The casino industry has changed quite a bit over the years, and in a number of different ways. The advent of the internet and the proliferation of online betting is one of the biggest changes, of course. That’s not the only difference, though. We have also seen a seismic shift when it comes to casino fashion.

While online gambling has become a massive industry of its own, there is still a place for land-based casinos in this world. Millions of tourists descend on Las Vegas every year, many of whom have grand plans of striking gold at some of the local casinos. Casinos are still marquee attractions in Sin City. While they are still immensely popular, the way we dress to visit a casino has changed considerably.

Back in the Day

It’s no secret that people used to dress to impress a lot more often than they do these days. Back in the early days of Vegas when the casino industry was enjoying its initial boon, the casinos actually had strict dress codes. The casinos would attract top entertainers and celebrities from all over the world, and they were associated with the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood as a result. It isn’t uncommon to see people looking like James Bond in old-time casino photos.

Back then, people would dress the part. The bright lights of Vegas would call for folks to dress up for a night out at the casino. Men would often wear fancy suits, even tuxedos on occasion, while women wore their fanciest dresses and best jewelry. This continued into the 1980s as well. You can question some of the fashion choices people made back in the 80s, but shoulder pads and skin-tight pants were “in” back then.

Fast Forward

The tide seemed to turn sometime in the 1990s, however. Fewer and fewer people decided to dress up to hit the casinos, with more and more people deciding to just wear casual vacation clothes, instead. Nowadays, you’re way more likely to see a bunch of guys in graphic tees and flip-flops than you are gentlemen dressed in dapper suits with cufflinks and bow ties.

There are exceptions, though. Some of the higher-end casinos and high-limit rooms still enforce certain dress codes, but very few places will actually turn you away based on your attire these days. Some nightclubs and other hot spots still require you to at least wear long pants, though, so don’t try to get into a club at the Cosmopolitan wearing your swim trunks.

Fine dining is another exception. Las Vegas is home to some of the finest restaurants on the planet, and you don’t want to be looking like Zach Galifianakis’ character in “The Hangover” when you stride up to the host’s stand. At least have some self-respect and wear a nice button-down shirt with some slacks when you head to some of Vegas’ finer establishments.

When to Dress Up

One logical explanation for the fact that casino fashion has tailed off is that you don’t need to be all dressed up to go sit at a slot machine for 3 hours. Fair enough. Because the vast majority of players are going to be milling around the general casino floor, dressing comfortably makes plenty of sense. If you use props like strategy guides when you gamble, then wearing something with ample pocket space or bringing a bag with you makes sense. While casinos may not have strict dress codes anymore, you also don’t want to be on the bad side of the hygiene spectrum. Nobody wants to sit next to someone that hasn’t showered in 3 days.

As long as you have money with which to gamble, casino operators couldn’t care less about what you’re wearing while you’re there. As long as you’re not doing something shady like concealing your identity or wearing something overly revealing, you’re probably fine.

Things start to get fancier after the sun sets, however. People tend to dress more nicely once the sun goes down, so if you don’t want to feel completely out of place, maybe swapping a polo shirt in for your T-shirt after 7p.m. isn’t the worst idea.

Conclusion

While casino fashion isn’t what it once was, the fact that there are no strict guidelines when it comes to dress code means you can essentially wear whatever you want. While some may prefer function over fashion, there is no reason you can’t still don your finest attire for a night out at the casino. One of the perks of online gambling is that you don’t have to dress up just to sit in front of your computer screen. If you’re not particularly savvy when it comes to fashion, perhaps online betting is your cup of tea.

However, while you won’t find many other patrons sporting their best suit or dressiest gown, that doesn’t have to stop you from looking your finest while you’re enjoying yourself at one of the many fine gambling establishments Vegas has to offer.