If this is your first time attending a horse race and you put “What to Wear to the Horse Races” in the google search box than you have come to the right spot.
Fashion at the Races was started to give horse racing fans and newbies an additional avenue to look at the racing world. The tradition of horse racing goes all the way back 1800’s and fashion was always a part of that world.
If you are attending for the first time- don’t stress out! Depending on what track and what type a day it is, you will want to change your fashion accordingly.
Cheltenham, the annual 4 day horse racing festival started way back in 1860, and includes the steeplechase, hurdle and flat racing. The best horses and jockeys from Ireland and Britain compete for the rather nice £4 million in prize if you are not interested in racing and have never made a bet you can still enjoy an event like this. The venue, people, atmosphere and social cheer make this a must for anyone. And you never know, a sneaky bet might be the icing-on-the-cake of a great day out.
You may be surprised to hear that there is no official dress code at this Cheltenham event. Fancy dress is even permitted with no restrictions as long as the outfit is not offensive.
However, you’ll be glad to hear that gentlemen usually wear a tweed suit in the Club Enclosure and within the onsite restaurants and hospitality facility this shouldn’t stop us "regular ticket" holding men from dressing up for a day at the races. Since the race is largely during the winter months, the good ol’ British weather can be unpredictable, so it is advised to dress accordingly with heavier fabrics and plenty of layering. The sun might come out but it’s still going to be cold.
So you’ve arrived well before the first race is due off to avoid the crowds, and so you can have a little look around the course and enjoy the pre-race atmosphere, maybe even to take a look at the fascinating museum. But what are you wearing?
Tweed Jackets & Wax Jackets
Yep that’s right, get your tweed jackets out and wear them with pride teamed with a shirt, tie and mixer trousers... oh and a scarf to keep you warm. You’ll also need a coat so either opt for a wax jacket for an English countryside style or a smarter tweed overcoat. If it’s really cold, be sure to layer with a quilted jacket too. Also remember that you’ll be on your feet all day and will need suitable footwear such as smart brogue boots.
We don’t get too many occasions where us guys can wear hats so take advantage of this. For an understated look you can go for the popular peaky blinder style tweed flat cap. Some other flamboyantly suave chaps will be wearing navy or the popular brown wool Trilby hats, and any royal blooded men will have top hats. If for some random reason we have a heat wave in March, we’d recommend a Panama hat to complete the look. But that's never going to happen!