A trip to the races is about more than just watching the horses – it’s a full-blown social event, with everyone wearing their best, making new friends and mingling with potential a-list stars.
Whilst many of the punters will bet on horse racing and have a cheeky punt on a horse they like the look of, one of the biggest draws is the fashion – There’s particular etiquette when it comes to dressing. Today we’re going to take a look at what to wear to make an impression on your next visit to the races.
The Things You Need To Take into Consideration
Before we get into specifics, there are a few particulars you need to know and keep in mind before your trip:
What time of the year the event is on – this will be a major factor in deciding what to wear and the layers you’ll need.
Which enclosure you’ll be at – Different enclosures can have different dress codes.
The weather on the day – Again, different weather will dictate what layers you’ll be wearing.
Whether it’s an evening or daytime event – whilst most race courses, some such as Windsor racecourse hold regular evening meets.
The dress code – Not all racecourses have incredibly strict dress codes and allow a slightly more casual approach when it comes to attire. Royal events and some of the more prestigious courses will have extremely strict dress codes though, so it’s always good to know in advance.
Now let’s take a look at some of the ideas for your next event. We’ll start off with ladies:
The busiest season for horse racing events, there’s no doubt that you won’t just want to look your best but also feel your best. With that in mind, summer dresses are the main go-to for many of the women who attend races in the summer.
Another option is an elegant and flowy dress – which also helps with any potential disasters in the fake tan area. You don’t want anything too long though as the courses can get quite muddy!
If you want something simple and not too in your face, light patterns and block colours are fine. Pastel colours work an absolute treat as well. You may want to avoid black and dark-coloured clothing as you may get too hot – you may be stood by the side of the track for a good few hours in the sun.
Footwear-wise, make sure you wear something comfortable because you’ll most likely be on your feet all day – block wedges are a good choice as they have a nice compromise between look and comfortability.
With winter races, you will probably need to change things up a bit. Staying warm whilst looking good is going to be your priority here – spending the whole day shivering can have a dampener on your experience!
Jumpsuits are a great option for a winter race – you’re keeping your legs warm and still looking great – although if you prefer dresses you can go with a maxi dress. Slap a long and fashionable coat on top and you’ve got your basics done. If you know it’s going to be particularly cold, you can wear tights or leggings underneath for an extra layer of warmth.
Footwear is a vital part of winter races – you don’t want numb toes all day. That’s why we suggest some form of heeled boot as they give great coverage and still look on trend – Don’t forget some sleek leather gloves to keep your fingers nice and toasty.
For both winter and summer races, you can wear some sort of fascinator or statement headwear to stand out from the crowd – you’ll most likely see plenty of other women wearing them.
Suits are the name of the game for menswear – but in the summer make sure it’s a lighter suit and not heavy tweed or anything like that. Light-coloured suits such as blue or grey are perfect – although you can get away with some brighter colours on a hotter day.
A statement tie and pocket squares are a great addition. Pair these things up with a nice, minimalist belt, a nice watch, some loafers and some decent grooming of your hair and you’re off to the races – pun intended.
The best option with winter races for male attire is to simply dress up your suit. A nice, muted overcoat and scarf can work wonders for getting you ready for colder weather in a jiffy. If it’s going to be particularly cold, add a waistcoat to your suit for that extra layer of warmth.
Footwear-wise, you’re going to need to be wearing thicker socks, so loafers may not be your next option. A good quality Derby shoe or similar is perfect – they go with pretty much any type of suit and come in a wide arrange of different colours.