by AUTO API April 11, 2018 4 min read

A gent's guide to getting ready for the races

Heading off to the races this season? A day out at the racecourse is more than just a chance to have a few drinks and bet on the horses: it’s also an opportunity for style-savvy gents to wow the crowds with the perfect outfit. But, given that many racecourses have dress codes to contend with, putting together a killer outfit can sometimes seem like a daunting task, especially if it's your first time at a big race meeting.

To help you get suited and booted in time for the event, we've compiled this guide to the perfect race-day outfit, including advice on choosing a suit, finding the right accessories, and a few handy grooming tips. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Suit up for the dress code

Every racing event has its own dress code, preferred colour palette, and unique rules. Some meetings, like the Aintree Grand National, have quite a relaxed dress code, while attendees lucky enough to receive an invite to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot will need a full morning suit and top hat. Because dress codes can vary so drastically, it’s best to check with the venue in advance to see what's required of patrons during a particular event. Then you can start planning the perfect look.

Although the exact requirements vary between different racecourses, one thing's for sure: a sharp suit is always in style. A well-fitted suit in navy, grey or black, like these formal suits from Pritchards, is sure to be a success at almost any event. Should your dress code call for a three-piece suit, then you'll need to team yours with a waistcoat in a complementary colour. If you’re feeling daring (and the dress code allows it), you could even choose one in a pastel shade or tweed print for a look that will stand out from the crowd. Team your finished suit with a smartly pressed shirt and a pair of well-polished black or brown dress shoes — brogues or loafers may also be appropriate at some events, so check the code.

Pastel Suit

Find unique accessories to make your outfit pop

Unless the event you're attending has a strict dress code, a little individuality and creativity is often encouraged. A few carefully chosen accessories, like a buttonhole bouquet or pocket square, will pull your outfit together and make it stand out from the crowd. After all, who wants to fade into the background?

So, when choosing accessories, start with the colour and fabric of your suit and shirt, and then find complementary colours. For instance, if you’re wearing a plain suit in a dark colour, then feel free to get creative with a brightly coloured tie or bow-tie and matching pocket square — pastel pinks and blues are always a winner at a spring event. Finally, adding a small corsage or floral boutonniere, like one of these from Frederick Thomas, to the lapel of your jacket will provide the perfect finishing touch.

suit with lapel pin

Get your skin and facial hair in shape

Your suit and accessorises may be important, but a killer race-day look isn’t just about the outfit: you'll also need to get your skin and facial hair looking impeccable before you hit the stands. So, whether you’re a clean-shaven chap or sport a full beard, we've rounded up the best products to get you groomed for the day.

Clean-shaven: Men who plan to wear a fresh face to the races will want to use this Baxter of California Beard Line-Up Shave Gel to get a smooth, close shave. Our Wilde & Harte Traditional Design Safety Razor & Shaving Brush Gift Set is also a great option if you need to stock up on the wet shave essentials.

Wilde & Harte Shaving Gift Set

Moustaches: Our Bearded Bastard 'Barbershop' Moustache Wax will get your pride and joy looking neat and tidy. You'll also want to slip this Captain Fawcett Folding Pocket Moustache Comb in your jacket pocket for touch-ups on the go.

hudson and armitage captain fawcett bearded bastard

Short beards and trimmed facial hair: Gents with short or trimmed facial hair will want to tidy up the neck, jawline, and upper cheeks using this MÜHLE Kosmo Bog Oak Handle Safety Razor.

Baxter of California and Muhle

Long beards: Longer facial hair needs extra care, so treat yours to a deep conditioning session with our Hudson & Armitage 'The Mariner' Beard Oil.

Old Faithful

To finish, remove any shaving cream residue with from your skin with a soothing cleansing oil, like our Old Faithful Réunion Cleanser, and smooth on your favourite moisturiser. Then, you'll want to neatly comb your hair, and use a little of our Layrite Cement Hair Clay to keep your hairstyle in place if it's windy. If you're lucky enough to wake up to sunny skies on the day, remember to layer on the sun cream: bright-pink suits might be permitted at some racecourses, but it's never a good look for your skin.


A day at the races is a chance to create an outfit that is sharp and sophisticated, so make the effort to put together something special. As long as you take the time to find the right suit, style it with a few formal accessories, and groom your skin and facial hair to perfection, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd when you hit the stands. Have fun!

Also in Definitive Guides to Mens Grooming, Products and Lifestyle

Definitive Beard Oil Guide
Definitive Beard Oil Guide

by Richard Murphy December 16, 2018 10 min read

As the UKs leading experts on beard care The Brotique answer all of your bearded questions as well as offer the best beard oils on the market
Read More
10 Best Gift Ideas for Men with Beards - Christmas Special Dec, 2018
10 Best Gift Ideas for Men with Beards - Christmas Special Dec, 2018

by AUTO API December 01, 2018 5 min read

Buying Christmas beard gifts for the man in your life can be tricky no matter if they are your brother, boyfriend or dad, even the bearded ones. 

However, if the guy has a beard, you can be certain that some beard care items and or some form of facial hair item will be loved and cherished way beyond Christmas time. 

Read More
10 Best New Books to Buy as Gifts for Men
10 Best New Books to Buy as Gifts for Men

by Richard Murphy September 25, 2018 5 min read

Whether you’re after a gift for relatives, friends, lovers or even yourself, you can’t go past one of these beautiful new books.
Read More
The Next Chapter