Fashion at the Races: Style Tips for the Well-Dressed Male

The races

Attending the races is a fun day out where you can enjoy a drink with friends in the sun and get your kicks from gambling on a potentially lucky looking horse or dog. It’s also an excuse to get dressed up in your finest threads. But are there any rules regarding what you should wear? And what will look good on you?

That’s where we can help. With our guide to men’s fashion at the races your outfit will be turning heads for all the right reasons.

Dress Codes and Guidelines

Depending on the race day you’ll be attending there is likely to be a dress code or guidelines to explain what is expected of spectators. This will vary depending on the event and time of year. Some will expect a three piece suit and others will simply say “no trainers”, so it is important to check with each individual establishment before picking out that perfect outfit.

You Can’t Go Wrong With a Suit

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A well-tailored suit is a style staple that every man should have in his wardrobe. No, we don’t mean the comfortable, navy one you wear to the office or the ill-fitting, black one you save for funerals. We mean a classic, stylish suit that shows off your personality.

Opt for a suit in beige, light blue or burgundy to make a bold, summery statement, whilst still looking dapper and feeling cool. If unusual colours aren’t your thing and you’d prefer something you’d get frequent use out of, we’d recommend a light grey or a subtle checkered patterned alternative.

The Mix and Match Blazer Chino Combo

For less formal events, a mismatched suit or a blazer and chino combination offers a more laidback, yet fashionable, option. Wear your plain suit jacket with a bold coloured trouser, chino or even smart jeans for a modern twist on classic tailoring that feels more comfortable for those who aren’t used to wearing a suit on a regular basis.

For this look to work, make sure your shirt and shoes complement the colour of your suit jacket and trousers. Too many colours can look chaotic and thrown together. We particularly like mixing a navy blazer, light blue or white shirt with cream chinos and brown shoes.

Don’t just take it from us. Professional designers love this look too:

The calendar may say winter, but the attitude is spring.

A photo posted by @poloralphlauren on

Put Your Best Foot Forward with a Classic Shoe

Whatever racing event you attend, it is likely that trainers will be banned. Yes, even ‘smart’ ones. Leather derbies and brogues are the obvious choice, as they not only look good, but are versatile, meaning they’ll look great with almost any outfit.

If you’ve opted for dark or plain coloured clothing, why not inject a pop of colour into your fashion with a pair of bright suede shoes?

Button Up a Simple Shirt

Although it may be tempting to wear a boldly patterned and colourful shirt, it may be best saved for another time. Instead, use a cool coloured shirt to form a base and balance out the other colourful items in your ensemble to bring it all together.

A crisp, white shirt will go with everything or for something with some colour, light blue or grey are always chic options.

Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise…Then Take the Last Item Off

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There’s a well-known saying ‘before you leave the house each day, take one thing off’. It refers to our tendency to go a bit OTT when we’re trying to dress up. Accessories can make an outfit, but too many can also break it!

We’d recommend sticking with some classics: a tie, pocket square, sunglasses and a great watch. A tie and pocket square will instantly make your outfit more formal, whereas sunglasses and a watch are a practical way of adding a little bling.

We love a brightly-coloured pocket square with a busy pattern and an aviator or wayfarer framed shade. And let’s not forget a sharp looking watch with a silver segmented or leather strap.

Style Icons for Races Fashion

Can’t imagine how all this will pull together? Then search for images of David Beckham, David Gandy, Guy Ritchie and Henry Cavill for inspiration that’s sure to get your mind racing about what clothing you can pull together from your wardrobe.

Now you know what you’ll be wearing to the races, do you know how you’ll be betting? My Racing provides free racing tips online. Improve your odds and get in-the-know before you place a bet with My Racing’s help.

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