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The Evolution of Casino Fashion Throughout the Years

We’re used to things changing in the blink of an eye, but some things really do stay the same. Take the casino world, for example. While some of the details have evolved, the main ones — the games — have remained remarkably consistent for hundreds of years. The version of blackjack they were playing in England in the 1770s is virtually the same as today.

As we said, however, the details have evolved. For example, casino fashion and dress codes are certainly not the same as they were back in the early days of casinos! Let’s take a closer look at the journey it’s taken over the years.

The Early Days

You have to go back a long, long way to find the world’s first casino. The Casinò di Venezia first opened its doors back in 1638, with dozens more opening in the century that followed. That world was closer to the Medieval Age than today’s world, so just about everything was different. While we have no photos (cameras wouldn’t be invented until the 1820s) to see what people were wearing back then, we do have contemporary reports.

Given the general high-class nature of early Venice casinos, we can assume that patrons were wearing the sophisticated fashion of the times, which often included a cocked hat and a mask (which must have made bluffing much easier!).

Post-World War I Decadence

Casinos really took off in the roaring twenties. Indeed, you can argue that without the glitz and glamor of that post-war period, we probably wouldn’t have Las Vegas today, since the glitzy casinos of that period served as a precursor for Sin City.

Anyway, so what were people wearing? For women, it was all about flapper dresses, cigarette holders, and pearls. Think Zelda Fitzgerald in her heyday. For men, it was tuxedos and well-groomed sophistication. Think, well, F. Scott Fitzgerald!

The Digital Experience

Some casinos have a more casual dress code than others, but there aren’t many that have zero dress expectations. While that’s fine — or perhaps preferable for people who like to get dressed up — for those who only visit casinos infrequently, regular players can find that having to meet these fashion standards can be a little frustrating. This is one of the reasons why players are increasingly drawn to play at an online casino. There are simply no fashion requirements when you’re in the comfort of your own home; players can wear a tuxedo to play online if they wish to, but they’re certainly not obliged to.

The Rat Pack Style

The early days of Las Vegas were dominated by the Rat Pack, who not only had a financial interest in Las Vegas casinos but also regularly performed there. In fact, Las Vegas may not have made it through the difficult years without Frank Sinatra and his friends, who brought bucketloads of swagger to the city. Their style became the standard dress code for casinos, which were trying to present themselves as upmarket destinations.

The Rat Pack style typically involved tailored suits, classy ties, and luxury shoes. Well, it did for the men, anyway. Women typically wore sophisticated party dresses and pearls. Marilyn Monroe in her heyday would not have looked out of place at a Rat Pack party.

Into the Modern Era

Eventually, casinos became less of a luxury destination and more of a place where anyone and everyone could go. As such, dress codes began to relax significantly by the 1980s, and by the 1990s you could usually enter the majority of casinos in smart-casual clothing. Still, people who want to get dressed up can still do so, even if they’re playing online!

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