So, you’re going to head out to a London casino for the night with some friends and maybe this will be your first encounter with a proper dress code environment. To use Eddie Murphy as a venerable and varied figure in fashion; you don’t want to overdress and end up looking like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America, nor do you want to underdress and look like Velvet Jones, nor just dress entirely weirdly and rock up in something similar to his (sadly no longer with us) red leather suit! Fear not – for a first-time foray into the leisurely pursuits of gambling, socializing and dressing to impress – here follows a crash course in how to translate the dress code and what to wear!
When it comes to dress codes, there are essentially five levels of increasingly specific instructions ranging from the super easy and self-explanatory Casual to the extremely fancy White Tie. Below we list these levels with explanations for what will be expected of casino-goers receiving a thus specified dress code.
If the dress code specifies Casual, then wear Casual – don’t show up in a 3-piece coat – you will look ridiculous standing out as the only person dressed like that. Casual means the kinds of clothes you wear in your everyday leisurely life. Note that this does not mean sweatpants, hoodie and crocs – you still need to look good! Jeans are contrary to common belief fine! Even shorts are okay in most (but certainly not all) casinos, but only during the day – at an evening or night-time Casual event you will want to wear something full length. Similarly, t-shirts are usually (but not always) okay – a safer bet is to wear a simple shirt – nothing too fancy but patterned is fine. Basically – look the best you do in regular life without anything out of the ordinary – absolutely do not wear a tie!
Business Casual is sometimes a tricky dress code to understand – but without knowing it you probably have a pretty good understanding of it already. Business Casual implies things like regular blazers, polo shirts, collared shirts, and so on. Sports coats are fine, but do not go for anything too fancy. This is the kind of clothing you’d wear in a regular office job – you want to convey that you put some effort but absolutely aren’t trying particularly hard. The biggest difference between Business Casual and Business Formal (the next level up) is that Business Casual is much freer with regards to colours, patterns (within moderation). Ties are optional at this level and loafers or similar are fine to wear.
At most casinos, Business Formal is the upper end of what you might reasonably expect for everyday events and gambling. Suits should be dark, although shirts should be white or at least not a strong colour of any kind. Picture the stereotypical businessman entering a crowded meeting in a formal professional environment – you should be wearing leather shoes, absolutely not loafers, and wearing a tie. Some will tell you that ties are not required but it is much safer to go with a tie if the dress code is listed as Business Formal.
Black Tie is where the clothing choice really gets limited. You will be expected to wear a black or at least very dark tuxedo with a matching bowtie – absolutely do not wear a necktie. You are also free to wear a dinner jacket. Some common confusion exists as to what exactly is a dinner jacket – this illustrated guide should steer you to the correct garments. Your shirt should naturally be white, and you will be expected to wear black shoes. In a casino environment you are more likely to encounter this dress code for special events or at higher-end establishments during evenings.
Think of the fanciest event you’ve seen – that is White Tie. You should be looking the absolute sharpest you can and the dress code is very specific at this level. You should be wearing a dress coat (which has tails) and matching trousers. Almost always this should be black, and you should wear matching black leather shoes. You should be wearing a tux shirt that absolutely should be plain white – no funny business with colours or patterns – and it should be adorned with a white bow tie. Cufflinks are mandatory and if you happen to have a top hat – this is likely going to be your best chance to wear it. If you’re invited to a White Tie event, it’s most likely going to be one of the grandest events held at a casino and so it is even more important than the other levels to pay proper attention and respect to the requirements listed above.
You may have noticed a trend through this guide of increasing specificity with increasingly fancy events – and naturally this has a tendency to place greater demands on a budget for clothing and other attire. If you’d rather keep that money and spend it on actual gambling, it’s worth remembering that you don’t need to dress up to play at an online casino in the UK! It might even be worth it to save the extra dollars on that white bowtie and top hat – let’s face it – you’re unlikely to wear them on any other occasion!