Race-Day Outfits for Modern Ladies and Gentlemen
There’s nothing like a racing event to bring Englanders out in their glad rags, particularly in the summertime, and with 60 racecourses in Britain, we get plenty of opportunity throughout the year.
However, dress codes can vary hugely between events so when you go somewhere prestigious, it’s natural to be a bit apprehensive about your race-day outfits. Whether you’re worried about overdressing or underdressing!
If you’re not keen on the idea of trawling through specific dress code guides every time you’re heading to a racetrack, we’ve got some top tips for buying quality pieces that you can wear time and again for plenty of different events.
Keep reading for our one-size-fits-all guide.
When in doubt, go smart
It might quell your fears a little to learn that it is almost impossible to dress up too much, though you’ll want to save your top hat and tails for Royal Ascot and the like.
It is possible to underdress on the other hand, and the trend of wearing costumes is only acceptable at three or four courses, including the very easy-going Cheltenham Festival.
If you know black tie isn’t a must (it rarely is) but you aren’t sure what people usually wear, always err on the side of caution and don’t wear anything you couldn’t wear as a wedding guest.
Always avoid football colours
You could think it goes without saying to leave your football kit at home when you’re having a posh day out at the races, but you’d be surprised how far people will bend the smart casual rules.
Now, not every racecourse explicitly bans football colours but it’s a good rule of thumb to eschew any team-branded colours from your ensemble. That way you avoid being refused entry and you won’t spend the day looking out for people in your rival team’s kit!
Some of the more traditional events will require ladies to adhere to quite old-fashioned styling etiquette, with skirts no higher than the knee, straps no thinner than an inch and midriffs covered.
For most occasions this won’t be the case, but dressing conservatively has a certain nostalgic charm and race days are a great opportunity to embrace some old-school sophistication.
Gents, many courses will require a jacket and shirt, so choose quality fabrics, classic cuts and a smart trouser to make a real impression. You MIGHT be able to get away with dark jeans in some places, but we’d say it isn’t worth the risk, particular
ly as it is nowhere near as gentlemanly.
Ladies: reach for your favourite hat
Another rule that harks back to clothing norms gone by, some race events ask ladies to wear hats at all times. Though this isn’t the case for most fixtures, it gives us a chance to feel like royalty for a day.
Choose straw designs for a summery twist.
Assume trainers are a no-go
You’ll find that wearing trainers will mean you’re denied access to plenty of fixtures, so polish up your most comfortable occasion shoes for the day and that way you’ll feel your best too.
Race-Day Outfits for Men
For a very British pastime with a long and rich heritage, why not choose a fabric with the same qualities?
Our Harris Tweed blazers and matching waistcoats are great for smart casual “country” style. Choose dark browns, greys or black and complement your two-piece with a bold checked shirt.
Ensure you wear a long-sleeved style so that the outfit still works without a jacket.
Race-Day Outfits for Women
Ladies, once you’ve chosen statement-making shoes and a beautiful hat, the world is your oyster. Browse bright colour blocks and prints to show that you mean business.
In case the weather takes a turn for the worse (this is Britain after all), cardigans are a must, so pick up a timeless cashmere style that will take you from day to night.