Gambling Smart Casual

Smart casual is the stated dress code for most gambling events. Whether you spend a day at the races or 147 hours in a casino, on some level you should know you are out to have a good time.

If you want to feel good while the house fleeces you, well then looking good is half the battle.

Full suits are overkill. Leave your tuxedo at home. Dress however you will for online poker, but whatever you do never wear your sweatsuit to the casino. Really never wear your sweat suit outside your gym.  Smart Casual keeps you stylish and comfortable, somewhere between a sweater and coattails.

The smart casual look is a throwback from the 1940’s, the Golden Era of men’s fashion in America, our contribution to menswear all over the world.


Man’s love of racing predates the invention of the wheel! We race anything we can coax into running circles: horses, zebras, ostriches, dogs, tortoises, and even other humans. We race cars too, but that requires a different dress code altogether.

Racing is a ritual as old as time itself.

Racing is more ritual than race. Ever watch Kentucky Derby coverage?--nine hours of build up for about five minutes of racing. If you so much as yawn, you could miss the entire race. The smart casual party, however, goes on for a full two weeks.

Racing events are actually fashion parades taking place near a track.


Wear a hat. In the real world, women wear the pants when it comes to hats. Well, the racetrack is your excuse to wear the wide, sleek straw hats of your dreams. Save the cowboy hat for the rodeo. Remember, many racetracks ban umbrellas.

Nobody wears sport coats hunting anymore. Sport coats have survived the test of time thanks to the smart casual look, the gambler’s uniform. They offer flare as well as a wide range of motion, so you can flail your little heart out when you win big, winner. Winning and losing are both more fun in a sports coat. Get the elbows padded so that the person standing next to you does not ruin your suit with teeth.

Wear a simple, breathable cotton shirt. Accessories put the bling in gambling. The shirt is your canvass.

The racetrack is a man’s chance to experiment with his smart casual, summer city look. Make it your own. You will never have a better excuse to wear a cream colored suit.

Finally, bring elegant, bold, and comfortable shoes. Win or lose, you will be on your feet.


Casino dress code is also smart casual, but the smart casual look can be relaxed indoors. Casinos draw a variety of crowds, so you might stick out like a sore thumb if you wear your derby jacket and racing boots.

Handkerchiefs, the gambler’s best friend, put the smart in smart casual--sleep deprivation inspires sweat. Especially if you have allergies, spare the table’s cards and use your handkerchief. That’s what it is for. Maybe toss your handkerchief onto the table before sulking home empty handed.

Casino’s and racetracks are the cathedrals of men’s fashion. When you gamble in public, dress for church. Dress smart casual. 

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