What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival

While there is no strict dress code at Cheltenham Festival, that doesn’t mean to say you should turn up in any old racing grab. Here’s what to wear to the event.
A winner at Cheltenham Festival wears a jeep coat with a fur lapel and belted waist, 1987.

The Cheltenham Festival is a highlight of the National Hunt calendar and racing enthusiasts travel from all over, notably Ireland, to attend the four-day event held every March. Unlike events such as Ascot or Epsom, there is no strict dress code for the event and the organisers suggest that clothing should reflect the inclement weather. Despite this, the event is stylishly attended – follow our rakish tips to be among the better-dressed:

1. Tweed is good. A hacking jacket with corduroy or moleskin trousers is the unofficial uniform of Cheltenham. A full tweed suit is smarter. The bolder and brighter, the better.

2. Wear a tie. Keep it subdued and textured if paired with a bold tweed and consider something in a wool or knitted silk, but wear a tie. Do not wear a tie-bar. You are not in the office or The Office.

3. Your windowpane or glen checked flannel suit, that you do not wear as often as you thought you would, is an elegant alternative to traditional country fabrics. Wear with a checked shirt and brown reverse calf shoes.

4. Do not wear a bright blue suit and avoid anyone wearing one, especially when teamed with a satin tie and cheap brown loafers. This is good advice for any social event.

5. You will mostly be standing outside in the cold, so do not neglect your footwear. Wear decent shoes such as a chukka boot or sturdy country brogues with merino wool over-the-calf socks.

6. Layer your tailoring with quality knitwear. A single-ply cashmere sleeveless cardigan will give warmth without additional bulk or weight. A Merino V-neck is warming and brings an additional texture and colour.


March 2018


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