What To Wear To The Races (+ 5 Top Tips for Dressing Well)

March 31, 2022

Racing season is upon us once again. For some that means champagne and each-way accumulators, and for others, well, it’s all about the fashion. 

No matter the reason you’re heading to the track, the races are always a fun day out. But of course... what to wear?

With the 2022 race season having just kicked off with Cheltenham, this post will be a guide to how to dress for the mainstay events. Whether you’ve got a wardrobe full of suits, or you’re just looking for an investment to get you started on your fashion journey, we’ve got you covered. 

The dress code for the races can vary for each event, so let’s go through some of the main ones now. 

What to wear to Cheltenham


The good news is there’s no formal dress code for Cheltenham. Well, don’t stroll up in joggers and a grubby t-shirt. But you have the option of being a little more casual with your style. 

Most well-dressed men opt for Tweed suits, and it’s a day when you can get away with an unbuttoned collar and no tie, if you wish. 

What to wear to the Grand National

The jewel in the crown that is the horse racing season, the Grand National is the event that everyone looks forward to. 

Being in April, the weather can be a little unpredictable. The key is to wear a well-fitting tailored suit, which you can always dress up with a coat if need be. Darker colours like brown, black, and grey are a good option if you’re hoping to play it safe.

But if you’re going out to make a statement, this is the event for experimenting with your look. Patterns or bright colours are a great way to stand out from the crowd. Or you could make a statement and go for a luxurious 3 piece worsted wool suit, which is sure to turn heads.

What to wear to Royal Ascot

If there’s a day for dressing to impress, and pulling out all the stops, it’s Royal Ascot. The dress code varies based on which enclosure you’ll be in, but rest assured that you should pull out your formal wear. 

If you’re going to the Royal enclosure, gentlemen must wear a black or grey morning suit – which includes a waistcoat and tie – a black or grey top hat, and black shoes. 

The least formal enclosure, the Windsor enclosure, still requires all attendees to dress ‘smart’. A jacket, shirt, and trousers are non-negotiable, though you can play around with colour and patterns if you wish. 

Top tips for dressing well at the races

  • Always go for a suit

This one’s a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. However, it doesn’t have to be the same drab suit you wear in the office from Monday to Friday. Going to the races is a fun event, so let your outfit choices reflect that. 

  • Colour doesn’t have to be extreme


When we tell you to embrace colour, it doesn’t have to be neon pink or aquamarine. Instead, dabble in colours like deep plum, light beige, or sage for a more refined look, that will still stand out from the crowds on race day.  

  • Keep your footwear smart
Let’s shout it from the rooftops: NO! TRAINERS! Even if they’re smart, even if they cost £300. For a basic shoe, go for a pair of plain black or brown Oxfords or Derbies, or spice things up with a pair of brogues or suede shoes. 

Just remember to check the rain forecast before you take out your suede pair!

  • Don’t forget your tie and pocket square

Fashion is all about the details. Even if you’re going for a neutral-coloured outfit, you can inject some colour through your accessories –– we’re talking ties and pocket squares. The options are endless, just make sure it goes with your shirt and jacket. 

Again, formal does not equal boring!

  • Think Peaky Blinders


We’re seeing a lot of outfits that look like they’ve come straight out of the lawless streets of 1920s Birmingham - Peaky Blinders style. For a true gentlemanly race look, you can’t beat a tweed suit and a newsboy cap.


If you can’t emulate Thomas Shelby on race day, when can you?

Tweedmaker has everything you need to put together a perfect gentlemanly outfit for the races. With expertly tailored suits in the highest-quality materials, you’ll be sure to turn heads. Check out our catalogue now.