Friday 16th of October 2020

From Bargain to Blowout: Sartorial Savoir Faire for the Jumps Racing Season

The colder months bring with them the advent of the jumps racing season, the fast, furious, and fun foil to the high stakes and high fashion of summer’s flat racing. Running from October through to April, the season is a surefire way to shake off the winter blues, writes Tilly Berendt.

Fancy a flutter? The Gaitpost’s fashion picks will see you through the jumps racing calendar, whether you’re doing Christmas at Kempton or picnicking out of a Land Rover at your local point-to-point.

©️The Gaitpost


For men, the sartorial options are a straightforward: a tweed suit, or a shirt, tie, and corduroys, topped with a warm overcoat and a cashmere scarf is acceptable anywhere. For ladies, however, there are significantly more choices to be made.

We won’t lie to you: racing in the winter months can range from ‘a bit brisk’ to ‘I haven’t felt my toes in so long, I’m not sure I have any anymore’. 

There’s no point debuting a favourite new dress that requires bare legs, or going without a coat to show off your outfit, because no one has ever had a good time whilst miserably cold. Instead, the key is in layering, which gives you the best chance of insulating yourself against the inclement weather while also allowing you to transition from outside in the stands to inside the warm bar without being uncomfortable.

Well-tailored shirts are an easy option, but they don’t have to be boring – Reiss’ lace-detail Macy shirt (1) is simple but elegant. If you’re opting for trousers but want something slightly fancier than jeans, Reiss skinny tailored trousers (2) are a great option. Go for black or navy for an understated, simple look, or oxblood for a subtle pop of colour.

A base layer that’s warm, soft, and made of thin material will help to pack in heat without compromising breathability. Roll-neck tops with thermal properties are a great option, and give you the choice of cheap and cheerful cotton or more luxurious cashmere materials. We love Marks & Spencer’s Heatgen Thermal Turtle Neck with Cashmere (3) – it’s a winter wardrobe staple and at only £25, you can afford to stock up.

If you’d rather wear a dress, opt for thicker fabrics and pair with tights to avoid steadily purpling knees. A pencil dress from Karen Millen (4) is just the ticket.

If you’re willing to splash out on a beautiful piece of outerwear, Holland Cooper’s City Chelsea coat (5) will fit the bill from the backstretch to the boutiques. With its ostrich skin detailing, close-contour tailoring and only the best Scottish tweed, it’s an investment piece, certainly – but one that will give you a lifetime of service.

Want warmth and style on a budget? Zara has you covered, with their gorgeous camel mid-length trent (6), featuring faux-fur cuffs and a sturdy fabric belt. Ever-so-slightly film noir in the best possible way.  For a seriously warm and waterproof option, ideal for point-to-point outings, invest in a Barbour that will see you through all your winter activities. The classic Beadnell with Polarquilt material (7) will keep you warm and dry – go up a size and pop a fleece gilet underneath to keep out the chill on the coldest of days.

Betting slips, keys, the iPhone that you’ve PROMISED yourself you won’t lose or smash (this time) – they all need a home while you’re out gallivanting at the races.

If you’re a bit of a minimalist, a clutch with a wrist strap is a no-fuss way to bring the essentials with you. We’re huge fans of Mackenzie & George’s classy Windsor maxi clutch (8). Made of tanned leather and with brass bit detailing, it’s big enough to fit everything you’ll need for the day while maintaining a slim profile.

Or, if you take a more Mary Poppins approach to handbags, Fairfax & Favor’s Hurlingham tote (9) is spacious enough to fit all the extra essentials (a serious selection of snacks and some smuggled-in sloe gin, naturally).

With winter comes wind, so a sturdy topper is essential to keep you warm and stop you from spending the day scraping your hair out of your eyes.

A fedora is a timeless option, and we love the Suffolk collection offered by Hicks & Brown (10). Whether you prefer an earthy neutral or a pop of rich maroon, they’ll have a hat – garnished with a game bird feather – to suit your taste. The only trouble, we’ve discovered, is trying to buy just one!

The Doctor Zhivago look is a popular one with the country set, and whether you opt for a headband or a hat, faux fur will keep you seriously warm. Fur Feather and Fin offer a range of colours (11), so you’re guaranteed to find something that suits.

A fur stole increases the cosiness factor while jazzing up a plain coat – with its floral lining, the Joules Colette scarf is a wardrobe staple (12).

Without wanting to sound too like the spectral voice of your mother, practical footwear is seriously important if you want to have a good time. Ditch the court shoes – they’re best saved for summer racing appointments, where you might stand a chance of avoiding the best of British mud, and instead, look for robust soles, something with enough bulk to shove an extra pair of socks into, and, if you absolutely must add height, a chunky heel that can take a bit of a beating (whether that’s from the questionable ground conditions or one too many warm-up whiskies!).

Fairfax and Favor certainly have an enviable edge on the market, and their failsafe Regina is a great choice, although it’s their Imperial Explorer that really impresses even in the worst of winter weather. Waterproof and almost completely slip-proof, these hardy boots can take as much mud as you deign to throw at them (unlike the gorgeous suede Reginas – cue many hours with a suede brush and much associated sadness). They have all the tell-tale Fairfax & Favor styling, so you can match your tassels to your outfit.

If you’re planning to avoid inclement weather and want to up the ante, the over-the-knee Amira boot is perfect when paired with white jeans (seriously, you’ll want to earmark your place in the box) or a short dress/long coat combo.

Tassels not your thing, but still after a bit of colour? Barker Shoes’ Violet Chelsea boot is available in calf or suede, and with the choice of blue or red gussets. We’re lusting after a cedar calf pair with blue gussets.

Cold weather fashion austerity, you’ll be thrilled to hear, doesn’t extend to sparkly things, so feel free to go absolutely mad with the bedazzled festoonery. If you grew up envying your grandmother’s pearls, dive into Sylvia Kerr’s Badminton collection (16), which features a classic pearl necklace and bracelet, adorned with a vintage stirrup charm.

If channelling Jackie O. at Morven Park isn’t quite your style, a bangle can add a subtle touch of glamour. County Equestrian Jewellers offer a selection, but we’ve got our eyes on the gorgeous fox head bangle (17).

Belts are another great way to add visual interest to an outfit, and if you’re an avid trawler of the tradestands at events, you might have spotted Cobra Belts. Handmade from bridle leather, these gorgeous pieces get better as they age, earning a beautiful patina as they wear. The spit snaffle belt (18) is a firm favourite at The Gaitpost, and is adjustable enough to wear with jeans on your hips, or to cinch a dress or shawl around your waist.

Prefer to keep your accessories simple? Check out Cluse’s range of watches (19) and delicate, matching bangles – with their subtle rose gold and marble detailing, they’re bang on trend without being ostentatious, and surprisingly cost-friendly, too.

So there you have it, ladies – now go forth and conquer!

To find out more about the 2017/18 Jumps Season, click here

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