There is something so special about dressing up for a race day, even if you go on a regular basis. However, it can be the biggest struggle between dressing formally and dressing comfortably. It is an occasion that can be a tricky affair, especially if it’s cold outside.
As you already know, here at Rydale, we are big fans of matching new pieces alongside items you already own to create multiple new outfits. In fact, as a rule, any new piece of clothing should already be able to go with at least three items in your existing wardrobe!
With race days, you will be grabbing the items towards the formal side of your wardrobe but race day attire is no longer as formal as it once was. Smart casual is usually the safest option to go for and with accessories and the right pair of shoes, any outfit can be dressed up a little more.
We have rounded up some of our favourite items for race days, including outerwear, tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories. Our list even includes some weather pieces, which you might need on a cold race day!
Tweed jacket or blazer - Depending on the weather, a tweed jacket or blazer is the ultimate countryside item. If it’s not too cold, you might be okay in a tweed blazer. Pick one with your favourite coloured thread running through it and match it to other parts of your outfit.
If it feels particularly cold, a tweed jacket might be a more sensible option. They can still look just as chic as long as you style them as such.
Fitted long sleeved shirt - As a country lady, there is no excuse not to have at least one fitted long sleeved shirt in your current wardrobe. Whether it’s plain coloured, striped, checked or animal print, it should be a pattern that best shows off your style or personality. Whilst a checked shirt is traditional country style, a classic white or light blue shirt is just as easy to style.
Tweed skirt - There is just something so classy about a tweed skirt so is there ever a better place to wear it than the races? The best thing about tweed skirts is how versatile they can be. You can make them as dressy and as formal as you want or dress them down completely. For race days, formal is considered a better option, with a fitted shirt and smart boots.
You can also rock a tweed suit by matching up your skirt with your jacket, as long as the tweed is the same. Choose this look for the more formal race day or you might look overdressed!
Jodhpurs or slim fit trousers - It’s important to check the dress code before choosing your outfit; for less formal race days, why not wear a pair of jodhpurs or slim fit trousers? It’s best to avoid jeans as they can be too casual but jodhpurs are typical horse-riding wear so you should get away with them
No longer do you have to wear a fancy frock to race days when a pair of smart trousers will do. Make sure they are fitted but not tight as you might have to walk around a fair bit in them. A classic black, navy or grey pair is so versatile but you could add some pattern with a checked pair.
Knitted jumper - A jumper is always a safe bet when it comes to picking an outfit for a race day. You can layer items underneath it as part of your outfit or just have it in your bag or car in case the temperature dips. Whether you go for a thin knit style or a cable knit version, the choice is yours! Go bold in bright colours or stick to a neutral shade. Just make sure it fits in with the colour scheme of your outfit first!
Leather boots - The best pair of shoes for a race day are leather boots. Make sure you’ve worn them in well beforehand and that they are easy to clean. A quick clean with a wet wipe or soap and water should have them looking like new every time.
A knee length pair of boots look great with a tweed skirt or with your jodhpurs tucked inside them. Alternatively, you could wear your trusted Chelsea boots in a tan or brown colour and they will go with pretty much any outfit!
Small handbag - For outdoor events, a small, portable handbag is the way to go. Carry essentials only so they don’t weigh you down. A style with a long shoulder strap is best for race days so you can wear it around you at all times. Pick a classic leather bag for maximum wear.
Wax jacket - Race days in cold weather require a comfortable but stylish jacket. A wax jacket is the perfect option for that; with lots of pockets and in a classic shade, it will go with just about any outfit. Don’t forget to give it a good clean every so often to keep it waterproof!
A wax cotton style is best for formal events, rather than a puffer jacket version. Our styles look expensive, just without the price tag to match! A wax jacket is still an investment piece so make sure you look after it!
Tweed waistcoat and / or blazer - Classic tweed will never go out of style for a race day so why not wear your favourite? You can go for the waistcoat or blazer or even wear both together. If you are going to wear the waistcoat and blazer, please make sure they are the same tweed!
Another investment piece here so make sure you are going to wear a tweed blazer before purchasing. You will be able to throw it on over the top of so many outfits so they are incredibly versatile, even if you might not think they are! It always adds a touch of class to any outfit.
Classic checked shirt - We know we love our checked shirts at Rydale but we know you do too! Whether it’s a neutral colour scheme or a bright and cheerful check, anything goes here! They look great with anything: tweed jackets, wax jackets, waistcoats, jumpers, jeans, chino trousers, suit trousers. A foundation of a checked shirt makes any outfit instantly look smart!
Slim fit chino trousers - If you don’t fancy wearing a three piece tweed suit, chinos could be your next best option. No longer are they considered just a casual option when you can dress them up so well! Think of a classic countryside tweed suit but just switch the trousers. Again, classic colours, such as brown, navy, khaki or beige, are the way to go and we guarantee you will wear them all the time!
Cosy jumper - Style doesn’t have to mean you sacrifice keeping warm! Layering is the trick for cold race days and knitwear features heavily with that. Whether you go for a crew neck or a V neck style, any will look amazing over a checked shirt and under a tweed or wax jacket. Choose a colour that shows off your personality or that matches your checked shirt or tweed! If you aren’t a fan of colour, stick with the classics: brown, grey and navy.
Leather shoes - Race days require smart footwear and leather shoes fit the bill. However, leave the patent styles at home and stick with classic, easy to clean leather. We prefer to stick with neutral coloured footwear, such as tan, brown and black, just because it goes with every outfit!
Race days can be a tricky occasion to dress for, with dress codes and formality to think about. Colder race days can be ever harder to choose an outfit for! You should always think about layers and keeping comfortable and warm.