A day at the races is a great excuse to spend time with friends, have a drink or two as you hedge your bets on some of the finest horses and jockeys in the world. But remember, it's not all about racing. From the atmosphere to the people, this is an excuse to dress smart. So breathe new life into your best suit with our 5 key raceday accessories.
All tied up
When it comes to the races, a tie may not be an obligatory dress code but it's certainly a smart move. To get the best result, choose a colour that contrasts with your suit or blazer. A neutral navy works well with a jacket in a brighter shade. Steer clear of novelty ties - there's a fine line between showing off your personality and being taken seriously. Play with textures and patterns to find something to spruce up an old suit and make you feel comfortable.
Pick a pocket square
Simple? Yes. Effective? Definitely. A pocket square has the power to lift a blazer or suit instantly. This square piece of fabric can be folded or carefully arranged in your top suit pocket. Follow a few simple rules to get it right: do not be tempted to exactly match your tie to your pocket square and if you're new to the pocket square, stick to uncomplicated folds.
For a safe bet, go for a patterned tie and plain pocket square. Make sure it's clean - you don't want people to think it's an actual handkerchief. To create the perfect square, fold the pocket square in half so it matches the width of your jacket pocket, then fold in half again lengthwise. The result should be a rectangular pocket square that just peeps above the top of your pocket.
Small, discrete and mostly hidden but that doesn't mean it's not worth adding cufflinks to your attire. Not only can they add a flash of colour to a suit, they also make you feel like you're going somewhere special, especially if you only wear them at smart occasions.
Besides being practical, a belt can add a personal touch to formal wear. When it comes to the races, choose one suitable for the occasion. You probably already own a formal belt but if not, choose one in classic black or brown to go with your formal shoes. Make sure it's subtle - you want it to play a supporting role not steal the show.
Select your sunglasses
While we can't guarantee sunshine, you never know when the weather will turn. If you don't have a pair of binoculars handy and you're not wearing a hat, sunglasses can be the next best thing to improve the experience as you watch your horse come in. Choose a classic style such as aviator or wayfarer and make sure it suits your face shape