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What to Wear for Gentleman’s Day at Newmarket Races

Bare chests are not acceptable at Newmarket Races. Eyeing the dress code for Newmarket Races at a glance, it's fairly standard stuff. Certain enclosures and hospitality tents rightly require smart shoes, a shirt, and if you have to wear denim, it must be dark denim. However, bare chests are not acceptable. Even if your chest is on the cover of this month's Men's Health, or your cubed pectorals have recently been knighted by the Queen of England, we recommend you embrace the venues convivial spirit by keeping your clothes on.

Gentleman’s Day at Newmarket Races has fast become one of the most stylish events on the sartorial calendar. Organisers have been incubating this tradition and the proliferation of dandified dudes by inviting them to take part in The Style Awards for their chance to be crowned the Best Dressed Gentleman. The increasingly popular contest is free to enter and there will be an assortment of unbelievable prizes on offer for the top three finalists. Here's some recommendations on what to wear this Friday.

I feel the need, the need for Tweed 

I'd like to say on the record that I coined that expression and it was lifted from me without consent by a BBC reporter. Not that I'm precious. You might want to escape the treadmill of the office charcoal grey suit and opt for some breathable Tweed. There will be plenty of green Herringbone Tweed doing the rounds, which is certainly acceptable attire if not commodified and dare I say, a little predictable. In order to demarcate yourself from the Tweed herd perhaps look at more foppish alternatives such as the flamboyant Brighton tailor, Gresham Blake who has his Polka Dot Tweed jacket on sale.

Hats Off 

Whilst other prestigious meetings happen a season either side of Newmarket, it would be remiss to not exploit the (hopefully) warmer climate and opt for a Panama hat over the traditional top hat or popular Tweed flats. Maybe invest in something a little more robust than the straw trilby you picked up at Glasto or on a recent stag do in Malaga. Laird Hatters have a nice range of Panama's, including their Sinatra Panama. They also have a Cambridge store if you're closer to Newmarket than you are London. Impress your friends by crowbarring this factoid into conversation:  

Panama Hats originate from Ecuador and were shipped first to Panama before sailing for their international destinations, subsequently acquiring a name that reflected their point of international sale 'panama hats' rather than their place of domestic origin.

One Step Beyond 

Not choosing the appropriate style shoe is the most common fashion nonfeasance a man commits. Whilst you should never compromise on smart shoes, you must be mindful you'll be on your feet all day and if you're wearing new, unbroken brogues, this could prove quite debilitating. Shoes style can be subjective, but regardless of personal preference, they should be congruent with the occasion and the climate. Tanned brogues have an emollient effect on the rest of your appearance, bridging those trusses of casual and corporate.

Peter Brooker

Peter is a published author on men's style, a huge James Bond fanatic and the host of our very own Menswear Style Podcast. His new book 'From Tailors with Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films' is available now.

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