Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the top 10 do's and don'ts of what to wear to the races for men. Whether you're a seasoned racegoer or attending your first race, it's essential to dress the part and make a lasting impression.

In this article, we'll provide you with invaluable tips and insights to help you navigate the world of race day suits for men. From choosing the perfect suit to accessorizing with the right hat and shoes, we've got you covered.

Our aim is to strike the perfect balance between elegance, style, and individuality, ensuring you look your best and make a statement without going overboard. We'll steer you away from common fashion faux pas and guide you towards race day success.

Whether you're attending a prestigious event like Royal Ascot or a local race meet, our do's and don'ts will help you avoid any sartorial mishaps and ensure you're dressed to impress.

So grab a notepad, take notes, and get ready to take your race day fashion game to the next level. Let's dive in!

The Importance of Dressing Appropriately

Dressing appropriately for the races is more than just a matter of etiquette; it's a way to show respect for the event and the traditions it upholds. Race day is a special occasion that calls for a certain level of sophistication and style. By dressing appropriately, you not only fit in with the crowd but also enhance your overall race day experience.

When you dress well, you feel more confident and comfortable, which can positively impact your enjoyment of the races. Additionally, dressing appropriately shows that you understand and appreciate the significance of the event, and it can also help you make a good impression on fellow racegoers and potential business contacts.

So, before you head to the races, take the time to plan your outfit and consider the do's and don'ts we'll discuss next. Your efforts will undoubtedly pay off when you step onto the racecourse looking sharp and stylish.

The Do's of Dressing for the Races

Do: Choose a Tailored Suit and Shirt

One of the most important things to consider when dressing for the races is your choice of suit. Opting for a well-fitted, tailored suit is crucial to achieving a polished and sophisticated look. Avoid off-the-rack options that may not provide the perfect fit and instead invest in a suit that flatters your body shape and reflects your personal style.

When selecting the colour of your suit, it's best to stick to classic options such as navy, charcoal, or grey. These colors are timeless and versatile, making them suitable for various race day events. Pair your suit with a crisp, well-ironed shirt in a complementary colour, such as white or light blue. Remember to choose a shirt that fits well and doesn't bunch up or wrinkle under your suit jacket.

Do: Wear a Tie or Bowtie

Adding a tie or bowtie to your race day ensemble instantly elevates your look and adds a touch of sophistication. When choosing a tie, opt for silk or high-quality polyester in a color or pattern that complements your suit. If you prefer a more formal and traditional look, a classic silk tie in a conservative pattern, such as stripes or polka dots, is a safe choice.

Alternatively, if you want to make a bold statement, consider a vibrant-coloured tie or one with a unique pattern. Just remember to ensure the tie coordinates well with the rest of your outfit and doesn't clash with your suit or shirt.

If you're feeling particularly dapper, a bowtie can be an excellent alternative to a traditional tie. Bowties exude a timeless elegance and add a touch of flair to your race day look. opt for a self-tied bowtie rather than a pre-tied one, as it adds an extra level of authenticity and sophistication.

Do: opt for Classic and Stylish Accessories

Accessories can make or break your race day outfit, so it's essential to choose them wisely. Opt for classic and stylish accessories that enhance your overall look without overpowering it. A pocket square is a must-have accessory that adds a refined touch to your suit jacket. Choose a pocket square in a complementary color or pattern that coordinates with your tie or bowtie.

Another accessory that can elevate your outfit is a stylish watch. A classic timepiece adds a touch of elegance and sophistication and serves as a practical accessory. Opt for a watch with a leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet, depending on your personal style and the formality of the event.

Finally, don't forget the power of a well-chosen belt and cufflinks. A high-quality leather belt that matches your shoes can pull your outfit together, while cufflinks add a touch of refinement to your shirt cuffs. Choose cufflinks in a metal finish that coordinates with your watch and other accessories for a cohesive look.

Do: Wear Appropriate Footwear

When it comes to footwear for the races, it's essential to strike the right balance between style and comfort. opt for a pair of well-polished, leather dress shoes that complement your suit. Classic options such as Oxfords or Brogues are always a safe bet, as they exude timeless elegance and can be paired with a variety of suit colours.

Ensure your shoes are clean and well-maintained, as scuffed or dirty footwear can ruin an otherwise impeccable outfit. It's also a good idea to break in your shoes before race day to avoid any discomfort or blisters.

Remember, the races involve a fair amount of walking and standing, so choose shoes that provide both style and comfort. Avoid sneakers, sandals, or any casual footwear that may be more suitable for a day at the beach rather than a sophisticated event like the races.

The Don'ts of Dressing for the Races

Don't: Wear Casual or Sportswear

While it's important to express your personal style and individuality, it's essential to remember that the races are a formal or semi-formal affair. As such, it's best to avoid casual or sportswear when selecting your race day outfit. Leave your jeans, t-shirts, and trainers at home for a more appropriate occasion.

Instead, opt for tailored clothing that exudes sophistication and elegance. The races provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your sartorial prowess and stand out from the crowd in a positive way. By dressing appropriately, you not only respect the event but also show respect for your fellow racegoers.

Don't: Overdo It with Accessories

While accessories can enhance your race day look, it's crucial not to go overboard. Avoid the temptation to wear too many accessories or ones that are overly flashy or attention-grabbing. Remember, the goal is to strike a balance between style and subtlety.

Choose a few well-thought-out accessories that complement your outfit rather than overwhelming it. This ensures that your accessories enhance your overall look without becoming the focal point. By keeping it simple and elegant, you'll create a cohesive and polished race day ensemble.

Don't: Forget to Consider the Weather

The weather can play a significant role in determining your race day outfit. It's essential to consider the forecast and dress accordingly. If it's a sunny day, don't forget to wear sunscreen and bring a stylish hat to protect yourself from the sun's rays. Opt for a lightweight, breathable suit and shirt to stay cool and comfortable throughout the day.

On the other hand, if the weather is cooler or there's a chance of rain, layering is key. Consider wearing a stylish overcoat or blazer that complements your suit and provides an extra layer of warmth. Don't forget to bring an umbrella or a waterproof jacket to shield yourself from the rain.

By considering the weather and dressing appropriately, you'll ensure you're comfortable throughout the day and able to enjoy the races without any weather-related discomfort.


When it comes to race day fashion for men, adhering to the do's and don'ts outlined in this article will help you make a lasting impression and ensure you're dressed to impress. Remember to choose a tailored suit and shirt, wear a tie or bowtie, opt for classic and stylish accessories, and select appropriate footwear.

Avoid casual or sportswear, don't overdo it with accessories, and always consider the weather when planning your race day outfit. By following these guidelines, you'll strike the perfect balance between elegance, style, and individuality, setting yourself up for a successful race day experience.

So, the next time you head to the races, keep these do's and don'ts in mind, and you'll be sure to turn heads for all the right reasons. Dress to impress, embrace the traditions and sophistication of the event, and enjoy a day of thrilling races in style!

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