Guide to Dressing for the Races

Attending the races is an exciting day out and many people choose to dress up for the day – while not mandatory, it’s widely considered to be a key part of the race day experience. If you’re daunted by the prospect of choosing an outfit for your first day at a horse racing event, here are some tips for how to stand out for all the right reasons. Each race will typically have its own rules and regulations when it comes to dress codes, so check these before you attend to be clear on what you are and are not allowed to wear. If you’re keen on betting while attending Timeform racing have some great offers regarding horse racing.


Smart dress is the typically accepted dress code for racegoers, although it’s not always compulsory and depends on the race you’re attending. Trainers and shorts, therefore, are widely regarded to be unacceptable and will leave you looking awkward among the crowds of sharply-dressed spectators. The classic flat racing attire is a collared shirt with trousers and smart shoes, which can be accessorised with a tie or a blazer depending on your preference. Jumps meetings are more tailored towards the weather than a strict dress code, as most of these events tend to take place in the winter. Tweed, for example, is a favourite among spectators as it’s warm yet smart, but again this is personal preference.


Many women attending flat races in the summer will take the opportunity to dress up in a glamorous outfit, and at certain races there are even prizes for the best dressed! The glitz and glamour of horse racing events may not be compulsory but it’s certainly something that many attendees enjoy. As with men, it’s often a case of choosing an outfit that is weather-appropriate, depending on which event you’re attending. A dress with a jacket is a great option or a smart top with a knee length skirt and a blazer, and heels are optional depending on if it’s raining or dry – you may want to opt for flat shoes to make standing or walking around the track more comfortable throughout the day.

Royal Ascot Dress Codes

The Royal Ascot is one of the most prestigious races in the world and it’s known for its traditional and strict dress codes. If you’re lucky enough to be attending Royal Ascot, it’s important to check which enclosure you’ll be in and reading up on the dress codes for that enclosure as each area of the grounds has different rules. In fact, these guidelines are so strict that you might be denied entry if you don’t comply. For example, men are expected to wear a three-piece suit and top hat at all times in the Royal Enclosure, while women must wear a hat or headpiece at all times and conform to the restrictions on outfits. Each race enclosure has its own rules, so check these thoroughly beforehand so you know what to expect and know what you’ll need to wear on the day.