Movies have been using casinos as backdrops for their blockbusters for decades. From the elegance of the interior to the unique atmosphere inside with games in play, casinos have been typically portrayed with an air of sophistication.
While Hollywood doesn’t always paint a realistic depiction of casinos, the silver screen is responsible for several big consumer trends such as the stylisation of casino clothing. Casinos and gambling, in general, have become synonymous with glamour and this is primarily because of certain iconic outfits featured in the likes of movies like Ocean’s Eleven and Seabiscuit.
Ocean’s Eleven is a 2001 casino heist movie, directed by Steven Soderbergh, which follows the mishaps and successes of professional thieves George Clooney and Brad Pitt, who plan to steal $160 million from a mogul casino owner played by Andy Garcia.
Ocean’s Eleven is essentially a remake of the 1960s classic, which starred several notable members of the Rat Pack. The original had some iconic fashion choices, from its thematic colour palette (with grey being the dominant hue throughout the film) to its showcase of suits. Sam Harmon, played by Dean Martin, looked sharp in a white shirt, a three-button wool jacket with three pinstripe pockets, and trousers. He really was a testament to the saying that sometimes it’s not what you’re wearing, but how you wear it. The outfit ensemble seemed dubious but was fashionably executed.
In contrast, the modern iteration celebrates a very contemporary style in casino attire. Plenty of clean lines, neutral tones, and tailored fits. However, sometimes going for the classic suit is the best option, and protagonist Danny Ocean often wears these pieces. One suit, in particular, is a black wool tuxedo, with a white cotton shirt and a bow tie, which is kept untied to keep with 21st century Las Vegas. This is completed with black leather shoes, an elegant wristwatch or two, with a wedding ring to finish the look.
Despite casinos not being the main focus of this film, Seabiscuit is loosely based on the life and career of Seabiscuit, an unmanageable racehorse who became a media sensation in the US in the 1930s. While the dress code is not as strict as visiting the casino, you will be turned away if you’re dressed casually, and even though the outfits in Seabiscuit may seem very dated, they still have an element of class.
Elizabeth Banks, who plays Marcela Zabala-Howard, wears fitted suits, brimmed felt hats, and tops off the very 1930’s-style look with brooches and earrings. When not in tailored outfits, Banks’ character can be seen wearing cocktail dresses, with black gloves and fashionable sunglasses, creating the image of a well-dressed woman. While this may not be something worn today, it was definitely a look suited to that era.
The sophistication and glamour, for which casinos have previously been renowned, have become less important in the modern era due to the rise of online gambling.
Much as the flexibility of playing from a different location is now an option, so too is the style in which you dress. It’s your choice: pyjamas or a three-piece suit whilst taking a spin at an online slot from your living room.
Casinos and gambling will always be a popular industry for movies, however, if you’d rather not get dressed up for a night out, then put on your comfies and spend the night online.