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Poker Fashion

The words poker and fashion don't really seem to fit, not until you have a conversation with Jennifer Bryan, head costume designer for NBC's mega hit series, Las Vegas. Bryan has the inside track on what's hot and what's not in the fashion arena for the pro, the up-and-comer, or anyone who just wants to play a marathon night of poker with friends.

There are definite dos and don'ts if you want to dress like a tournament winner. Bryan knows what she's talking about. Among her credits are the movies GoodFellas, Married to the Mob, and Cotton Club. For Las Vegas, she had to research every type of casino customer around to keep the show's sexy stars James Caan, Josh Duhamel, and James Lesure looking ultra-cool. The goal is keeping them in clothes that maintain a glamorous image of Las Vegas so viewers say, "Wow, I've gotta check that place out."

Before starting the huge undertaking of costuming the entire cast including all the background extras, this skilled clothier first did her research.

"We found two kinds of "high rolling" poker players. First there is the whale, someone who wants to wear his money. The whale is dressed in expensive suits, high priced watches, and he wants you to know he's a high roller. The other type of big player though, doesn't want you to know who he is. He's a good but understated dresser, usually wearing a collared or golf shirt in muted colors."

But what about the average poker player? How should the up and coming tournament players dress? Bryan has the winning formula. Play it under the radar. You want to look like you can afford to be there and if you lose your money its no big deal. She notes, "You don't want to look like some guy who took his last $500 to the table. Dress casually but don't bring a lot of attention to yourself with your clothes by wearing shirts that scream with big plaids, stripes or Hawaiian prints.

Colors are important too. Black is out since it telegraphs a negative vibe that says, "Don't trust me." White is the opposite but she would not recommend it either. Bryan encourages players to choose colors that are easy on the eye like buttery caramel or beige.

There is no age appropriate clothing according to this fashion expert. She says a better guideline is to wear something body appropriate. "A heavy player should not wear clothes that bind, and anyone sitting long hours at a poker table should consider comfort. Pick fabrics that will give you a lot of ease, some room to move, and stretch. Wear short sleeve shirts that have a micro-fiber blend, like Lycra, that will give you some room to move. Don't wear 100% cotton, it's too hot. Always wear blended fabrics."

After the game. Bryan recommends a casual but more dressy look to go out on the town: sports jacket, men's leather slip on loafers, a collared polo shirt and a good watch. "Never wear a pinky ring," warns Bryan, "It's a stereotype." One thing she says a poker player should always have is well-manicured hands. In fact, she notes, "more men today are making that a part of their regular grooming routine.'

 
 
 

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