The first rule I would adhere to when dressing for the races is, if there’s barriers in front of the horses, the meet will likely be a Winter/Early Spring occasion and so the likes of Tweed and thicker materials such as wool are appropriate. If however, the horses aren’t impeded by obstacles, it’s likely a summer event and you want to go for lighter fabrics such as lightweight wool, linen or seersucker; styled with brighter tones and neutral colours (Unless it’s Ascot – then it’s a case of dusting off the morning suit). If you are attending the Chester races this weekend and want to get your hands on the Mr Green Ladies & Gents Evening ‘Best Dressed’ award, then you’re going to need to nail your outfit and the finer details, so you’re not pipped at the post.
When it comes to the races, many blokes seem to immediately think a suit is their best bet. Although suits can look fantastic, why not be a little imaginative and create a winning jacket and trouser combination that screams sartorial style and knowledge. Given that it’s summer and we’re currently in the middle of a heatwave, I’d very much advise you to go for a linen jacket, as they’re both lightweight and in season. Add an extra element of style to your outfit by choosing a double-breasted number (an option that the majority of men would shy away from), which can take your ensemble to new levels. As for your bottom half, you want to stick to standard block colours and ensure that the trousers are well tailored to your leg length. How about tapering the leg to add another element of style, so they sit just above your shoe to reveal some ‘mankle’. This look may not be for everyone, but I challenge you to venture out of your comfort zone and take a contemporary approach to the races.
You can never go wrong with an Oxford shoe at a race meet, especially if the ground is good to hard, as there will be plenty of resistance to ensure you don’t sink your heels into the ground. Another option for this time of year is the loafer, especially if you’re backing the mankle approach to your trousers. A suede loafer is my preferred choice during the summer months but please remember to spray with suede protector, and perhaps stick to the less muddy areas of the spectator area.
A tie is often an unattractive option when the temperatures are soaring into the high twenties, however, I’d always suggest backing one for the races (and you’ll likely be required to don one if you’re situated in hospitality). It’s a simple way of adding colour and personality to your look (avoid cartoon characters please).
The Pocket Square
Not compulsory but I’d highly advise you go with one. Just like with the tie, the pocket square is a sartorial staple and can add vibrancy to your race day look, especially if you nail the colour pairings rule.
Can you really attend a summer event without sunglasses within this day and age? So long as you’ve chosen the right style for your face shape, they’re a great way of spicing up your outfit and if the sun does disappear behind the clouds, then tuck them in your top pocket to further accessorise your outfit.
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Article by Menswear Style