That Time I Wore a Tux in Vegas

If you wear a tuxedo in your hometown people will likely compliment you or ask what charity event you are attending.  When you wear a tux in Las Vegas the experience is decidedly different.

To set the scene my last trip to Vegas was {warning humblebrag} to attend the Marine Birthday Ball on Veterans Day with a lifelong friend who is a battalion commander.  It was sure to be an amazing experience and as a civilian it was a black tie affair.

When I was planning for the trip I decided to buy a tux since it really wasn’t that much more than renting and I figured 2-3 uses over my lifetime would pay for it.  Since I owned the suit my initial thought was to go with the man of mystery approach and wear the thing from home, on the plane, to the event and then fly home in it the next day carrying nothing with me.  Of course I chickened out and went a more traditional route.

The afternoon of the event I suited up and walked the quick trip across the street from the Cromwell to Bally’s.  It’s maybe a 5 minute walk, which is about as short as possible in Vegas, and it was uneventful although I did feel a little out of place surrounded by cut-off shorts and tank tops.

Once in Bally’s my first Vegas tux experience was when I realized I matched the dude handing out flyers for a raffle of some sort.  Within 5 minutes it became comical when a couple of tourists asked where the restrooms were.  Typically I’m invisible in a Vegas casino, just another guy headed to the blackjack tables, and now I’m feeling like a human billboard.

The event itself was amazing, can’t say enough good things about the Marines and their ability to throw a party is just another reason to admire them.

After the party I wanted to gamble wearing a tux – it’s a vision of Vegas or other major casino resort destinations that some people still imagine takes place.  Of course if you’ve been to Bally’s or most other mainstream casinos in Vegas within the past 25 years you know that the only people wearing tuxedos are working, posing for pictures on the sidewalk, or selling something.

So I walked to Paris and was stopped no less than 5 times by people asking questions or directions.  It truly killed the buzz of feeling like I was even close to a man of mystery – more like a walking directions kiosk.

I did get to play a few rounds of blackjack in my tux, tie undone, drink in hand so in my mind I was bringing at least a little class to the joint.

After some tux-clad gambling it was time to head home and call it a night.  On my fifteen minute walk home I pointed another handful of tourists roughly in the right direction of whatever they were looking for, made snide comments in my head, and went home to go back into my non-tux obscurity.

Next time I go black tie in Vegas it will have to be with a group of friends so we can pretend to be the rat pack, even if it is only in our heads.