What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival

What to Wear to the Races - What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival is a highlight of the National Hunt season but let’s face it, the festival isn’t just about the races. If you’re wondering what to wear, we’ve put together a quick guide to stylish and appropriate Cheltenham Festival dressing with a few outfit ideas for inspiration.

The official Cheltenham Festival Dress Code

In short, there isn’t one but the Jockey Club suggests “comfort and class or dress to impress!” They also advise dressing accordingly with regard to the weather: “At the festival, many ladies wear hats but with the weather rather than high fashion in mind. Gentlemen usually wear suits or similar in the enclosure, restaurant and hospitality facilities.”

Dress for the weather!

Cheltenham Festival is the first big racing festival of the spring and it is wise to remember that March weather is rather unpredictable. When putting together an outfit, it’s best to consider that you might be walking through a few mud patches or stuck out in the rain so practical choices are key. You won’t have fun if you’re wet and shivering!

Practical Footwear

Cheltenham Festival isn’t really the place for glamorous high heels so a smart boot is a great option. Our picks include the suitably stylish Fairfax & Favor range – the flat or heeled Regina would be a classic choice or opt for the Explorer if the weather is bad, which will give you elegance without sacrificing comfort. The classic Dubarry Galway is also a good choice as it’s smart, comfortable and perfect for wet weather. Other footwear choices include Penelope Chilvers or Holland Cooper.

Men could opt for comfort and impeccably smart style with R.M Williams Comfort Craftsman. Other options include ankle boots from Le Chameau and Barbour.

Smart Tailored Top Layers

It’s a rare day at Cheltenham when one can take off their coat and bask in glorious warm sunshine so if you’re going to pick just one key item of clothing, make it a smart top layer. Tailored silhouettes are a strong look and perfect for a day at the races. Tweed is a classic choice and it’s one that isn’t going out of style amongst the country set anytime soon.


A great hat will really finish off your Cheltenham outfit. You could go all out with a dramatic hat or fascinator and grab your fellow racegoers attention but as the semi-official Cheltenham dress code states hats are generally worn with the weather in mind. Our top picks include on-trend Fedoras such as the Hicks & Brown Suffolk range, which comes in an array of stylish colours. Schoffel also have some great options such as their Willow Fedora. Both men and ladies’ could opt for a classic country flat cap such as Holland Cooper’s unisex Baker Boy


With practicality being key to Cheltenham Festival dressing, you can really make your outfit sing with a few well-chosen accessories.

A feather brooch will add some colour (we’ve got some stunning locally made items in store at the moment) as will a patterned scarf. Check out our Waring Brooke collection for some beautiful scarves and headbands.

Don’t underestimate how cold it may get! Faux fur is most definitely in style and will add some country chic to your look as well as keeping you warm. Also make sure to consider a nice pair of gloves; they won’t just keep you warm, they’ll finish off your outfit beautifully.

Our Go-To Brands

Some of our go-to brands for Cheltenham Festival dressing include Pinta, Holland Cooper (Cheltenham’s official Festival Fashion Partner), Fairfax & Favor, Schoffel, Alan Paine, Barbour, R.M. Williams, Hicks & Brown and Waring Brooke. You can find all of these and more at Wadswick so we hope we’ll be able to help you pick out the perfect Cheltenham Festival outfit. 


Head to Toe Holland Cooper

You certainly won’t be out of place at Cheltenham wearing Holland Cooper, a brand that effortlessly blends the traditional attire of horse racing with contemporary flair.

Pair one of Holland Cooper’s iconic tweed jackets with classic white jodhpur jeans and a lace shirt and you won’t go wrong.

No race day ensemble is complete without the perfect accessories and each layer and statement-making addition adds sophistication to your look. Holland Cooper delivers in abundance on this front with an elegant range of hats, scarves and bags that will instantly elevate your outfit and command attention for all the right reasons.


Holland Cooper Highgrove Coat (Charlton Tweed)
Holland Cooper Country Fleece Gilet (Mulberry)
Holland Cooper Featherton Lace Shirt (White)
Holland Cooper HC Reversible Belt
Holland Cooper Jodhpur Jean (White)
Holland Cooper Chelsea Saddle Bag (Tan Croc)

Shop all Holland Cooper

The timeless allure of tweed and feathers

Mix tweed with faux fur and feathers for a classic country look. When paired together, tweed and fur create a harmonious blend between classic elegance and modern flair.

Opt for timeless tailored tweed and pair it with subtle feather accents for a sophisticated touch. Alternatively, embrace the drama of feathers with statement accessories such as feathered hats or headbands. Paired with simpler tweed garments, they’ll take centre stage and take your style to new heights.


Hicks & Brown Suffolk Fedora
Hartwell Lisa New White Chains Shirt
Schoffel Portree Tweed Jacket (Oak Herringbone)
Holland Cooper Jodhpur Jean (Hunter Green)
Holland Cooper Mayfair Scarf Bag (Tan)

Elegant Black and White

In a world filled with fleeting trends and ever-changing styles, there’s something inherently captivating about the timeless combination of black and white. From the stark contrast to the effortless sophistication it exudes, the pairing of these two classic hues has remained a steadfast pillar of style for decades.

One of the greatest strengths of a black and white outfit is its versatility. Whether you prefer classic minimalism or bold, graphic prints, the pairing of black and white offers endless styling options to suit every taste and occasion. Opt for sleek and streamlined silhouettes for a timeless look that never goes out of style or add bold patterns and textures with statement accessories for a modern twist on this classic colour palette that will create the perfect Cheltenham Festival look.


Hicks & Brown Suffolk Fedora
Holland Cooper Lilibet Jersey Tee (White)
Holland Cooper Marlborough Trench Coat

Dapper Gentlemen: Men’s Fashion at the Cheltenham Festival

Men attending the Cheltenham Festival have their own sartorial standards to uphold. Traditional tailoring is the order of the day, with many opting for well-fitted suits in classic colours such as navy, grey or tweed. Waistcoats add a touch of sophistication, while accessories such as pocket squares and cufflinks allow for personalisation and flair.

While hats are not as common for men as they are for women, some may choose to accessorise with a stylish flat cap or trilby.


Alan Paine Men’s Blazer and Waistcoat (Sage)
Schoffel Men’s Brancaster Shirt
Schoffel Canterbury 5 Pocket Jean
or you could try
Schoffel Men’s Christopher Chino

Men’s Accessories

Cheltenham Festival 2024

In 2024, Cheltenham Festival will be celebrating race-going style with Style Wednesday and the Slow Fashion Awards judged by Rosie Tapner and Gabriella Baker where race-goers are invited to wear vintage and borrowed items. If they’ve been passed down through the generations and have a story to tell, all the better!

Will anyone be wearing an old Wadswick item, we wonder?

If you’re heading to Cheltenham this year, we hope you have a fantastic time and if you’ve bought an item from Wadswick, don’t forget to tag us in your photos! (@wadswick / @wadswickbath)