How To Dress For The Races

And they’re off! Yep its that time of year already and with Horse Racing season round the corner, it’s time to figure out how to dress for the races and to start nailing down your ultimate Racecourse outfit. We’ve borrowed a few style tips from our friends at to make sure you don’t have a mare over what to wear!

What Colour Suit Should I Wear?

What to wear to the Races

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 of course.

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!

What to wear to the Races
Img Via Shutterstock

However, if Navy isn’t your bag, try some of these colours that will work equally well!

Race Colours

Let’s say your off to the Horse 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

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.

What to wear to the Races


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)

What to wear to the Races
Img. Coorp Clothing

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.

What to wear to the Races

Light Blue

What to wear to the Races
Img Via Shutterstock

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 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.


What to wear to the Races
Img Via Shutterstock

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 shirt – 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\shirt look.

What to wear to the Races

So that’s 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!

Occasion Dressing

How To Dress Smart/Casual For a Garden Party / Outside Event

What to wear to the Races

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 |  Motif Washed Tan  |  Focus Washed Brown   |  Turner Hi Shine Tan 

How To Dress: If you haven’t been given any guidelines, or the dress code is

‘Dress To Impress’ / ‘Suits’

What to wear to the Races

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 | Cast Hi Shine Black |  Barney Washed Tan |  Thorpe Waxy Black


This Will Help You Stand Out

How to Dress for the Races

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.

Thread Tip!

“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

How to Dress for the Races

The example on the left is a bit over-coordinated and looks labored over, whereas the other two combos compliment each other and that’s why they work.

Let’s Break it Down

    1. 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!
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  1. 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.

 Thread Tip:

“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.”

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 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.

Match Your Shoe Colour To Your Suit

Grey Suit

Navy / Blue Suit

Black Suit

How’s the Going?

Heavy Going: Shoes for Wet Grass

Our chunky cleated sole styles blends a durable, commando style rubber sole with rich, formal leather uppers. Perfect for scrubbing up at damp outdoor events. An obvious reminder to avoid any suede footwear options, if the weather is looking soggy.


Base |  Grundy Washed Bordo  |  Wilkes Washed Cocoa  |  Bosworth Washed Tan  | Hogan Washed Navy

Good Going: Dry with reasonable amount of give in the grass.

You’re better off opting for one of our textured rubber soles on these occasions –  Being rubber it’s still durable enough for a bit of damp; but you don’t want to go trudging through water logged greens. Textured rubber soles = nice & grippy and formal as hell! Have a look at our top choices below.

Base |  Wayne Burnished Grey  |  Jenson Washed Tan    |  Thorpe Waxy Black

Firm Going: Shoes for Dry ground.

Our classic formal styles on a slim line, resin or leather fashion soles are the perfect match for a more ‘solid turf’. Although rubber soles offer a more sturdier frame – the slimline resin sole boasts more formal, luxurious feel.

Base | Corin Washed Tan  |  Lens Suede Beige/Tan     |  Garnet Softy Navy |  Cast Hi Shine

Now you know how to dress for the races, check out the major horse racing events for 2020 here!

Shop For The Races