When I was packing for a recent trip to Las Vegas I realized that I had no idea what guys wear in Las Vegas when they go out to dinner and out to the nightclubs. So, I started by texting a few friends who I know who have been several times and I received the generic answers, “just wear what you normally do in Chicago”. It wasn’t helpful because…well it’s VEGAS. I wanted to know what people wear in Las Vegas, what’s acceptable to wear in Las Vegas, what men’s fashion would stand out in Las Vegas, but it also has to fly slightly under the radar since it’s more challenging in general for guys to get into the nightclubs.
So, after packing what I thought would work for Vegas and actually going to Vegas, I can confidently say I was on point with what I was expecting from a fashion perspective!
The casinos can be very casual during the day and at night there are more individuals dressed up because they have more planned for the night than just gambling. If you’re going just for nice dinners and shows, then anything from nice denim and a polo shirt to a suit will work just fine! I would recommend wearing what you typically would if you were going out to a nice dinner with family or friends. Don’t be afraid to go a little bolder compared to your normal outfits since in Vegas it’s hard to standout compared to the sea of every type of fashion imaginable. Read on to read what I mean by 'bolder'.
Heading to Vegas for the weekend you’ll likely know what type of trip you’re about to have. If it’s about to be a weekend filled with partying and a terrible hangover on Sunday, then play close attention. And if you're going for gambling and shows, well I would still recommending reading and checking out my suggestions, so you look and feel your best!
Not in the mood to read the rest of this? Then just read this the following…In summary: black or dark color everything, including dress shoes, and make sure it fits well. I've included links below to suggestions in each category.
Summary of what guys should wear in Vegas
Here are a few links to some basics that will help to elevate your Vegas attire. I do my best to update the links weekly as the products frequently become unavailable. Please contact me if you have any questions, I'd be happy to help.
Dark, slim fit denim with some stretch. Here is one example from Nordstrom, but browse around for a pair on sale! Avoid faded denim or any color besides a solid dark color. For Vegas in particular, solid black denim or dark blue denim is a great look. Click here for an example of solid black denim from one of my favorite companies. Click here for an example of solid dark blue denim.
A casual button down shirt in a solid dark color. It's critical that the button down is a casual button down and not a dress shirt. There are two easy ways to identify a casual button down shirt: 1) the collar is a button down collar so there is a button on each side of the collar or it's a small collar and a shirt not meant to be worn with a tie and 2) the length is not quite long enough to tuck in, but you could if you needed to. Essentially, if you take a dress shirt and try and wear it casually, it's going to be baggy and hang super low when it's untucked. Here is a good example of a black button down that will be a Vegas staple. Here is another example.
A solid black t shirt will go a long way as well for when you're just rolling out of bed and want to look somewhat put together. You can even wear the same jeans from the night prior! Just throw on the black shirt and head out to breakfast! The black t shirt goes great with dark denim, click here for an example. Here is a slightly nicer option. And if you want an even nicer t shirt that is 'higher-end', this $100 t shirt from COMME DES GARÇONS PLAY is a good deal with a subtle logo.
As for footwear, I would go with a pair of black dress shoes that will get some extended wear even after a trip to Vegas. There are three tiers of dress shoes I'd recommend based on price, style and brand. The first would be this pair priced at $150 from Johnston & Murphy, great detailing and a solid shoe. The contrasting heel/sole makes them a bit more stylish than the average dress show. The second tier of shoes are the Allen Edmonds category, which is a personal favorite brand. Here is the first pair I'd recommend from AE, their most classic shoe: click here for the AE Strand. The second pair I'd recommend from AE is their double monks: click here for the AE St. Johns. The next tier of shoes is going to be the high-end Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo. For either of these brands I would recommend their bit loafers, click here to see the current selection available.
Swimwear, again I like to keep it simple, but this is where you can certainly go bolder if you'd like! Just make sure the bathing suit is ending above the knees (5 inch to 7 inch will work perfectly). Click here for a great fun option.
Having a nice hat during the day is a great way not to have to worry about your hair, especially coming in and out of the casino or pool. The brand I launched, Vandre Brand is the perfect premium hat for all occasions. Our premium 100% Irish Linen hats have you covered for your 'nice hat'. The Athleisure collection has you covered for the in the pool, sportier hat to help elevate that casual styling with minimalist branding and our signature Maui blue interior. I personally think the white stands out the best for the Vegas pool scene.
