Fashion stakes: what to put on to the races


Girls’s model through the British horseracing season all the time will get a variety of consideration, typically of the destructive variety. At Aintree lately, I did see some riotously dressed — and really undressed — girls. However the majority appeared to grasp the fundamentals of raceday dressing: posh frock, jumpsuit or trouser go well with; fancy sneakers; a hat or some type of hair ornament.

It was the boys who had me fearful, notably the youthful ones. Every thing was too small. There have been a variety of shrunken shiny fits; flimsy, too-tight sports activities jackets; stretchy chino trousers with again pockets distorted by telephones and ponderous wallets; sockless toes and skimpy brown sneakers revealing shocks of white ankle and calf. Fairly often these clothes have been topped with a flat tweed cap. The general impact was the Peaky Blinders on an awayday to the seaside.

Was this drawback distinctive to Aintree? Was I being unfair? “Oh no,” says Christopher Modoo, a menswear stylist and former vogue editor of Thoroughbred Proprietor & Breeder journal. “It’s a nationwide embarrassment. The final time I went to Cheltenham, I used to be shocked by what I used to be seeing — partly the behaviour, however largely due to the garments.”

The widespread casualisation of costume — accelerated by the pandemic — goes some solution to explaining this. Many younger males have spent their lives in sweatpants, from toddler age onwards, required to brush up for under a handful of occasions, the principle one being the varsity promenade. “There are a variety of younger guys on the races who’re truly sporting their promenade fits,” says Modoo. “That’s as a result of suiting is now a fringe providing. Within the 1980s and ’90s, each store within the excessive avenue bought fits, however now streetwear has taken over. The one fits that generate profits are promenade fits, so younger guys are sporting these schoolboy outfits to each event going ahead.”

Suiting is now a fringe providing, main many younger males to put on their promenade fits to the races © Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

However at Aintree even older males have been flashing their calves, trouser material straining over cumbersome thighs. “The too-small look has been round for 10 or 15 years. Earlier than that males all the time wore their suiting too large, now it’s too tight,” says males’s vogue journalist Alfred Tong, the one man of my acquaintance with a private tailor. “It’s a type of bastardised Thom Browne meets Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent. Topman was pushing it for a very long time and it’s nonetheless everywhere in the excessive avenue.”

So, when you’re a person who needs to interrupt free from the group with a recent raceday look, one that may take you to Royal Ascot in June and to summer time weddings and events sooner or later, what must you put on and the place must you go to seek out it?

Tong says he would go for separate tailor-made items in a linen-silk mix: an unstructured blue or Prince of Wales test blazer, worn with trousers in a wealthy beige — “a barely wider trouser with a turn-up, worn increased on the waist, with facet fasteners, not a belt”. He likes a high-collared shirt, linen safari shirts with two pockets or a collared knit T-shirt.

A men’s jacket in Prince of Wales check
Rampley & Co Prince of Wales superfine wool jacket, £895, rampleyandco.com
Men’s jacket in tan double-check
Oliver Brown Eaton jacket, £375, oliverbrown.org.uk

He recommends his tailor, Adrian Holdsworth of Volpe Sartoriale, for such items. “You’re measured within the UK however it’s all made in Italy. Not low cost however higher worth than Loro Piana and Brunello Cucinelli. Fits are £2,000 versus £6,000.” Button-through shirts in merino wool are £210 (volpesartoriale.com).

Tong can be a fan of the extra reasonably priced Oliver Brown. “It’s elegant Sloane stuff, not too frumpy or dowdy. They provide a variety of summer time tailoring.” The Oliver Brown Eaton jacket in honey-coloured double-check linen is £375 (oliverbrown.org.uk). There’s additionally a rent service for Royal Ascot morning put on and high hats.

A blue polka dot pocket square
M&S pure linen polka-dot pocket sq., £12.50, marksandspencer.com
an orange-brown tie with small patterns
Hermès vibrant Bounce tie, £180, hermes.com

Catherine Hayward, a vogue editor and stylist to celebrities together with Benedict Cumberbatch and Cillian Murphy, is smitten by Favourbrook, an official licensee of Royal Ascot and as such properly acquainted with the event’s costume codes — the model gained’t allow you to make a sartorial clanger. For extra experimental and funky tailoring with plenty of color, she suggests Drake’s, which has shops in London, New York, Tokyo and Seoul.

For males who need to purchase one factor that may see them by means of completely different summer time events this 12 months and past, she advises a light-weight, navy-blue, single-breasted go well with — whether or not from Savile Row or the excessive avenue. “A standard false impression amongst males is {that a} go well with goes to be sizzling, however that’s not the case with a lighter-weight wool, particularly a merino. And a high-twist wool gained’t crease both,” she says. “Test whether or not it’s lined, half-lined or not lined in any respect.” The much less lining it has, the cooler a go well with will likely be.

The shorter trouser remains to be the fashionable reduce. “For those who’ve received good brown ankles, present them off. If not, put on a skinny sock. Once I’m styling for the purple carpet I am going to Marks and Spencer and purchase packs of skinny ribbed lambswool or cotton. Get ones that go proper as much as the knee so there’s no hole.” A 3-pack of the model’s lambswool sensible socks is £15 (marksandspencer.com).

Fear the brief reduce isn’t flattering to your construct? An extended size shouldn’t be unlawful. “You simply don’t need plenty of material pooling round your shoe. It ought to relaxation on the shoe or have a slight, light break,” says Hayward.

Stylist Modoo encourages males to transcend their normal go well with and benefit from the alternative of dressing in a different way; he likes to rise to a racing event with tweed. He recommends Oliver Brown and Alan Paine, the nation clothes shop, the place tweed blazers are priced at round £300 (alanpaine.co.uk). For extra relaxed Italian-style blazers, he suggests Rampley & Co (rampleyandco.com).

“You’re not going to the workplace, you’re not showing in court docket,” he says. “It’s the prospect to put on one thing you don’t put on day-after-day.”

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