Dressing for the Races

By Alex Noble Monday 9th Jul, 2018

There’s not many better days out during the British summer time than a trip to the races. It’s a great occasion that offers the chance to showcase your sense of style by donning a chic and trendy ensemble, whilst indulging in an early glass of champagne (it’s five o’clock somewhere and all that jazz). 

Nothing compares to the euphoria of picking a winning horse, nor the momentary heartbreak of being pipped at the post, however the latter is usually quickly forgotten as you’re handed yet another glass of champagne.

We like to see it as a joyous affair of the three F’s; Friends, Fillies and Fashion.

The races is a place where you’ll be judged for bold outfit choices, so you best make sure you get your correct, otherwise you’ll be laughed out of the course quicker than you can say ‘And they’re off!’

So, for anyone planning on heading to Mr Green Ladies & Gents evening at Chester Races on Friday, (13th July) this blog will aims to put you on the right track style wise and also maximise your chances of winning the “Best Dressed” contest, that will be running throughout the day.

Hold Your Horses. We’ve got you.

The Hat

A worryingly large proportion of men get scared when hats are mentioned, due to them feeling they either don’t suit them or haven’t got the right style to pull it off.

My answer: amend your style so that you do suit them and can pull them off. It’s a fantastic fashion accessory that suggests you have confidence in both yourself and your fashion tastes.

This cracker from Laird is the one you need this summer. The Alfred is a mid-size brimmed hat, with a snap brim and very traditional shape to it – It’s exactly what you need if the weather is anything like the recent heatwave we’ve been experiencing, so is both practical and fashionable.

Alternatively, we are huge fans of this Namibia Calico fedora from Lock & Co. It’s also practical and the smart navy puggaree band lends a stylish flourish for the occasion.

The Jacket & Trousers:

Separates:

I’m a huge advocate for separates on a race day. If done well, it’s a fantastic way of standing out in a sea of un-tailored and largely unattractive suits. Just remember to think of the weather and temperature, as you don’t want to appear a disheveled, sweaty mess by the first race.

This semi-plain Berkeley Jacket from Chester Barrie would look fantastic, when paired with a pair of tailored lightweight trousers in a summer tonal colour (White, Stone, Light Blue) would be a fantastic look for the races. The linen and silk combination in this jacket helps the garment to keep its shape while also being cool for summer.

Bespoke:

If you’re looking for an excuse to seriously up your suit game, attending a race meet is as good as any, and the best way to upgrade your sartorial wardrobe is to get a bespoke suit, and the place to go for this is Clements & Church.

One of my favourite suits is this bespoke beauty, which was wonderfully innovated by the chaps at Clements & Church. It’s wonderfully light so temperature is never an issue and fits my body perfectly, so not once do I worry about discomfort. What’s more, I was able to have a real input in the design so that it catered to all my personal needs. A very worthwhile experience for those that have the desire, time and capital.

Off the Peg:

However, if you insist on wearing an off-the-peg suit, then I’d happily direct you in the direction of this handsome Blue Lazio from SuitSupply.

Cut from a blend of wool, silk and linen by E. Thomas, this slim-tailored suit features notch lapels, flap pockets, and a lightly padded shoulder, and really is ideal for a day of joyous celebrations in the summer sun.

The Shirt:

For events such as the races, I would always advise a minimalist approach when it comes to your shirt. Nothing looks sharper than a crisp white shirt, especially when it’s layered underneath rather flamboyant sartorial style.

Minimalism does not mean a sacrifice in quality however…Turnbull & Asser do fabulous shirts and I’d highly recommend going with them. It’s as simple as that.

Tie:

The tie offers you another fantastic avenue in which to highlight your sartorial know how. Be bold and venture into previously untouched areas. Never worn a knitted tie? Back yourself.

This navy knitted, spot tie from New and Lingwood is an absolute winner, especially if you’ve been fairly reserved with the rest of your outfit. However, please remember, when pairing a pocket square, ensure that it compliments your tie without cloning it.

Oh and one final note; tie bars often make appearances at the races so a little tip on them. The rule is simple: It goes between the third and fourth buttons of your dress shirt.

Cufflinks

I’m not usually for gimmicks but I saw these wonderful, Horse Shoe cufflinks from Ted Baker and though they’re a must. They’re tasteful and offer a bit of fun to liven up your outfit and show you have a sense of humour.

Shoes

Every good outfit includes a great pair of shoes; it’s as simple as that. When at the races, you want something that can cope with the grassy terrain, which is usually rather churned by the end of the day. However, once again, you don’t want to lose out on style.

Two fantastic options for appropriate, yet elegant footwear would be Grenson and Russell and Bromley. Feast your eyes on these…

Eyewear

First things first, I pray that you require these on the day of the races. Sunglasses are a modern essential and I would always advise investing in quality eyewear, not only for the protection of your retina but also to keep up appearances. What a great shame it would be to invest heavily in an outfit that’s slightly tarnished due to a cheap pair of sunglasses…

I understand they can be pricey at times, but if you keep the box and lovingly look after them, sunglasses can be an amazing investment. My advice, stick to classic styles that won’t flick in and out of vogue, like these from Oliver Spencer.

Avoid wrinkles, look cool and watch your horse cruise round the top bend with ease.

So there you have it; the Dapper Chapper style guide on how to dress for the races. Now go do your homework and pick some winners.

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