William Powell Country

What to Wear Racing

Rural Matters

Article written by 05 April 2013
Country clothing, day at the races

Horse racing is becoming increasingly popular in the UK with an increase in attendances reaching a record 6.15m in 2011, reaffirming Racing’s position as the second highest attended sport. With such large numbers of the UK population having an interest in horse racing, it is of no surprise that many new fashions are on show at the races.

With the National Hunt and Point to Point season well and truly under way, it is important to dress according to the weather, as the last thing you want to be is cold! Whether you are stood in the stands at Cheltenham  racecourse watching the horses canter  to the start of the Gold Cup, or stood in the middle of a field at a local point to point cheering the local pub syndicate horse home!

Having worked in the horse racing industry for a few years before joining William Powell and still regularly attending the races on my days off,  I thought I would pass on a few tips on what to wear racing –  how to dress practically for different occasions on the winter jump racing calendar, as well as being at the top of the fashion scene!

I have picked a few of my favorite items from the ladies section of www.williampowell.com

National Hunt Racing

A popular look is to team a tweed coat or jacket with a skirt or smart trousers,but my personal favourite look if you want to stand out from the crowd, is the William Powell Pirate coat (LJC422) which will certainly get you noticed. With its beautiful button detail, you can achieve two different looks. The Pirate coat can be teamed up with the William Powell Tweed pencil skirt (LTB309) in matching tweed. The Dubarry Chamomile Longsleeve shirt (LST174) with its feminine shape and ruffle front and with a pair of Spanish riding boots (LBO111) will finish off the look.

Ladies tweed shooting coat

William Powell Pirate Coat














Essential accessories you must have when attending a National Hunt racing fixture, is a good sized handbag (such as the Dubarry Clara Bag LU153) to fit in your race card, a pair of binoculars (such as the Swarovski pocket binoculars BI134) to watch the runners in the distance, your purse and other handbag essentials! A pair of gloves (such as Dents leather silk lined gloves LGL117) are also advisable for the colder days.

Watching at the Local Point to Point

The point to point season runs from the end of November until mid June. With the majority of courses in the UK being on open fields in rural locations, there isn’t often much shelter from the elements (apart from the beer tent!) It is very important to be prepared for all weather types!

Point to pointing has a large influence from the farming and hunting communities where tweed is highly fashionable. At William Powell, we have a large selection of ladies tweed coats which will keep you warm and dry from the unexpected British weather. However my particular favorite is the Schoffel Ptarmigan Tweed jacket (LJC509) as it is a stylish jacket in a smooth lightweight tweed. The R M Williams Stretch Denim jeans (LTB414) and a pair of Dubarry Galway boots (MWE201) will finish the look. If it is extra cold, I would recommend that you put on some of the Icebreaker thermal tops and leggings (LTH108 and LTH109). The Jack Murphy Fahy Fur Hat (LHS232), the cashmere snood (LHS510)  and the Dents Suede gloves (LGL134) will help to keep your head, neck and hands warm too!

Dubarry Galway Boots

Dubarry Galway Boots










Leading up horses at the Local Point to Point

When leading up horses (and hopefully a winner) at a point to point, being dressed practically is vital. The Schoffel Ladies Uppingham Country Jacket (LJC222) is ideal as it is a 3 in 1 jacket. The light waterproof outer layer can be worn when leading the horse up, as it can get rather warm being towed around the paddock by a racing fit Thoroughbred! The zip in quilted layer can then be zipped in when you are having a (hopefully celebratory) drink in the horsebox afterwards, as it can get cold standing around. If it is a particularly typical wet day, I can recommend the Ridgeline Roar Trousers (MTB222) as these have a smart moleskin look to them but are also completely waterproof (and great for riding in too with the reinforced seat and ankle patches).

A good pair of sturdy walking boots such as the Laksen norland Boot (LBO122) or a wellington boot with a good grip and sturdy sole like the Hunter Balmoral Bamboo Carbon (MWE305) are essential, as you will be on your feet all day. The Dubarry headband (LHS501) and the Harkila Fennek Fleece roll collar (MHS505) will keep your ears and neck warm.

Schoffel Ladies Uppingham Country Jacket

Schoffel Ladies Uppingham Country Jacket














If you are thinking of going racing soon, whether it be National Hunt Racing or Point to Pointing, please do pop in to our showroom  or visit our website www.williampowell.com and get kitted out with the latest fashions and practical items to ensure you have an enjoyable day at the races.

Sally Unwin

Sally is part of the William Powll team, and currently heads up the Banbury showroom. In her spare time Sally is a keen horse rider. Read more.

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