Racing Down to Cheltenham in Style

On the face of it, Cheltenham, the charming Cotswold town, is a fairly pedestrian place. What started as an Anglo-Saxon settlement was granted its market town charter in 1226, and then grew to become the largest town in county of Gloucestershire, England.

But every year, for short four days, the town becomes a pumping powerhouse of energy as the horse racing circus arrives, transforming Cheltenham into a glorious celebration of the equine form!

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the major fixtures on the horse racing calendar and, with reasonable weather, the first of the year where trainers can really try out their best charges as the season really gets underway.  Think of Cheltenham as a practice run for Royal Ascot and the other summer fixtures.

When it comes to horse racing, few events are as monumental as the Cheltenham Festival. This four-day celebration draws thousands of people to the city annually, both to observe and participate.  This year, the Cheltenham festival runs from 12th to the 15th of March, and with the long-range forecast predicting warm conditions with a chance of rain, going is likely to be good to soft, favouring horses that like a little give in the ground.

An estimated 65,000 people go up each day to the massive Cheltenham Festival, but on the day of the Gold Cup, the track's 75,000 capacity fills to its capacity crowd, all desperate to be a part of this internationally revered festival.

Because of its iconic role in the racing calendar, it attracts a clientele with a certain style.  The racing crowd are always dressed up, but there something a little extra in the air when there is the chance of rubbing shoulders with Royalty.  The fixture style-partners with the House of Cavani and that means that many of the punters suit up in the same style.

Cavini are renowned for their gorgeous range of suits and formalwear that distinguishes a gentleman. Specialising in quality tweeds, Cavini offers a wide selection of tailored suits, waistcoats and blazers in both traditional and contemporary styles that are ideal for the gentleman punter.

Cheltenham, like all classic race days, has a fairly strict dress code. It’s best to wear a tailored suit with matching shoes – though be careful as much of the carparking is on grass, which can turn a bit nasty with a shower. If your suit isn’t the best and because it is still March, you can always look sharp in a good overcoat. Alternatively, you can liven up your slightly tired old suit by including an eye-catching tie, and finish off the look with the obligatory flat cap, which always looks good at National Hunt events.

For the ladies, pretty much anything stylish goes and most female race goers end up fitting in just perfectly.  That said, Cheltenham probably isn’t the place for light summer dresses and while extravagant hats go well, complicated fascinators are probably best left to the summer month races like the Derby Festival, Royal Ascot, and Goodwood.

Cheltenham, like most racing fixtures, does allow fancy dress. Although this is a great way to liven up our racing days, the authorities ask that you refrain from wearing anything that could be considered disrespectful or vulgar. Similarly, if you wear team colours, you may be asked to leave as these can sometimes be seen as antagonistic.

The most important thing when choosing an outfit, regardless of your tastes, is, of course, to feel comfortable and confident. Wear whatever makes you feel good and will allow you to be active and confident no matter the weather. 

Cheltenham is an increasingly popular event in the horse racing calendar and attracts Royalty. Last year, over £600,000,000 was placed as bets over the four days, and over £2,300,000 spent on champagne, so many of those bets seemingly come good.  Cheltenham is always a favourite on the racing Calander, and is the first real chance for the punters of both sexes to show their style.

If you can make it to Cheltenham then we urge you to go, if not to bet then just to soak up the atmosphere at this stunning event. We at Hawkins and Brimble hope to see there; we’ll be somewhere near the Roal Box in our Herringbone Tweeds and flat caps.

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