Creating a Winning Menswear Look for Race Day
With racing season well and truly underway, it’s time to seriously consider your trackside style. Creating a winning look takes a little more than recycling your office suit—it’s about having fun with your outfit choices by taking a fresh approach to an already-classic style staple. Competition aside, it also presents an opportunity to step up your style by playing with tradition and expectation.
Opt for a Double-Breasted Suit
From Prada to Gucci and every designer in between, the double-breasted suit was everywhere this season—and with good reason! With its broad-peaked lapels, the double-breasted suit is instantly more flattering than its single-breasted counterpart; working to make your shoulders look broader and your waist slimmer. Sartorially savvy gents including David Gandy, Tom Hiddleston and Johannes Huebl are all fans, so you’ll be in good ‘company’.
Choosing a classic such as the double-breasted suit doesn’t mean you have to play by all of the rules. Sure, a three-piece, complete with a tie can make for a dashing figure, but there’s also room to deconstruct this look as well. The recently launched Charley Casely-Hayford X Topman collaboration suit(€280), with its subtle navy fleck offers a contemporary and updated take on this iconic tailoring piece. While Alessandro Michele at Gucci made a strong case for the floral suit this season, when it comes to race-day style, it’s probably best to choose a base that is timeless rather than seasonal. However, taking cues from Gucci’s SS’17 myriad of florals may not be a bad idea—just in a considerably less ostentatious manner. Think of pairing your suit with a short-sleeve silk floral Cuban collar shirt for a youthful and playful approach to racecourse style.
If this is too frightening, but you still want to achieve a dapper-yet-relaxed approach, then replacing the formal shirt with t-shirt à la Mr Gandy may do just the trick. However, there is a fine line between playful and plain old laziness. If you’re opting for a tee, then choose one without a neckband to avoid looking too casual, but beware of the scoop neck!
Break It Up
The key to creating a winning race day look is really about individuality, so don’t be afraid to step outside the box and re-imagine the formal suit. Eddie Redmayne regularly tops the Best Dressed list with his immaculately turned-out style choices and one thing he wears best is the double-breasted blazer. Choosing to offset a classic grey blazer like this one from Reiss (€395) with navy or black chinos can create a striking balance between smart-casual and this look can really be elevated through your accessory and shoe choices. Navy works particularly well with grey and if you choose to show off some ankle, then add a pair of chunky brogues to your take your look to the next level.
They say that clothes maketh the man, but really, it’s all down to his accessories. The best-fitting suit or the most well-thought-out garment choices can be let down by a sloppy attention to the finer details. Accessories can really make or break a look, so it’s important to think wisely about them. If you’re going for a formal suit and tie option for the races, then you’ve probably thought about cufflinks and tie clips, et al. However, if you are choosing to be a little more inventive or relaxed in your approach, then the correct accessories are all the more important. If you opt for a tee under your blazer, then a pocket square is crucial for race day—it still feels like you’re dressing appropriately for the occasion. Something as simple as a watch or a pair of sunglasses can also help to score points in the style stakes.
Perhaps the most important accessorising style rule to remember gents is that going sockless does not actually mean than you go sock-less! For hygiene reasons, a gent should always wear an 'invisible' sock.
Enjoy and good luck with your racing endeavours!
🙌🏻#Repost @joshuakanebespoke On the red carpet, hosting the @vip.magazine awards, Mr @darrenkennedyofficial wearing my double breasted Mohair check suit. Styled @joshuakanestore #pmvipstyleawards
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