino Outfits
Classic silhouettes and designs are preferred.
Stick with dark or rich colors.
Floor-length gowns are ideal, but tasteful and elegant cocktail dresses are also appropriate.
Well-cut pantsuits are another excellent option.
Evening shoes with heels.
Dinner jacket (a shorter jacket with no tails) and matching trousers.
Typically black, but other rich colors like burgundy or navy blue are also accepted.
Botton-down collared shirt (generally white).
Tie or bow tie.
Black formal shoes and black socks.
The black-tie attire is a must-have for VIP lounges, special plays organized by the casino, night events, and other specific functions.
As a general rule, women should wear long evening dresses and smart shoes (preferably high heels).
On the other hand, most black-time men’s casino attire should consist of a formal white shirt, a black bow tie, waistcoat, black dinner jacket, and black leather shoes.
If you can’t picture the complete look, check out Casino Royale, one of the best casino movies ever.
A subcategory of the black-tie outfit is called black-tie optional.
The black-tie optional is a notch-less formal than the black-tie as women can wear short or medium-length cocktail dresses, and men can safely skip the waistcoat and bow tie.
The black-tie optional is the most common dress code in casinos across Monaco and other central European countries.
White-tie Casino Outfits
Floor-length gowns and ballgowns.
Elegant accessories and matching jewelry.
Small purses, e.g., clutch bags.
Optional but highly effective: white gloves, fur (vegan, please) wraps.
Tailored-fit black tail jacket and matching trousers with satin stripe.
Or, a white tux shirt with a bib front (stiff and starched).
Wing Collar, shirt studs, and cuff links.
White vest and white bow tie.
Black, patent leather shoes.
White tie is the highest formality for both men and women, also known as the “full evening dress.”
Not a very common dress code for casinos, the white-tie dress code is required only for private events.
Unless you’re invited to a private event at a casino and the invitation clearly states white-tie, you should steer clear from this outfit or you’ll be overdressed.
Women invited to a white-tie casino evening are expected to wear long evening gowns and accessories to match it – such as tiaras, brooches, gloves, and hairpieces.
Men must wear a black jacket with matching trousers, a white waistcoat, and a white bow tie (hence the name).
The outfit must be paired well with black leather shoes, a stiff-front white shirt, and accessories like cufflinks and shirt studs.
Style Bonus – Casino On the Runway
Moschino’s Vegas-themed Catwalk
In 2017, the Italian fashion house Moschino caused a stir at the Los Angeles Fashion Week with its 1960s Las Vegas-inspired fashion.
Top models like Taylor Hill and Miranda Kerr strode the catwalk in psychedelic and neon glam styles that featured wild prints and layers upon layers of accessories.
Pastels, sequins, and orange flames were also used in the designs, taking inspiration from casino slot games.
Fashion guru Jeremy Scott designed the chic casino range influenced by the showgirl lifestyle of the golden Vegas years.
Dolce & Gabbana’s Queen of Hearts
Another notable fashion show, inspired by casino card games, took place in Milan in 2017.
It featured a collection named D&G Queen of Hearts, and it looked like something out of Alice in Wonderland.
The backdrop consisted of giant playing cards as models walked down the runway adorned in dresses with playing card designs.
Dresses printed with hearts and other card symbols mixed with heart-shaped handbags and accessories to accentuate the casino-style collection.
From floor-length dresses to ballgowns, the Queen of Hearts collection was one of the most impressive ranges seen on the runway for some time.
Lagerfeld’s Casino Catwalk
But from all designers that got inspired by the casino theme, Karl Lagerfeld’s lavish runways for Chanel collections made it to the fashion history books.
The designer re-created a casino floor for the Paris Fashion catwalk in 2015 and had celebrities such as Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, and Rita Ora sit in upholstered chairs around casino game tables.
The casino tables were next to the runway, and the stars were playing blackjack, roulette, and other similar games.
The extravagant runway show was matched by the beautifully designed clothing range the models were displaying, inspired by 1960s casino glamor.
What to wear to a casino depends on the casino’s location, time of day, and the type of experience.
While the style can be casual during the day, you’ll face more formal dress code requirements if you plan to visit private rooms or VIP lounges.
If you know which casino you’re going to visit, always check their online guidelines for the most appropriate attire and avoid being turned away at the door.
I always advise ensuring that you’re not ignoring the casino’s suggested (or expected) attire.
For instance, Monaco casinos are all about glitz and glamour; expect sequin dresses, pencil skirts, and classy heels.
However, Hawaiian and Miami casinos accept casual dressing, so expect denim along with wedges and even sandals.
Now it’s your turn…
Which one of these Casino outfits is your favorite and why?
Are there any other types of Casino clothing missing from the list? If so, what are those?
Please leave your comments below so others can benefit from your experience.