What Should Men Wear To The Races: Gentlemens’ Style Guide

What men should wear at the races

In the world of horse racing, where tradition meets elegance and excitement, there exists a timeless art form: the attire of the distinguished gentleman. Whether the thundering hooves kick up dust on the flats or hurdle over obstacles in jumps, one thing remains constant—the refined style that accompanies the sport. Welcome to the definitive guide on what men should wear to both flat and jumps racing.

There are 59 racecourses in the UK, so you have plenty of choices for which racecourse you want to attend. If you’re looking for which racecourses are the best to attend, check out out top 10 racecourses in the UK article. If it’s your first day at the races, we also have a complete guide to your first day at the races, which is well worth a read!

Dressing for Flat Races

Although it’s not compulsory at all racecourses, men tend to dress up smart still. Men tend to wear a collared shirt with trousers and smart shoes. Depending on the weather, gents may also add a blazer or opt for a suit, with the option of adding a tie too. 

With the flat season behind held during the warmer months, a light coloured suit/blazer is a popular option. Or, if you have a darker suit you wish to wear, you could always add a coloured shirt (rather than white) to brighten your outfit. If you’re wearing a suit, another option is to choose a colourful tie to round off your look. 

Dressing for Jumps Races

For jumps one of the most popular options for ‘traditionalists’ is tweed, especially for the colder meetings a tweed jacket is a common sight at racecourses. Another popular option is a suit, especially if you’re in hospitality or in one of the more expensive enclosures – you also have the option of adding a waistcoat too for that extra layer. If it’s extra cold, a smart overcoat always looks good at a racecourse, but don’t be put off from wearing a thick insulated coat either – keeping warm is more important than how you look!

Suits are also a popular choice for men at jumps racing fixtures. A fitted suit exudes an air of sophistication that commands attention at the races and can offer the perfect blend of style, practicality and versatility.

Tips To Enhance Your Race Day Attire

First and foremost, you’re likely to be on your feet for plenty of time at the races, so you will want to invest in some quality footwear – ideally, you will want a pair of smart shoes/boots that are comfortable.

Ensuring your outfit is the right fit is another useful tip – you don’t want to be wearing something that looks baggy on you, or something that is too tight! Wearing something smart that doesn’t fit will not enhance your appearance, so make sure that you’ve checked your outfit fits right before you head to the races.

Accessories-wise, a nice watch is always a welcome addition to any outfit, although if you’re dressed for the cold weather it might not be as visible. During the especially colder months, you may want to add a scarf or a hat (flat caps are a popular choice) to round off the look and keep your body temperature up. 

In the warmer months, sunglasses are a good option to add, so you can watch the racing without having to squint your eyes. A watch and tie clip are other popular additions, adding a bit of ‘bling’ to your outfit. 

One final tip for how to enhance your race day is to enjoy it as an owner! There’s no better feeling than watching your horse run at the racecourse – the buzz you get is like no other. Horse Racing Syndicates have now made this affordable for all, with shares in our syndicate available from just £45. Find out more about how horse racing syndicates operate here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can men wear jeans to the races?

Jeans are allowed at most racecourses, although it could depend on what enclosure you are in. Most racecourse will accept a smart pair of jeans, but ripped jeans are not usually permitted. It’s recommended to check the racecourse website beforehand to check their dress code. 

Can I wear a suit to the races?

Of course! Suits are one of the most popular choices for attire to wear to the races, regardless of the weather. 

What accessories are appropriate for gentlemen at horse racing events?

A nice watch is always a good option if you want to look smart at the races, and a tie to accompany a suit is a good option. For winter racing or during the colder months, it’s essential to stay warm, so scarves, hats and gloves are always wise options. 

Are shorts considered suitable race-day attire?

Shorts are generally regarded as unacceptable at a racecourse, although they are not forbidden in some enclosures at certain meetings. Recently, however, The Jockey Club racecourses brought in a ‘wear what you feel comfortable’ policy, which allows you to wear whatever you feel comfortable in, including shorts. 

What should I wear if it rains?

The last thing you want is to be stuck out in the rain without the correct attire on, so it’s well worth checking the weather forecast before picking your outfit. If it does rain, there are indoor areas at racecourses, but it might mean you need to watch the racing on the TV. If you wish to be outdoors in the rain, make sure you’re either wearing a waterproof jacket or have an umbrella to hand, along with suitable footwear for the conditions.

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