Keeping it Dapper at Henley Regatta

By Alex Noble Tuesday 30th May, 2017

The French boast the Cote d’Azur and the Italians the Amalfi Coast; both of which are fantastic holiday destinations for a chap seeking delectable cuisine, fine wines and a place to showcase your new Suit Supply linen number and John Lobbe loafers.

Although delightful, the British coastline isn’t exactly a chic holiday destination…the pull factors simply don’t quite exist to the same extent.

If I was to advise our European brothers to pop over the channel and jump aboard for one specific summer adventure, I would suggest they attend Henley Regatta. Is there anything more idiosyncratically and quintessentially British? Apologies for the use of the rather intense vocab but I thought I’d humour any foreign readers.

Sipping Pimms, dressing to new levels of eccentricity and generally indulging in a bloody good time are all splendid ideas; especially when executed in the name of a couple of boat races on the Thames.

It could well be the most audacious sporting event of the calendar year – where British Prep Meets Piti Uomo – and what about the little town that hosts it; well it’s only the home of the striped blazer. Pip Pip.

Here’s how to make sure your outfit doesn’t rock the boat.

Blazer

When it comes to this event, make a statement with the jacket – demand people’s attention and ensure you retain it for the rest of the day. Be ostentatious and use this opportunity to go loud and proud? It’s the home of the striped blazer after all.

Whether you’re leading with colour or pattern, make sure you get the material right first! Although there’s much truth in British summer lasting a single day, it still gets rather hot, and due to you not being allowed to undo that top button or remove your jacket, unless the head steward does so…Linen is the correct answer here.

If you fancy going slightly more casual, an unstructured sports jacket would also work.

Shirt

What is it they say…? Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun? Well, if that be the case then you better line yourself with a lightweight under-layer. A slim fit linen shirt is the winner here. Exuberant colours are always fun for a day on the water, but often you really can’t go wrong with white.

Now, if you’re going to try the tie, why not go for a thicker material in the area that will affect your body temperature the least. Pair it with a lovely cutaway collar and you’ll be splendid.

Trousers

Chinos, of some form.

There’s a lot of chat about mixing tailoring up at the moment and even some murmurs of mixing it with athleisure wear…don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a bit of sartorial pioneering but modelling it at Henley; that’s blasphemy in my opinion.

Keep the trousers classic, and go for a nice slim chino that compliments your jacket and adds to the vibrancy of your outfit. You can never go wrong with a white or stone, but if you fancy packing on the colour, a nice royal blue or red could be entertained.

Loafers

Never underestimate how valuable an asset a slick pair of shoes are to your outfit – the opposite sex love to judge men on their chosen shoe.

I’ve been quite vague in some respects, with regards to specific brands, however this is where we enter the chartered territory of classic go-to’s. The penny loafer is a timeless classic, and an adaptable shoe that really does whatever you require. Dress it up, down, with a suit or to accompany separates. It’s like a Maverick costume at Halloween; it’s always a winner, especially with the ladies.

I’m going specific here but may I recommend a pair of Weejuns.

Remember, your shoes are a vital element of your outfit, so make sure your trouser leg crops above your shoe to showcase the style and you maintain a crisp silhouette.

Sunglasses

Just like the organ they protect, that contain various minute yet vital components, shade selection comes down to a number of fundamental details. These are an essential to the sartorial man’s wardrobe so first things first, get out of the mindset that these things are simply tools that protect your eyes from UV rays.

For me, Taylor Morris give you a classically suave edge, and fit the theatre of Henley. There also a great British brand, and after all, Henley is basically a celebration of Britishness.

Watch

A little word of advice my boy, the old iPhone won’t be too heavily appreciated at the Regatta so i’d advise you bring along your favourite timepiece for the occasion; unless  of course, you’re nautically astute and can tell the time by the position of the sun. Nevertheless, a watch is a wonderful accessory, and what better brand to rep than the official timing partners of Henley, Bremont watches?