One of the things we dames love most about casinos, even our local casinos, is the ability to suspend time…
It’s not just the way you can get sucked into pulling the slots until you can’t feel your arm (or is that just the drinks?), how you and your friends just realize you haven’t eaten in 8 hours — and you still don’t want to do anything about it (that might be the drinks too), or how even people-watching can be hours of dedicated sport. All those things are fab, but the one thing that sucks us into the world of casinos is the glamour.
Here, finally, a vestige of yesteryear’s world of dressing for the occasion. Hardly does anyone dress for dinner or any sort of entertainment anymore, and we girls miss it. But at the casinos, the magic still exists.
Even if dressing up isn’t de riguer, you aren’t out of place when you do it. Especially at night.
It’s the chance to dress to the nines, wear those fashions you feel you have nowhere else to wear… Your favorite vintage dress, rhinestones in the daytime, a floaty chiffon peignoir poolside, that little black dress…
However, a dame doesn’t dress desperate or slutty. She doesn’t ever wear anything she wouldn’t be caught dead in — or want to have forever preserved in photographs or the photographic memories of her friends who will mercilessly remind her of her fashion faux pas.
Here are some of my basic dos and don’ts for what to wear to casinos:
Do not dress like a prostitute. Prostitution may be legal in Nevada; but it’s not in Vegas and casinos, ever zealously protecting their licenses, will walk you out the door if you look too much like one. (This also means you shouldn’t role play any hooker scenarios with your husband or joke about solicitation inside casinos — casino security is notoriously unromantic and sans a sense of humor.)
Do dress for comfort. Don’t pay the ultimate price for beauty by being miserable and unable to enjoy yourself. Look good enough to eat — but make sure there’s enough room for you to sit comfortably as well as enjoy your meal, time at the tables, taking in a show, etc.
The same comfort rule applies for shoes too. New, never worn shoes, or those so high or uncomfortable for any reason that they make your feet hurt are rather ridiculous to wear on vacation or to a special event, but they severely reduce your fun. Casinos are huge — and in Las Vegas, the whole spread is so huge — that you’ll find yourself doing a lot of walking. Even at your local little casino, you might be surprised by how much standing and walking you might have to do. Besides, painful feet can and will distract you from your game play. Don’t hobble yourself, your fun, and the fun of your friends by wearing (or only bringing along) uncomfortable shows.
Don’t skip the foundation garments — especially if you’re going to dare to bare that cleavage etc. Even if it’s some sort of strategy to distract your opponents (a whole other issue, really), it’s been my experience that the folks really distracted by bare bouncing jiggle bits on display is the girl unable to feel certain that what she shows isn’t under control. Especially when she leans in to toss the dice.
Do wear (or, if traveling, pack) more then sexy skirts and dresses. Yes, I encourage you to wear those sexy dresses and skirts to dinners, clubs, and shows, but don’t forget jeans and pants too. Because for many of us there’s nothing more painful and distracting (except, perhaps, tight shoes), than sitting for hours on end keeping your legs properly crossed or your knees together while sitting on bar stools and at gaming table chairs.
Do wear something with pockets — and skip the fancy purse when gambling. It’s too easy to leave the purse behind or let it get picked when it’s unminded, so when planning a long stay at the tables, keep your essentials (ID, keys, etc.) in your pockets. And when you do bring along a purse, be sure to keep it safe and tended to.
Do keep the location of the casino in mind when selecting what to wear. Generally speaking, casinos in the US are far more casual than in Europe and other overseas locations. That doesn’t mean that being in a US casino forces you to be so casual, but be prepared to stand out — or even looking like a vintage cliche — when you dress up. (We dames don’t mind, but if you don’t want the attention, keep it casual.)
In Las Vegas, you know it will be hot — but air conditioning is everywhere, so if you opt for that sundress, be sure to bring a wrap or sweater — especially if you chill easily.
You should also know that while many casinos do not have dress codes themselves, many of the night clubs do. Also, some casinos in Atlantic City, for example, have dress codes for specific areas and times (usually late at night); know before you go.
When you wear what suits you, the location, and the situation, I’m betting you’ll have a much better time.
Image credits: Vintage Floral Damask Dress with Matching Jacket, Belt and Purse via Buffalo Gal Vintage.