DUBAI: Horse races and fashion have always gone hand in hand, and the Dubai World Cup is no different. Although this year’s edition will be held during Ramadan, avid fans of the races are gearing up to pull out all the style stops as usual.
Arab News chatted with Gary Sweeney, brand and style director at Ascots and Chapels (also the official tailoring partner for the Dubai World Cup Style Stakes, 2023), to give us a quick men’s style guide for the upcoming races.
Historically, a strict dress code has been in place for the races. Even today, inside the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot in the UK, men must wear a morning suit, including a waistcoat, top hat and tie — but not a cravat. However, as menswear continues to evolve, so does the dress code at the races.
“Breaking the rules is now okay as style is so open and fluid. You can play around with color and textures and wear things you couldn’t in the past. Race day attire now can be your best blazer, a shirt and a tie, or a great suit,” said Sweeney.
He advises that if it is your first time at the races, do not be afraid of overdressing and taking style risks — but in the right way. Jeans, shorts and sneakers are still a big no.
“A classic, well-cut navy suit with a nice open white shirt would be the perfect beginners’ look,” he explained.
He also advises men to steer clear of short-legged trousers or jackets and trousers that are too tight. Additionally, Sweeney recommends brushed cotton chinos with a lightweight linen blazer for tailored separates. Sweeney also suggests opting for fabrics like linen and cotton, as they work well in warmer temperatures, versus heavier textiles.
“For the more sartorially adventurous gent, a cream double-breasted linen suit with a pale blue cotton shirt and a pair of suede loafers would look fantastic. You can dress this up and add some personality through your choice of accessories,” he noted.
Race day accessories include eye-catching pocket squares, shoes (brogues or moccasins), and hats. Do not be afraid to incorporate playful ties, but do make sure they are the correct length. Ideally, a tie should end at the top of your belt buckle.