Sarah Davies, Personal Stylist and menswear specialist at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham talks you through how to wear those menswear racing essentials and what to look out for to elevate your look at The Cheltenham Festival this year.

What to wear for Cheltenham Races

1. The overcoat

A traditional tailored wool overcoat is essential. It will set the tone for the rest of your outfit and looks effortlessly stylish. A covert or crombie style coat with notched lapels nods to an equestrian heritage and will ensure you feel part of the Cheltenham tribe. Look out for examples with a centre vent, flap pockets, detailed stitching at cuffs and hem, and a contrasting collar. Adding a wool or cashmere scarf will really complete this look.

2. Tweed

This is the classic racing look and if you've never worn tweed before you may be surprised at how wearable it is. Whether you go for a fitted three-piece suit or a separate tweed jacket and a plain trouser, adding some tweed to your wardrobe is an investment for years to come. Fit is key and a personal stylist will help you with this.

3. Quality knitwear

The right knitwear layer is essential, adding warmth but not bulk. Cashmere will provide luxury and merino will give great insulation. V-necks or crew-necks both work well, however avoid zip neck knitwear with a suit. Choose a subdued single colour for your knitwear. 

4. A tie

The Festival is an opportunity to wear a wool or knitted silk country tie which will allow you to personalise your look. If you're wearing a bold tweed, choose a subdued coloured tie which will compliment rather than compete with the tweed. 

5. Country boots or brogues

Getting the right footwear is key as you may be walking and standing outside for long periods. A smart shoe or boot with a good tread for grip underfoot is best. Brogues, laced chukka style boots or chelsea boots are ideal. Brands like Barker, Oliver Sweeney and Barbour are stocked at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham. Merino wool socks will provide warmth and comfort.

6. Get ahead, get a hat!

The right hat will elevate and finish your look, it will also provide practical protection from the elements leaving your hands free from carrying an umbrella. Choose a wool trilby or fedora hat and the wide brim will give your look the right edge. A tweed flat cap or baker boy hat are excellent alternatives.

Book your pre-races style appointment with one of the Personal Stylists in store at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham or online at John Lewis Personal Styling. 

For womenswear advice read - 5 Cheltenham races womenswear style trends by John Lewis Personal Stylists


To plan your stay in town during Cheltenham Race Week check out our helpful guides: 

Where to Stay in Cheltenham | Restaurants & Bars in Cheltenham | Shops in Cheltenham | Things To Do in Cheltenham | What's On in Cheltenham | Staycation in Cheltenham

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