The truth is: when it comes to casinos and style, reality is somewhat removed from the fantasy of black-tie, full tux, evening wear, and James Bond looking dangerous as he bets it all at the blackjack table.
Although there are a handful of casinos that apply a tight dress code, and demand a degree of sartorial savoir faire before you set foot in their premises, most casinos are happy if you are wearing a shirt and a pair of trousers.
Last week, at the 2015 Paris Fashion Show, Karl Lagerfeld raised the casino fashion bar so high that only Hollywood A-listers would have any chance of skipping past the purple rope and hitting the tables.
Lagerfeld is the head designer and creative director for fashion house behemoth Chanel. The German designer wanted to recreate the glamour of the casino and commissioned a lavish casino at the Grand Palais in Paris.
“I like people when they‘re gambling and well dressed like in Monte Carlo,” said Lagerfeld. “I like that elegant moment of beautiful people going into a casino wearing jewellery. It’s like a fantasy.”
Of course, simply creating a fully functioning casino inside the Grand Palais was not enough for Lagerfeld. What you really need are celebrities – and Chanel has access to the A-list. Playing roulette and blackjack to the delight of the audience were Kristen Stewart, Julianne Moore, Rita Ora, Lily Collins and Lily-Rose Depp.
As the celebrities fiddled with their casino chips, models with bobbed hair and dark brows showcased Chanel’s haute couture collection for autumn. The show was closed by model superstar, and sister of Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner.
This isn’t the first time Karl Lagerfeld has pulled out all the stops with a lavish theatrical show. Last year, he recreated a Paris brassiere and, in 2012, the audience was welcomed on board the full-size replica of a jumbo jet.
If you are ever lucky enough to find yourself in a casino sponsored by Chanel, you can expect the fashion stakes to be high. In reality, of course, things are slightly different. In American and Australian casinos the style is simply XXXXXXL. The shirts are as loud as the over-excited punters. Generally, no jackets are necessary and jeans are fine. It’s a long way from the suave and elegance of Sean Connery in his prime.
In Europe, many casinos require a jacket and most of them will lend you one. The general dress code requirement is ‘smart’.
The truth is: if you are heading out for a night playing roulette, craps, or even the slots, it’s a lot more fun if you make an effort and dress up for the occasion. These days, aside from weddings, there are few requirements to really rock a tuxedo or some evening wear.
Why not embrace the old school elegance of the casino and get into character. You could be Humphrey Bogart at Rick’s Place, Daniel Craig at the Casino Royale, George Clooney in Oceans Eleven.
One thing you can bet on is that you will have more fun if you make the effort. Even if you don’t win at the tables, a night pretending to be a high roller – complete with tuxedo and all the trimmings – is one you won’t forget in a hurry.