There was a time you knew your country racegoer from your city gentlemen simply by the cut of their clothes. Everything was easily defined; the styles were as different as black and white.
When it came to country racing, materials and fabrications that lent themselves to the countryside would be ever present. Think the likes of tweed based jacketing, ticket pockets, centre vents and checked shirts that were more about the wear rather than the overall look.
Back on the city circuit, men were adopting the more traditional suit styling of a business orientated city slicker, such as peak lapels, pinstripes and double-breasted suits.
Despite the difference in the past, over time country style has been slowly infiltrating city lifestyle with many city racegoers realising their country counterparts as pretty fashionable.
Country racing calls for excitement and a welcome distraction from the fast-paced life of a city landscape. To some, it’s the best outlet with opportunities to have a little more extroverted fun, without the price tag. When it comes to fashion, it has been known to be obviously different – Fashions on the Field is one example – as a lot of racegoers generally come slightly less prepared compared to the city-based competitions. The country sometimes sees contestants, with a little encouragement from their friends, entering to try their luck. More casual and relaxed ensembles are present as comfort is desired over style. We see some men balance the two very well with soft structured jacketing over a chino or slack. Less accessories are utilised within the country landscape, as the tie and pocket square do the trick.
When it comes to city racing, more men each year are preparing weeks, and in some instances months, ahead with comfort, practicality and style being key factors to stand out amongst the crowd. Seasonal colour trends are on display with fashion-forward looks and accessories to match, tying together the essence of racing within the city.
As differences go, country racing can reflect a lot on how racegoers dress day-to-day, it's more a care of comfort over colour coordination. I love mixing city and country details together to combine one look. It is a great way to add an element of surprise for onlookers as you hit the track. For an example, take a single buttoned, peak labeled pinstripe suit with angled pockets over a straight flapped pocket, plain block colour arrangement. The slanted lines of the angled pockets complement the slanted lines of the peak lapel, they also help draw the eye upward, thinning and elongating the wearer via the striped design.
Wherever you are out on the track next, be sure to lean towards your favoured combinations, while thinking how the detail can play off one another in a tasteful manner.