Key Highlights

Elevate your style game and stand out at the races with these essential fashion tips, ensuring you're a winner in both fashion and the betting stakes.

  • Suit Up: Opt for a well-fitted suit in versatile shades like blue or navy for a polished race day look.

  • Smart Jacket & Shirt: A tweed jacket paired with a light-colored shirt offers a classic yet modern ensemble.

  • A Stylish Tie: Elevate your outfit with a patterned or knitted tie, or opt for a distinctive bow-tie.

  • Polished Shoes: Choose dressy shoes like brogues or Oxfords in classic colors, ensuring they're perfectly polished.

  • A Class Hat: Add sophistication with a quality fedora or trilby, complementing the elegant racecourse atmosphere.

  • The Accessories: Complete your look with subtle accessories like a smart watch, pocket square, or cufflinks, paying attention to the details for a winning ensemble.

June 20, 2023

From Derby to Del Mar: Men's Fashion Guide for the Races

Racing season is more than just a social event with a chance to win some money—it's the perfect opportunity to elevate your style and showcase your impeccable taste. However, dressing for the races can be challenging, especially for newcomers. Different race tracks have varying dress codes; for instance, Royal Ascot is more formal, while Leopardstown is more relaxed. Therefore, it's crucial to do your research beforehand.

So, how can you stand out without overdoing it? Follow these six tips to ensure you're a winner in the racecourse style stakes, regardless of what happens on the track.

Suit Up

To truly look the part at the races, nothing beats a well-fitted suit. While smart trousers and a blazer can suffice for most racecourses, a tailored suit offers unmatched polish. For a contemporary look, opt for a sharp two- or three-button suit, or a stylish double-breasted number. Blue or navy suits are versatile choices, offering a vibrant yet sophisticated appearance that can be dressed up or down. For summer races, lighter shades like sand or beige are ideal alternatives to the classic navy and charcoal grey suits, which can sometimes seem too dark.

If you want to make a bold statement, consider a patterned suit, such as a vibrant check. This can add an edge perfect for the formal yet fun atmosphere of the races. To avoid overwhelming your look, keep the rest of your outfit simple: pair a patterned suit with a crisp white shirt and add a touch of color with your tie or pocket square.

Smart Jacket & Shirt

If the idea of a suit sounds too fussy, you can still achieve a racecourse-appropriate look with a smart blazer and tailored trousers. These can be made from a variety of materials such as cord, cashmere, wool, or cotton, depending on the season and your personal preference.

For a look that balances both classic and contemporary elements, consider teaming a tweed jacket with a baby blue or white shirt. This combination exudes timeless style while remaining modern. Pair these with pressed chinos for a polished yet relaxed ensemble. If the temperature drops, a slim V-neck jumper can be added for extra warmth and sophistication. This layered approach not only ensures comfort throughout the day but also adds depth to your outfit, making it versatile and stylish for any racecourse event.

A Stylish Tie

The right tie can truly bring an outfit together and complete the look. Since the races are a social occasion, albeit a smart one, don’t be afraid to deviate from your regular workday wardrobe and choose something with a bit of personality.

A tie with a discreet print or pattern can add a visual punch to your ensemble, making it more interesting and stylish. Alternatively, you can play it safe with a timeless knitted tie, which always looks elegant and sophisticated. For those feeling more adventurous, a bow-tie in either a plain or patterned finish can be a distinctive and dapper choice. This bold accessory can add a touch of individuality to your outfit, ensuring you stand out in the best possible way.

Polished Shoes

"‘Shoes maketh the man,’ as the old adage goes – and that’s why your footwear deserves particular attention. Aim for shoes that are smart and dressy rather than business-like. Classic choices such as brogues, monk straps, or Oxfords in black, dark brown, or deep burgundy are always appropriate.

If you find these options too safe, show some personality with a pair of two-tone shoes, ensuring the colors complement the rest of your outfit. Regardless of your choice, make sure your shoes are perfectly polished; nothing detracts from an outfit like scruffy footwear."

A Class Hat

If you’ve ever fancied wearing a hat, there’s no better time than at the racecourse. This setting is perfect for showcasing a stylish headpiece. Our tip? Opt for a quality fedora, trilby, or even an old-fashioned flat cap, as favored by David Beckham. These hats not only add a touch of sophistication but also perfectly complement the traditional and elegant atmosphere of the races.

A hat might not be everyone's first choice, but for those willing to accessorize, a dapper headpiece can significantly enhance your overall look. It adds a distinctive touch of class to your outfit, making you stand out from the crowd in a refined and stylish way. Whether you choose a fedora, trilby, or flat cap, wearing a hat to the races is a surefire way to elevate your fashion game and make a memorable impression.

The Accessories

Once you have the key components of your outfit organized, don’t overlook the importance of accessories: a smart watch, a pocket square, and possibly a pair of cufflinks. It’s all about the details.

When choosing a gentleman’s accessories, less is more. Opt for subtlety over statement-making to ensure you’re noticed for the right reasons. If you’re wearing a plain suit, you can be more adventurous with your accessories, such as an eye-catching bow tie, pocket square, or lapel pin to add character. However, if your suit has a strong pattern, keep the accessories simple to avoid clashes. While your outfit won’t influence your luck at the bookies, it will ensure you’re among the winners in the racecourse style stakes. Choose wisely, and may luck be with you!