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Dressing for Success: The Role of Fashion in Gambling

Dressing for Success: The Role of Fashion in Gambling


Regardless of how you feel about the fashion industry, there is no denying that what you wear goes a long way to defining how other people respond to you.

There’s a reason that dressing outlandishly or bucking trends is known as making a ‘fashion statement’, for example. Your attire can say a lot, either letting the world know that you mean business, or even subconsciously signaling some flaw or weakness.

As you might expect, fashion has a major part to play in the world of gambling. What you wear when you visit a casino matters for a number of reasons, so let’s dive in and explore this relationship in more detail.

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Following the rules

On a basic level, fashion in gambling is influenced predominantly by the dress codes that casino operators enforce at their establishments.

These rules govern the types of casino outfits and gambling attire that you might encounter in visits to land-based gambling venues, although in the modern era they have become far more relaxed than would have been the case in the past.

You can happily stroll into the majority of North American casinos wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and no one will bat an eyelid. A ban on swimwear worn on the main gaming floor is likely the only strictly enforced dress code element that is near universal.

Things differ depending not only on where you play, but also when you play. Certain parts of a given casino may have tighter fashion requirements in the evenings, for example.

If you are concerned about being reprimanded over your attire, always check with the casino in advance of your visit.

It is just as important to avoid over-dressing, as this can be a fashion faux pas in its own right. Wearing a full tuxedo to play slots at a low end casino on a Tuesday afternoon is inadvisable, for example.

Getting a strategic advantage

Where fashion and gambling really go together is in the game of poker, which is one of the few forms of casino game that has an element of skill involved.

Most people know that poker requires you to read other players and make decisions based on how you interpret their behavior. Clothing can be used either to make this more difficult through obstructing your expressions, or by creating the wrong impression altogether.

Watch any televised or streamed poker, for example, and you will likely see at least a few of the pros either wearing sun glasses or a hat, or both, so that their eyes and facial tics do not give away their hands to their competitors.

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There is also a meta game going on with gambling fashion in a poker setting. Some players deliberately dress themselves as stylishly and lavishly as possible, with their expensive and carefully chosen outfits helping them to exude confidence and composure, while in turn aiming to erode the same feelings in their opponents. Meanwhile others will dress as simply as possible, or even wear old and tired-looking clothes to give other players a false sense of security; surely a person dressed so cheaply is not a threat, right?

If you are just a casual gambling fan and you have a casino visit in your diary, then you can also enhance your own psychological state through your fashion choices. Dressing for success is a good idea for the less experienced, and ultimately you should wear what makes you feel most comfortable and confident.

The Hollywood effect

Lastly it would be impossible to talk about fashion in gambling without touching on the impact that the portrayal of casinos on the silver screen has had on customer expectations.

Throughout the past century, everything from the James Bond franchise to the Ocean’s Eleven saga have painted a picture of casinos as being impossibly glamorous, filled with beautiful, elegantly dressed people at all times.

While reality does not match fiction in most cases, that does not mean that everyone takes the dress-down approach when heading to a land-based gambling venue.

Indeed if you want to test the waters before you commit to a specific outfit, many of the top casinos will also have extensive on-site shopping facilities. This means you can gauge what others are wearing at the start of your visit, then enjoy a brief spree at the retail outlets near the gaming floor to put together something appropriate.

In a way there is something timeless about casino fashion because of the influence of pop culture, but do not be intimidated by this. Aim to embrace the mood and avoid overthinking your fashion choices.

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