Whether you’re heading to the Cheltenham races or Royal Ascot, it’s better to turn your thoughts to your race-day attire sooner rather than later. Time can creep up on you. And before you know it, you’re left without a suitable outfit.
To help you start thinking about the perfect outfit, we’re sharing some of our favourite race day outfit ideas. We’ll be talking dress code, as well as sharing some standout women’s race day dresses and men’s race day suits.
What is race day attire?
It’s safe to say that race day attire is formal wear. It’s a day to dress up, put a little thought into how your outfit ties together, and wear something you would only pick out for special events. Race day outfits exist in the same realm as weddings and christenings, which should help you imagine some of the outfits you’ll encounter on the day.
For men, it’s a great time to don your best suit. The ladies will all be dressing up for the event, so why shouldn’t you? If you do want something a little more casual, pair your best pair of jeans or chinos with a crisp white shirt and a smart blazer.
If you’re going to be attending the races with friends, it might be helpful to ask what they are wearing. This will give you some inspiration and tell you whether you’re on the right track with your outfit.
Your event might have some dress code rules, so keep an eye out for those. You don’t want to rock up in a crop top to find that they are banned.
Women's race day styling
We adore women's race day outfits that offer a pop of colour or a bright floral print. Race days usher in the warmer weather, so it’s a great time to get into the spirit of summer.
Our current favourite dresses include:
This beautiful blue marble print Dalla Verona Smocked Midid dress from French Connection. It’s a breath of fresh air. As this dress does all the talking, we would pair it with some comparatively neutral flats like these pretty and simple Ellington leather sandals from Lauren by Ralph Lauren. To tie in with these pastel tones, we would choose the Divina Crossbody bag in pink from Valentino, which is the perfect size for your phone, makeup for midday touch-ups, and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
Dalla Verona Smocked Midi Dress by French Connection
Alternatively, this Chaida Geometric print dress by Suncoo is an elegant and contemporary option. We would pair this dress with these simple tan accessories, like these strappy mule heels by Lauren by Ralph Lauren, and this elegant and versatile Hudson medium convertible crossbody bag from Kate Spade.
Men's race day outfits
For men, the races are a brilliant time to wear something a little more “standout” than you might usually wear. That doesn’t have to be a suit, but they certainly do look suave. Here are two of our favourite picks:
Slim Fit Checked Suit by Antique Rogue
Showcase a classic vintage style with this tan and grey checked suit with tonal stitching for some extra detail. The great thing is that this is a suit that you can wear time and time again, beyond race day. For the big day, we would pair it with a clean white shirt, a tie, and formal shoes.
Severnn Cotton Super Soft Blazer from Ted Baker
You’re going to be spending a significant portion of the day outdoors, so it’s good to wear something that will keep you cool and feeling fresh. As a natural fabric, cotton is great for breathability, which is why we’ve selected this blazer from Ted Baker as a recommendation. Fitted yet lightweight, you won’t feel weighed down or restricted in this one.
Pair with suit trousers of your choice, or style it down with jeans or chinos. If you’re styling down, we recommend wearing a pair of your finest shoes, a new shirt, and a tie to keep that formal edge to your outfit.