Watching sports is a sport in itself – the preparation, the travelling, the cost of a ticket, the food, drinks, even making sure you’ve put enough aside to have a bit of a flutter once you get there… So if you are already making an effort in other departments, shouldn’t you also want to look good too? Fashion and sport didn’t used to be such good bedfellows, but now, thanks to sponsorship and models who also happen to play the games (or should that be sportsmen and women who also happen to model?) it’s an important aspect of the entire day out.
What, then, should you wear? It depends on the sport you’re spectating – horse racing demands a different aesthetic to football, which has a different look to cricket. We’ve put together a handy guide to give you a headstart on your sporting wardrobe.
Football has an unfortunately reputation in some quarters as being full of thugs, both on and off the pitch. In an effort to turn this image around, fans need to dress up a bit when they go to a match. If 'clothes maketh the man’ then half the battle will be won. Perfect women’s attire for a football match would be something like skinny jeans, a loose, comfortable cotton t-shirt, trainers or boots, and a warm, fitted jacket (this is football, remember, if gets cold). For men, regular jeans (but they should be clean and, unless the style calls for it, unripped), an ironed shirt, trainers, and a pullover. Why not throw on a cap to keep the chill off?
Horse racing is wear fashion is generally at its best. Because for many races – the big ones, the ones the Queen attends anyway – there is an actual dress code, it’s a little easier to prepare an outfit. Cheltenham, for example, specifies no exact dress code, but the organisers do suggest that men wear suits and ladies wear hats. Royal Ascot, of course, is all about the fashion – and hats are an essential part of that, the bigger the better. Many designers create looks specifically for the races, knowing that the world will see them. Some of these outfits – the bespoke men’s suits, the iconic designer labels for the women – can cost many hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, so why not try this horse racing themed slot machine before you go – you might just win enough to buy your beautiful outfit!
Cricket was once thought of as a bit stuffy and old hat, but there has been a sea change within the sport, and now it’s modern, youthful, and exciting. The dress code has changed to reflect that too – even the players now don’t always wear the famous cricket whites. It used to be summer dresses, smart shoes, and cotton shirts and trousers. It still can be, if you want it to be, but it can also be jeans and trainers and shorts when the weather is really warm. You can even, perhaps surprisingly, wear your team colours if you like. The rules and regulations have been relaxed, which means you can too.