How To Dress For The Races
And they're off! Yep its that time of year already and with Cheltenham starting on March 14th its time to start nailing down your Racecourse outfit. We've borrowed a few style tips from our friends at Thread.com to make sure you don't have a mare over what to wear!
What Colour Suit Should I Wear?
Here’s an easy tip to note down.. Navy works every time. Whether it’s a dream job interview, or a wedding or a smart day out at the Horse racing.
A navy suit is easy enough to style up for an interview — simply add a crisp white shirt and polished leather shoes — but you can also make a navy suit uber stylish, for a day at the Racetrack. By adding a colourful pocket square along with a coordinated tie, polish off with a pair of shiny derby shoes and voila!
However, if Navy isn't your bag try some of these colours that will work equally well!
Let’s say your off to the Races or have a Spring time wedding in the diary. Navy, Light Grey or Light Blue Suits will work best for this time of season.
Light grey will work well for the ‘less confident’ of colour wearers, as you can add a simple, dark tie and black or brown brogues or waxy Chelsea boots to finish off this look.
Base London - Statement Waxy Perf (£67.99) Turner Hi Shine (£69.99) Cheshire Waxy Brown (£72.99)
If you opt for a Navy suit; even though with some darker navy’s - you may loose the slightly summery vibe, you make up for this with adaptability. You can wear a Navy suit to almost any occasion – The Races included. (Browse our 'Guide To The Races' Pinterest Page Here)
Merely add a patterned or bold tie, with synchronised socks to add that extra splash of colour & brighten up your look. Navy suits can match perfectly with a pair of Brown, Tan or Bordo leather shoes.
Base London - Turner Hi Shine (69.99) Richards Waxy (£67.99) Turner Hi Shine (£69.99)
Choosing to style out a Light Blue suit, can be a bold move. But if pulled off right with the correct colour-ways and accessories, this can be the perfect SS17 ensemble. Toning down the eye-catching suit with a pair of brown/tan Derby's or Brogues, is far better than pairing up with a harsh pair of black patent shoes, on occasions like these.
Base London - Bailey Grain (£69.99) Gilmore Washed (£67.99)
And finally for those of you, who do not own and do not want to own anything other than a Black suit. That's no problem either! There are ways to brighten up even a black 3/Piece on a nice summers day. Instead of opting for a crisp, white, Oxford shit - switch it up to a textured shirt, or even a pattern shirt. Or perhaps. you'd prefer to go 'Full Chic' in an all black suit look.
Base London - Turner Washed (£69.99) Richards Waxy (£67.99) Page Washed (£67.99)
So thats colours taken care of, but what if suiting up is just too much effort? Or if you're not even sure what the dress code is?
Here's some style tips on making it more Smart/Casual or Dressing to Impress!
How To Dress Smart/Casual For a Garden Party / Countryside / Outside Event
Photographed: Marks & Spencer puppytooth blazer (£99), Paul Smith white shirt (£84), GANT navy chinos (£100)
Outfit: Textured blazer, crisp shirt and suit trousers/chinos.
Why this works: This gives off a typically British Vibe and also leans more towards the Smart in Smart/Casual dress: The blazer and trousers give off a 'suit' look, but a grade simpler and more chilled. You also don't have to worry about spending a few bob on the blazer, as a textured blazer usually hides any sign of lower material quality.
Trick: Ideally, it's best to make sure the blazer and chinos are not only different textures but also obviously different colours. Otherwise this ensemble could look like a odd, poorly matched suit.
Top Shoes: To give this look just the right amount of smartness, Brogues will do the job just fine. Opting for a brown or tan seem perfect, given the country setting of the event. To add that extra colour and personality to this style, don't be afraid to slip on some colourful socks instead of a tie.
Tie tip: With this type of look, you can go with or without a tie and it wont make too much difference. However, don't go for anything too shiny. Your jacket and trousers should be matte, therefore your tie should copy. A knitted tie could lift up this look even further.
Base London - Raid Washed (£69.99)
Base London - Conflict Waxy/Suede (£72.99) Turner Washed (£69.99)
How To Dress: If you haven't been given any guidelines, or the dress code is 'Dress To Impress' / 'Suits'
Photographed: Marks & Spencer linen suit jacket (£99), Marks & Spencer linen suit trousers (£49.50), Reiss black socks (£12)
Outfit: Grey or Navy suit, white oxford shirt, pale tie
Why it works: As a man, it's hard to go for an 'Eye-Catching' outfit at an event such as this. A simple navy/grey suit is what other guests are expecting you to wear, so no need to risk it. You can feel comfortable wearing this type of style and not sticking out of place.
