Many individuals opt to dress up for a day at the races, and although it is not often required, it is considered part of the raceday experience. The Racing Post has put together a rundown of everything you need to know about what to dress to the races.
Although not required in all enclosures, smart attire is the approved dress code for racegoers. Trainers and shorts are typically considered inappropriate, yet they are not prohibited in certain enclosures or during some meetings.
A collared shirt, pants, and good shoes are the traditional Flat racing outfits for men. Some people opt to complete the appearance with a tie and jacket, but this is a personal choice that is influenced by the weather.
Because most huge meetings take place in the winter, these meetings tend to follow a dress for the weather approach rather than a stringent dress code. Tweed is a historical custom among jumping lovers, but it is only a personal taste.
Even when considering what to wear to the Cheltenham Festival, dress for the weather, unless you are a business visitor, in which case a suit may be more suited.
Many ladies attending Flat race meetings in the summer, associate a day at the races as a day to dress up in all their glitz and glamour, although this is not compulsory in many areas. Some of the more prestigious meetings and the ever growing number of ladies’ specific days put the spotlight on fashion, while some meetings offer competitions for the best-dressed racegoers to enter.
As with guys, dress weather-appropriate apparel in the winter, with heels not recommended in the anticipated rainy circumstances.
Royal Ascot – a special occasion
Royal Ascot is a famous five-day gathering in June that is steeped in history, with the dress code being one of its most traditional components. The racetrack has strict criteria for what to dress, and failing to conform might result in admittance being refused.
The Royal Enclosure, for example, requires all males to wear a three-piece morning suit and top hat at all times. Ladies must wear a cap or headpiece at all times and follow a tight set of rules governing their attire. Ascot has also lately implemented a regulation requiring all males to wear socks.
The Golden Rule
Please go to the individual racecourse websites for complete information on all dress rules, as most of them give excellent advise on what to wear for your day at the races.