Whether you’re attending the Breeders’ Cup 2022 or another horse racing event, going to the races requires a certain style and attire. Usually, a lot of focus is put on women and what they wear to such events, but more and more people are looking at men’s dress. What’s more, men are stepping up and choosing to make a day of it, outfit and all. That’s right, it’s no longer just a day to put a few bets on here and there – fashion at the races is a big affair!
In this guide, we’ll introduce some fashion tips for men who are off to the races.
Different events have different dress codes, so before deciding on your outfit, you should make sure you know what the dress code is. Some racing events are more casual, while others are a fashion event with rules of what is and is not allowed.
For men, at least, you don’t have to worry about dresses and fascinators or hats! It’s usually just a suit and a tie affair.
One of the most famous racing meetings is Royal Ascot in the UK and this certainly does have a dress code – and the dress code differs depending on the enclosure you’re in. The Royal Enclosure, for example, stipulates that all men should wear a grey or black morning suit, with a waistcoat and a tie. They also need to wear black shoes and socks, and a grey or black top hat. The least formal enclosure here is the Windsor Enclosure, which still requires visitors to wear a shirt, trousers and jacket.
For men, the most obvious attire for the races is a suit. However, you don’t want to look like you’ve just got there from work. You can go a little brighter or bolder, for example. You can still add personality, color and style to a suit – and an outing to the races is the perfect opportunity to get dressed up.
Unless the dress code stipulates otherwise, try lighter colors like beige and light blue in the summer, or plum or dark blue in the winter. You could even try a check pattern.
Fabric-wise, linen is arguably the best in the summer months, while in winter, you’ll be much warmer in a 100% wool suit.
Choose a mix-and-match combination
There’s no reason why – dress code permitting – you can’t have a different color jacket and trousers. This type of fashion and tailoring has been a growing trend recently, especially for summer-style suits. To make it work, you’ll need to find a combination of shirt, trousers and jacket that go together well, which isn’t easy.
A good pattern to go with is navy trousers, a grey jacket and a pale blue shirt. In summer, you could try a navy jacket, beige trousers and a white shirt for a classic look.
Choose smart footwear
No matter which races you attend, keep your footwear smart. Don’t be tempted to wear trainers. Your shoes should also match the style and colors of your outfit. With a suit, plain brown or black shoes are a good choice. If you’re doing a mix-and-match jacket and trouser combination, you can add some color to your shoes or go for suede, for example.
Timeless colors are always a great choice for the races, and nothing beats a crisp white shirt. Using a timeless color will keep your look classy and you won’t look like you’re overdoing it. Go for white, light blue or pale grey.
Ties, pocket squares and accessories
It’s all about the details! Your shirt, jacket and tie should all complement each other. Even though the races are formal, it doesn’t mean you can’t add personality with your tie and pocket square. Colors that complement your shirt and jacket will add an edge and won’t look as boring as a plain tie.
Accessories-wise, we’re really just talking about a watch or some sunglasses here (weather dependent, of course). Pair your suit with a good dress watch that has a classic look. As for sunglasses, you can’t go wrong with a pair of timeless Ray Ban sunglasses. The best styles are Clubmaster or Aviators, as these always look stylish.
When it comes to fashion for the races, men’s fashion is a hot talking point these days. After checking the dress code, there’s no reason why you can’t choose something a little exciting and different to stand out from the crowd!