What to Wear at the Races: Style Guide for a Day at the Track

What to Wear at the Races: Style Guide for a Day at the Track

When you go to the races, what you wear can be just as exciting as the race itself, whether it's the quiet beauty of Royal Ascot or the loud thrill of the Kentucky Derby.

Horse racing events aren't just about the sport; they're also a great chance for fashionistas to show off their best clothes. Make sure you find the best mix of style and comfort when you dress for the races with this ultimate guide.

Going to the races isn't just a way to enjoy an exciting sport; it's also a chance to show off your best style. Whether this is your first time at a race or you're a seasoned pro at looking good on the tracks, what you wear can make or break your experience.

For both men and women, here is a full guide on how to look your best at the races.

What to Wear At The Races For Women

What to Wear At The Races For Women

1. Dress Elegantly

Finding the right dress means finding a balance between style and how serious the event is. Choose a classy knee-length or mini dress that fits the mood of the season.

For summer events, light fabrics like silk and chiffon are great because they are comfortable and add a bit of class. Even though floral prints and soft colours are always popular, feel free to try out brighter colours or designs as long as they still look classy.

2. Headwear is a Must

The right hat is an important part of any race day outfit. Not only are hats and fascinators a nod to custom, but they're also a way to show off your style.

When choosing a hat, think about the size and colour to make sure it goes with your outfit and doesn't make your face look too big. The choice should make you look better overall by giving a touch of class and elegance.

3. Comfortable Footwear

It's very important to choose the right shoes for race days because you'll be standing and walking a lot. Many people might choose heels first, but think about the surface of the setting.

Wedges or stylish flats can look just as good and be much more useful. If you like heels, choose a style and height that is comfortable and won't make you want to sit down in the middle of the day.

What to Wear At The Races For Men

1. Go for a Blazer or Suit

Blazer or Suit For Races

How serious the race event is a big part of whether to wear a blazer or a suit. For important races, a well-tailored blue or grey suit is best. For less formal events, a blazer and pants in a different colour can work well.

Making sure your clothes fit perfectly is the most important thing. A good fit makes any outfit look better.

2. Consider a Tie or Bowtie

Tie or Bowtie For races

You can make your outfit more unique by adding a tie or scarf as an accessory. Pick a pattern or colour that either goes well with your suit or stands out in a good way.

A pocket square in a colour that goes with your outfit can make it look even better and add a bit of style to the whole thing.

3. Smart Shoes

Smart Shoes For Races

The shoes you wear should match your outfit. On race day, polished oxfords or brogues are always a good choice because they look good in both suits and jackets. You'll probably be on your feet for a long time, so make sure your shoes are comfy enough to wear all day.

Accessories and Final Touches

Adding the right accessories can give your look more depth and make it stand out, making it your own.

For everyday items, women might want to carry a stylish clutch. If the weather calls for it, they could add a scarf or blanket. Men can finish off their look with a stylish watch that works well and looks good.

Gearing up for the races is a fun activity that blends style with the party atmosphere at the track. If you pay attention to style, comfort, and the right items, you can make sure that race day is both fun and stylish. It's fun to look your best, whether you're betting on horses or just enjoying the day.

Also Read: Old Money Style Guide

What Not to Wear at the Races

What Not to Wear at the Races

It's just as important to follow custom and manners when dressing for a day at the races as it is to look good. There are some general rules about what not to wear that will help you follow the event's style and tone. The rules may be slightly different based on the venue and level of formality. Take a close look at these fashion bad pas you should avoid on race day.

1. Avoid Jeans and Casual Trousers

No matter what colour or type of jeans you wear, most people think they are too casual for a race day, especially at big events. The same goes for other casual pants, like cargo pants or athletic wear, which don't belong in a race track's classy environment.

2. Avoid Shorts and Sportswear

Another thing you should leave at home is shorts, even when it's hot outside. They don't follow the rules about how to dress formally or semi-formally that are usually in place at the races. In the same way, wearing sportswear like jerseys or sneakers is not suitable because it takes away from the dressy feel of the day.

3. Avoid Overly Revealing Outfits

Even though race days are a chance to show off your best clothes, it's important to remember to be elegant. Avoid wearing clothes that are too showing, like tops or dresses with deep plunges, slits that are too high, or materials that are see-through without the right underwear. The idea is to find a mix between being on-trend and being modest and classy.

Wearing clothes that are too casual or revealing is not appropriate for men. This means leaving behind tank tops and shirts that are too tight or made of too casual materials like jersey or linen that look dirty or wrinkled.

4. Footwear to Avoid

You might want to wear flip-flops or shoes, but they are not appropriate for any race day. They don't look right and don't provide much support for all the walking and standing you'll probably do. Instead, choose shoes that are well-kept and match the level of class in your outfit.

5. No Large Bags or Backpacks

People often think that big bags and backpacks are too relaxed for the races because they are hard to carry. Choose a small clutch or a stylish handbag that can hold your items without taking away from your well-put-together look.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I wear white to the races? 

Of course! For the races, white can look beautiful. Just make sure your outfit is proper for the event, and if you want to stand out, think about adding some bright accessories.

2. How should I choose my hat or fascinator? 

Choose a piece that fits well with the rest of your outfit and doesn't make your face look too big. Think about your whole shape, and since you'll be wearing it all day, make sure it's comfy.

3. Are there any specific colour rules for men’s race day attire? 

There are no hard and fast rules about colours, but if you're not sure, it's best to go with more muted or neutral tones. Bright colours and patterns are fine, but there should be a basic base to keep everything in balance.


 Attending a race isn't just about seeing the sport; it's also about the experience. If you dress well, you'll feel like you're a part of the exciting custom that is horse racing. Dressing right will help you enjoy your day to the best, whether it's your first time or you've been many times before.

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