Trick: The pale or light coloured tie is essential, as it halts your suit from looking too 'Worky'.
Top Shoes: Black brogues or Lace up derby shoes are cleanest. However, tan brogues can offer a more causal vibe if thats what you're after.
Tie tip: Knitted ties are a great extra for occasions like this. They still give off a smart shape but the texture offers more of an edge. Try and stick with pale colours - pastel blue/yellow/pink.
Base London - Conran Burnished (£69.99) Ford Grain (£72.99) Gilmore Waxy (£69.99)
This Will Help You Stand Out
Don’t Match Your Tie and Pocket Square. Why you ask? Surely this is a standard rule of thumb when it comes to suiting up for a formal event? Well, it’s not that it looks dreadful, but there’s so much potential for it to look better and more contemporary, helping you be a front-runner and stand out from the heard.
“Mismatching the accessories you wear with your suit helps you look more modern, it makes it seem like you've made less of an effort, and it gives the impression that you know what you're doing. In short, matching everything in an outfit can look a bit out of date. Instead, use your tie and pocket square to introduce some personality into a formal outfit.”
How to Do It Right
The example on the left is a bit over-coordinated and looks labored over, whereas the other two combos complement each other and that’s why they work.
Let’s Break it Down
- Match the Texture. Keeping both items the same texture is important when using contrasting colours or patterns. Mixing a shiny satin and non-shiny cotton for example could easily throw the whole thing off!
- Don’t Duplicate, Compliment. In the middle combination, the white stripes of the tie are reflected in the white pocket square. They share a common component without being a carbon copy. This trick is easy to pull off with any other patterned tie: select one colour from the tie and mirror it in a single colour pocket square.
- Make A Difference. Take bold steps and create enough of a contrast. Use two totally different colours, or have a patterned tie and a plain pocket square, make your intent clear.
"In the case of the pink-and-green combo, what works is that they're both bold and bright. However, a bright tie wouldn't look right with a pastel pocket square."
- Ooze Confidence. By going against the grain and making this small change you’ll add a touch of nonchalance to the usual formality of a suit and style will look like it comes naturally to you.
What Shoes to Wear at the Races?
Now we’ve reached the final furlong, the footwear! Shoeing your hooves for the race course can be a tricky affair in the UK. With Cheltenham Festival beginning in March, the weather is still very much tempestuous and the going could boggy, dry or anywhere in between – and thanks to the British weather it could even be both on the same day.
So here are a few options to consider based on the time of year and the colour of your suit.
How’s the Going?
Heavy Going: Shoes for Wet Grass
Our Battle Range blends a durable, Commando style, rubber sole with formal leather uppers and brogue detailing. Perfect for scrubbing up at damp outdoor events.
Woburn – Providing a thick studded rubber sole, our ever popular and best selling ‘Woburn’ gives you the appropriate grip and enough elevation from the damp turf to keep the shine in the colourful leather uppers.
Match Your Shoe Colour To Your Suit
Good Going: Dry with reasonable amount of give in the grass.
Artist – A New Sole for SS17. Not moving too far away from Woburn, the artist range has a slimmer rubber sole, that’s a little more sleek and formal. Being rubber it’s still durable enough for a bit of damp, but you don’t want to go trudging through water logged greens.
Monarch – All rubber, nice and grippy and formal as hell! If you prefer a last with a Chiseled toe you’ll step onto the race course like Royalty in a pair of shoes from this range.
Match Them to Your Suit
Firm Going: Shoes for Dry ground.
Fashionista – Fresh for SS17 the Fashionista Range features some classic formal styles on a slim line, resin, fashion sole. This Italian inspired range is perfect for any formal occasion from Weddings to Races and include several summery colours in a beautiful grain leather upper.
Atlas – The sun’s out the going is firm and its time to pull out the big guns! Our Atlas range is part of our exceptional 21st Anniversary Capsule Collection - XXI and features a genuine leather sole, with XXI branding. With a variety of styles sitting on this unit, our favourite for Race Day has got to be Vine. Double Monk Strap shoes are still a frim trend in menswear this year and you’ll be a hit with all the filly’s at the race course!
Get The Colours Right
Now you know how to dress for the races, check out the major horse racing events for 2017 here!