Less formal than Royal Ascot, it typifies Parisian chic but not shorn of fashion influence from all corners of the
globe. There is scope for a playful side that is subtle and discreet. Gone are the days of royals entering in proper
military costume, fit for an emperor, like Napoleon did all those years ago. Instead one can opt for the more
classical side of Neapolitan tailoring. The city’s clothiers have been dressing monarchs, aristos and erstwhile
members of the social elite throughout Europe, right from the very beginning. Contrary to what an established
Neapolitan tailor might imply, Neapolitan tailoring has its roots firmly in dressing the English aristocracy.
Wearing clothes with Neapolitan construction, informed by English taste forms an aura of stylish French flair, quite
fitting, since Longchamp is in Paris. Wandering the lush green pastures of the racecourse flanking the Seine on a
mild October afternoon, a relatively lightweight jacket should be strongly considered. It is not an event to
showcase garish colours and patterns. Famed Neapolitan tailoring house De Petrillo certainly don’t facilitate such
flashiness in their collection of jackets. Their cream and burgundy Posillipo single-breasted jacket is a beautiful
example of understated elegance. It is half-lined, which makes it lighter and more breathable, creating a softer
shirt-style shoulder for that effortless appearance around the racecourse. Worn with Edward Sexton's biscuit wool
Hollywood Top trouser, a style that began in the 1930s and reminiscent of the art-deco movement, you will certainly
feel like your part of the lost generation set of writers drinking liquor at the Dingo Bar, but instead doing the
same in one of the boxes taking in the magnificent tapestry of sights at the course. To complete the outfit a
mid-blue French cuffed plain shirt by Cifonelli is a classic that will go with any suiting, along with a patterned
tie by Florentine tailors Sartoria Vestrucci.
The ‘golden era’ for the double-breasted suit was between the two world wars in the ‘30s. Considering the acrimonious
abdication of Edward VIII in 1936, one of greatest forbearers of the double-breasted suit, the style certainly
peppered the front pages of newspapers during that time. There couldn’t really be a better utopian attorney of the
double-breasted suit than the Duke of Windsor who encapsulated exactly how to wear it, what to pair it with and most
importantly which tailor to commission. Nestled on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne park is 4 Route du Champ
d’Entrainment. Hidden between a cohort of cedrus libani trees, it became the rented villa that the Duke of Windsor
would inhabit with his wife from 1953 until Wallis’s death in 1986, only a short stroll to the course.
A well-tailored double-breasted suit can help disguise a profile where the waist is wider than the shoulders. It is a
commanding, powerful ensemble that always looks classy when complemented by the right touches of sophistication and
should be strongly considered for the Arc meeting. Using a lightweight wool, B Corner have designed the perfect
double-breasted two-piece suit for the occasion. Made by skilled artisans in Madrid, their navy shadow striped suit
is reminiscent of the double-breasted suits that Prince Aly Khan, owner of Saint Crespin the 1959 Arc winner used to
don at the meeting. It features three front flap pockets, a flap ticket pocket, buttoned cuffs and generous peak
lapels. The suits tremendous quality and detail, can be easily undone, if not reciprocated by the right under layers
and accessories. Tonally, combining a navy suit with a white shirt always unifies the look superbly. The collar
specifics can vary ever so slightly, but brands that offer an envious collection of classically orientated designs
with undoubted quality are Edward Sexton, Cordone 1956, and Emma Willis. An ever present at the meeting, usually in
a white shirt was French actor, Jean Rochefort. He would sport a smart moustache and was known for his doleful eyes.
In the bleaker early October’s, he wore a trench coat, which is a very popular choice at Longchamp. Parisian-based
tailoring house Cifonelli produce timeless trench coats, that keep those sharp showers at bay, whilst not
Founded by Francesca Serafin, her firm Serà Fine Silk produce charming silk ties, particularly their red print
patterned assortment, which would provide some subtle colour to pinstripe and white. The black Chelsea cap-toed
leather oxfords from Edward Green are practical and smart and would conclude the look imperiously.
In 2016 and 2017, Chantilly hosted the prestigious Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, whilst Longchamp was undergoing a $145
million-dollar renovation. No horse has ever triumphed three times in a row. Back in 2019 the Prince Khalid Abdullah
owned and John Gosden trained filly Enable nearly completed one of the most incredible stories of all time, only to
be pipped to the post by the Andre Fabre trained Waldgeist. The 2021 running is a different prospect with only one
horse having previously contested the event. No less exciting it is yet another mare in Snowfall that is heavily
fancied, but will have to battle it out with this year's Derby winner Adayar. Whoever is victorious, there will be
trilby hats flung high into the air amongst a myriad of Le Figaro newspapers.