What your casino fashion says about you

A NIGHT OUT at the casino was once a privilege restricted only to the wealthy upper classes. With the first UK casino opening 1962 in Berkeley Square in Mayfair, London, The Clermont Club was an exclusive members-only venue for the aristocracy, celebrities and wealthy business tycoons, a space only for the truly elite. The dress-code was formal suits and evening gowns and the amount of money flowing through on a nightly basis was obscene. Nowadays casinos come in many forms, as do their clientele. From small high-end clubs to town centre multi-rooms, there is a casino open to everyone. 

Model: Danni Li, Photographer: Trunk Xu

Dress codes have relaxed too, and you are as likely to see people in T-shirts as you are business attire and formal wear. But can you tell what kind of gambler a person is – as well as what games they favour and how much money they brought with them – simply by what they are wearing? The clothes that we choose often speak volumes about our personality and our habits, and that is no different inside a casino.

Formal wear for high rollers or groups on a night out

Meghan Collison. Photographer: Eric Guillemain

Most casinos don’t require black or white-tie, unless you’re invited to a specific function, such as a fundraiser. But that doesn’t stop some people from dressing up for a night out. Anyone you see dressed formally in a casino is likely to fall into one of two groups – the flashy high rollers, or the celebratory gambler.

For the men, shirts and jackets, trousers, and a carefully chosen tie can cut a very dapper image. They’ll probably sample most of the table games but place small bets on low odds. After all, these are the people who love roulette but only ever bet on red or black.

Casual clothing for the professionals

It might seem strange, but people in the most comfortable, casual clothes, are most likely to be the most serious gamblers. Professional poker players often spend hours sat at the table, weighing up the odds and calculating their best plays. While they won’t be sporting leggings and hoodies, they will be in everyday weekend attire, such as comfortable jeans, plain T-shirts or jumpers with minimal accessories. They are also the only players who can get away with wearing sunglasses indoors, as they use them to hide their tells during games. While there’s nothing to stop anyone wearing casual clothes to the casino, part of the fun for most is the chance to dress up and spend time with friends. So, you can usually spot professional gamblers by their dress-downed appearance.

For experts who want a more comfortable time, online casinos provide the perfect opportunity – dress-code free – to enjoy their passion away from the crowd. And the best online operators have come on leaps and bounds in terms of the quality of the graphics and choices of games, giving them an incredible playing experience on any device. It’s hardly surprising that the online gambling industry is so successful.

From roulette to blackjack and poker, online players can access these casino games from the convenience of their own home, where there’s no dress code and gamers can play without the distraction of a busy casino atmosphere.

Models Michael Brisby and Sebastian Brice. Photographer: Jason Hetherington

Business attire for the after-work crowd

Casinos are great places to network, treat clients and conduct after-hours business meetings. Sharp suits and ties, blazers and pencil skirts with flashy accessories kept to a minimum. Jewellery included, casino goers will often sport a designer watch or some smart cufflinks to give a hint of status and power without being too ostentatious. As the night wears on, jackets and ties can be removed, making this one of the more flexible and adaptable styles, effortlessly blending formality and comfort as the situation changes. These groups might even have a side room to themselves, or a private table, where they can bet with the company account.

Business attire might also signify a group of friends out after work. In this instance their clothes are likely to be more business-casual, such as smart tops or blouses with skirts or slacks and sensible heels for the women, open collars and shirt-sleeves for the men. They’re looking to relax after a hard days work and enjoy their favourite games. They will most likely stay together, betting reasonable amounts on the sociable games like blackjack and roulette.

Model: Francis at Premiere, Photographer: Chad Pickard and Paul McLean

Smart casual for friends out on the town

Casinos provide an alternative to noisy nightclubs and crowded bars, with similar expectations put on clothing. Almost anything goes for this crowd, ranging from cocktail dresses to T-shirt and shorts, shirt and jacket, to jeans and loafers. If they wouldn’t look out of place on the dance-floor, they’ll fit in on the casino floor.

Model, Yannick Abrath. Photographer: Alastair Strong

James Bond has a lot to answer for where modern casino fashion is concerned. Bond and Sinatra have been pictured so many times in their sharp suits, surrounded by slot machines and glamorous companion, and while dressing up can be part of a fun night out with friends, it isn’t necessary in most casinos. However, it is always worth checking with the establishment you are planning on visiting, as some of the more prestigious clubs will have their own dress code.

by Emma Hart