Last, but not least is the blazer. The blazer is probably the MOST important article of clothing when you're heading to Vegas because the right blazer can work perfect with a t shirt or a button down shirt AND can be worn a lot when you're not in Vegas to elevate any look. The most important aspect of the blazer is that it's unconstructed and doesn't look like a suit jacket from the 2000's. This is achieved through the combination of unconstructed and a blend of cotton as the fabric. This is my top recommendation that is unconstructed and perfect for Vegas or the office! And click here for another recommendation from Theory.
Details about what guys should wear in Vegas - in my honest opinion based on experience
If you’ve prepaid for bottle service, tables, etc. and you’re going BIG, then I would say you have more liberty to wear what you want. You won’t have any issues getting into the nightclubs since you’re with a group that’s already paid for everything. Of course, you need to follow their normal dress code rules (e.g. clothes that look nice, no clothes with holes, etc). You also want to find clothes that you're comfortable in and fit your normal style. My recommendations above are as neutral as possible, meant to work perfectly for someone right out of college or a dad heading to Vegas with a group of friends. You do not want to force yourself into some sort of style that is going to make you second guess what you're wearing. Confidence is critical!
We had our entrance to the nightclubs covered ahead of time. For the first night, we headed to XS after eating at Nobu, which is one of the nicest nightclubs, to see the Chainsmokers. I was aiming for a more aggressive look by going with a nice t-shirt. This shirt is from Uniqlo and was a collaboration featuring Andy Warhol. I paired it with a bold blazer, then toned down the outfit with denim and black wingtip dress shoes. The bold blazer was still a muted color (muted colors are important). I likely would have gone with a dark color, button down shirt if we were just general admission because I would have been concerned about wearing a t-shirt to the nightclubs in Las Vegas.
I would not recommend wearing just any graphic t shirt if you are going to go the route of a graphic t shirt. I would make sure it's either a branded shirt or a unique enough design that you won't feel odd wearing it. Again, confidence is key. This t shirt could easily be switched for a plain black t shirt or a black button down and it would look just as good!
As for the blazer here, it's an unconstructed blazer that is made of a stretch material from a company called Nifty Genius. It's not a blazer I would wear to a work meeting, but it is a blazer I like to wear for nights out in Chicago or events.
Our second night out in Vegas, after an incredible dinner at Beauty and Essex, I went with an aggressive cotton suit paired with a black button down, untucked, and black wingtip dress shoes. To define “aggressive cotton suit” this is not a suit I would ever wear to a business meeting. It’s a much tighter fit due to the stretch material. It's completely unstructured. I also went with a shorter length button down because I knew I was going to wear it untucked. Do not just untuck a button normal down shirt and expect it to look as good as a casual button down shirt that’s untucked (casual button downs are designed to be shorter).
I am fully aware not everyone (or very few people) actually own a full cotton suit since most suits are wool. If you take this general palette and use it as a base with the suggestions above you can see how an outfit can come together nicely. This same look can be achieved with a black button down shirt, a black casual blazer and black slim denim (all from the links above).
What NOT to wear in Vegas
Do NOT wear a ‘business suit’ that makes it look like you just left your job selling used cars in the 1980’s (e.g. a suit that doesn’t fit well). Wearing a suit is not something that you have to wear or should feel remotely obligated to wear if you’re going to the nightclubs in Vegas.
Do NOT wear a dress shirt untucked thinking it's the same as a casual button down shirt, it's not and it's going to hang really low and look sloppy.
Do NOT wear crazy colors. A dark, neutral palette will serve you really well and it makes packing much easier. Especially because you can end up mixing and matching pieces as the weekend unfolds. So if it helps, leave the bold colors at home this trip and save those for Nantucket. If you’re going to wear a blazer, make sure it’s a nice fitting blazer that you will definitely have to dry-clean. Shockingly, people can smoke in all casinos and nightclubs in Vegas (not a fan of this aspect, but it is what it is)!
Do NOT wear a super obnoxious bathing suit to a pool party and do NOT wear a bathing suit that hits your knees or is baggy. You’ll see a lot of bold bathing suits there, so unless you’re the bachelor or feel like you’re trying to get attention, stick with a nice, muted color, bathing suit that sits above your knees.
If you want to wear something conservative when going out in Las Vegas, I would recommend nice fitting dark blue or black denim, nice dark brown or black dress shoes, and a dark color button down that looks good untucked. Again, all of the links above are a strong reference point.