Home » General » The Dos and Don’ts for Dressing for the Races

The Dos and Don’ts for Dressing for the Races

Posted By: |
The Dos and Don'ts for Dressing for the Races

Spending the day at the races is more than just the racing action, betting, good food, and close friends. More than anything, it’s about tasteful fashion and making a statement. This is why it is important that you plan ahead and create a look that will turn heads.

Apart from following the fashion rules of the event itself, you have to create a look that is elegant, stylish, and memorable. However, many people struggle with the dos and don’ts of dressing for the races, especially those who are attending for the first time.

This is why we have come up with our list of dos and don’ts for dressing for the races.

The Dos and Don’ts for Dressing for the Races

We have divided this article into two separate categories for men and women, so you can skip directly to what you are looking for.

Let’s start with women’s dos and don’ts for dressing for the races.

Dos (Women)

The races are a great place for any number of elegant outfits. Typically, women wear dresses, pantsuits, and jumpsuits, paired with a headpiece, fascinator, or headscarves. Let’s dive deeper and discuss the dressing dos for women at the races.

  • Outfit

Regardless of your choice of outfit, it should always be tasteful and classy. Floral dresses have always been a huge hit, whereas tailored pantsuits, jumpsuits, and culottes are a recurrent trend as well. It is always recommended to avoid black and opt for summer colours instead.

White works well too. However, it may be difficult to manage white if you are spending the entire day exposed to the sun, elements, grass, or dirt. Most importantly, your outfit must be elegant and meet the high standard of the event.

  • Headwear

Glamorous headpieces and fabulous fascinators are a key element of race day outfits because they complete your look. They add a statement to your outfit, which is why they are an essential “do” on our list.

However, you must choose carefully and pair an elegant one with your dress. Headbands and headscarves are also a great option, whereas fedoras and wide-brim hats go well with pantsuits.

  • Shoes

Heels and wedges are common for race day outfits and perhaps the go-to choice for women. However, you must ensure they pair well with your outfit and are comfortable to wear. You will spend an entire day standing and walking, often on grass, which is why you want footwear that is comfortable.

‍Stiletto stoppers are an excellent add-on for preventing your heels from sinking into the dirt, whereas ‍silicone gel cushions in your shoes will keep you comfy all day long.

  • Makeup and Tan

Light makeup is important to complete your overall look. Smoky dark eyes for softer hues leave you looking fresher for day events. Use makeup holding spray for a perfect all-day face. Wearing sunscreen is important too, even on cloudy days and even indoors. Wherever you are at the event, you will be spending the entire day exposed to the sun and sky.

Don’ts (Women)

Here are the dressing options that women should avoid at the races.

  • Outfit

Races are an elegant affair, and you must avoid showing too much skin. Deep plunging necklines, bare midriffs, spaghetti straps, and strapless dresses are all to be avoided. Pantsuits, jumpsuits, and two-piece dresses must also have an elegant vibe, which means they should opt for full-length, tailored choices.

Untailored outfits, denim, streetwear, sportswear, and leggings are all big no-nos. While some events allow smart, tailored denim in the general areas, jeans are not something you want to wear for race day events. Similarly, ripped or rugged denim is completely off-limits, even if it is designer wear.

  • Headwear

Headwear is tricky, and it can either make or break your entire look. You want to avoid headpieces and fascinators that do not complement your look. At the same time, overdoing is also not recommended. Unlike headbands, headscarves, and fedoras, caps and bandanas are not an option for the races.

  • Shoes

As mentioned, comfort is important, but you do not want to be too practical. Avoid shoes that may sink into the dirt or end up giving you blisters at the end of the day. Sneakers, sports shoes, thongs, and flip-flops are off-limits.

  • Makeup and Tan

You must avoid overdoing your makeup for race day events. Consider the difference between a day event and an evening event. You will be spending most of your time in bright daylight, outside. Your makeup will have to work harder to remain in place for the whole day.

Streaky, false tan is not a good look, and pale skin will always look better when it comes to the races. Unless you go for a professional tan, we recommend avoiding at-home self-tan for the event.

Now, let’s cover men’s style code for the races.

Dos (Men)

Looking sharp, classy, and fresh is key for men at the races.

  • Suits

While ties are optional, a formal, elegant suit is the go-to choice for men at the races. Black and white are the traditional colour choices. However, you can go for grey or navy to stand out from the crowd.

The price does not matter because, above all, your suit must have a clean-cut and stylish fit that suits your body type. Your suit must look sharp, fresh, and so should you, so make sure you are well-groomed and well-fitted.

Try to add a little flair with lapel flowers, patterned pocket squares, or bold socks. A good watch will complete your look.

  • Shoes

Races are the perfect place for penny loafers, brogues, or double monks. While you can never go wrong with black, dark burgundy or brown shoes, look great on navy and grey suits. 

Don’t (Men)

Some things must be avoided at all times.

  • Suits

You want to avoid ill-fitted suits at all costs. If you are going for a slick look, avoid satin and opt for real silk instead. Moreover, sports glasses and sportswear is not the look for the races because you are not participating in the races yourself.

Once again, streetwear, denim, and casual clothing are completely off-limits, even if it’s designer wear.

  • Shoes

Sneakers, flip-flops, and sandals are a big no-no, whereas dirty, broad-toed, or worn-out shoes are also to be avoided.


The races are a formal, traditional event, and you should always dress to impress. It doesn’t hurt to have a backup outfit as well, in case something goes wrong with your first choice. Just remember to check the event rules and the weather forecast before you go.

On the day, it is also good to check “today’s racing information” to take your mind off things and enjoy to the maximum. After all, races are a fun, social event, and you shouldn’t let your clothing take over the day’s entertainment.

Copyright © 2018 https://sporteology.net All rights reserved. The information contained in our site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority