The Modern Gent’s Guide To Dressing For The Races

For many men, the races are a chance to gather your nearest and dearest, have a great day out and win some good money. But, for the modern gent, dressing to impress is the main event.

Perfecting the iconic look and getting enough preparation in can take time. To help you get suited and booted for the big day, we’ve created this guide to get you looking effortlessly stylish in no time.

Suit Up

There are many racecourses expecting to welcome seas of people this summer, each of which have different dress codes. While some venues may allow a more relaxed dress, there are some — like Aintree — which could require full morning or three-piece suits. To know where to start, consult the venue to make sure you aren’t standing out for all of the wrong reasons.

Wherever you’re headed this race season, a real gent can never go wrong with a suit. Most often, men will opt for the classic colour palette of black, navy or grey, but why not take this opportunity to add a dash of personality? Investing in a subtly patterned suit, like one of these designer suits from Pritchards, will have you looking dapper year after year.

With warmer and brighter days fast approaching, you could alternatively use natural lighting to your advantage and delve into a colour palette that you’d usually pay no mind to. If the venue allows for it, a lightly coloured suit will be loud against the crowds, even if your lucky streak is having a quiet day! If three-piece suits are the order of the day, make sure you’ve got a perfectly co-ordinated waistcoat to tie everything together.

And not forgetting shoes! Make sure they complement the formality of your suit, with black or brown dress shoes usually the style of choice. Some less formal venues will allow a more casual take, with loafers and brogues being perfectly acceptable — but if you’re headed to Royal Ascot, be sure to abide to the new rules of wearing full-length ankle socks!


Don’t stray away from the idea of complementary accessories. Teaming a plain suit with intricately designed cufflinks will boost your style points, and with so much accessibility to high-street or vintage retailers, there are many options out there to keep the modern gent looking sharp. Alternatively, finishing off your look with a statement watch will keep your style looking expensive, even if your betting losses are saying otherwise!

If your venue is a bit more relaxed, pulling on a pair of suspender braces over your shirt will give you serious Gatsby vibes — and who epitomises gentleman better than him? If you’re looking to add an air of tradition to a more modern suit style, utilising classic features like pocket-hole bouquets or pocket squares will help you to smarten up your look.


Try A New Hairstyle

You might be used to jumping in the shower, giving your hair a quick towel dry and heading for the door. But, the freedom encouraged by the buzz of the racecourse means you can take the chance to re-invent yourself for the day. Trialling a new haircut or hairstyle to match your outfit can really round off the look. The modern man seems to be consistently keeping his hair pruned and pushed out of the way, leaving opportunities for adding texture — think Jake Gyllenhaal and you’re there. If you’ve got long hair, the man-bun is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in a hurry, but if you’re wanting to experiment past this, trying the half-up-half-down style or mixing up your parting can give you a whole new edge. For more hair inspiration, check out our 2018 hairstyle guide.


Groom to Perfection

Unkept facial hair has never been characteristic of a gentleman, so make sure you’re well prepared prior to hitting the stands, whether that means heading to the barbers or doing it yourself. There are no strict rules regarding facial hair, with both a small amount of facial hair and a full beard welcomed, granted that they’re maintained to a high standard of cleanliness and tidiness.

To keep a beard of any length in race-worthy condition, be sure to trim and shape it beforehand, to keep it manageable and presentable. A good beard trimmer can be a great investment if you do your research and pick carefully. And, with brands like Braun having trimmers to suit each beard length and style, it’s never been easier to nail your desired look. Team your fresh trim with a high-quality aftercare product and you’re good to go!

A trip to the races is a great opportunity to show off the sophisticated modern gent that you are, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your suit patterns and accessories for an instant stand-out style. Combined with impeccably groomed hair, you’ll be guaranteed to win most stylish attendee, if nothing else!