Style tips for a dapper Dubai World Cup look

“Dressing well is a form of good manners” – Tom Ford, Fashion Designer

Save the date

Giddy up gents, the biggest horseracing event of the year and pinnacle of the social calendar is back with a bang. Now in its 27th year, the Dubai World Cup will take place on Saturday 25 March 2023 at the Meydan Race Couse. Cancel whatever plans you had. Because these are your new plans.  

What’s the big deal?

Established in 1996 and held on the last Saturday of March, the flagship event marks the end of the prestigious Dubai World Cup Carnival, which kicks off in November. The day involves a packed schedule of races, events and contests, including one Purebred Arabian contest and eight thoroughbred contests.

As well as attracting some of the best and brightest stars in racing, this high society fixture draws the great glitterati of Dubai, the Middle East and beyond. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with A-list personalities sporting some seriously stylish ensembles, so it’s important to dress to the nines.

Off-track prizes

It’s not just the horses, trainers and jockeys looking to take home hefty prizes (this year, competitors stand to win US$30.5 million prize money), the best-dressed racegoers can also take part in the Dubai World Cup Style Stakes. Categories include Creative Hat, Creative Outfit, Best Dressed Gent, Best Dressed Lady and Best Dressed Couple. There are also runner-up prizes for exceptionally well-dressed gents. 

Winners get more than glory too: there are handsome prizes at stake, from cash and pamper packages to luxury watches and sports cars. All in the name of a good outfit.

Dress the part

Even if you don’t have your heart set on winning a prize for your sartorial prowess, you’ll still need to dress to impress. Glitz and glamour are the name of the game, and you don’t want to fall short. Now is not the time to sport an off-the-shelf suit, only bespoke will do.

Style tip 1: Trackside trends

If you’re the type who looks wistfully at garish patterns and clashing contrasts knowing you could never pull it off around town, now is your big moment. The races are a natural home for maximalists and attendees famously go big, brash and bold when it comes to outfits. Play your wild card – it’ll pay off.

That might be a bold blazer or you could opt for a full suit in a more unusual hue. Pastels and jewel tones are popular this season. Or, you could go all out with a pattern – pinstripes, oversized checks, even tartan. The intention is to draw attention, after all.

Go on, dare to be different.

Style tip 2: Curated classics

If you’re someone who prefers to leave the risk-taking on the trading floor, now might not be the time to invest in a canary yellow suit jacket. But there are ways to take your look up a notch without making too much of a scene.

You could make a twist on a modern classic, by swapping a blazer for a vest. Or, you could opt for a morning coat. Invented in the 19th century for riding, this single-breasted coat is cut with one button and pointed lapels. To amp up your look, you could try silk piping.

But, if you’re planning on sticking to the classics, make sure your outfit is made-to-measure perfection. That means quality fabrics, impeccable cuts and sharp tailoring.

Style tip 3: Saddle up with accessories

Whether you’ve decided to amp up your look with a bold statement or a flawless classic, add a strong finish to your look with accessories. Accessories bring flair and playfulness to any outfit.

Think about your socks (black is a missed opportunity) and pocket square. For a little added eccentricity and refined elegance, you could add a pocket watch into the mix.

 Consider your sunglasses too. March days in Dubai are sunny and balmy, so you’ll need a pair to keep an eye on the track (and the other guests). A simple wayfarer or aviator style is an excellent place to start. And, on shoes: polish them within an inch of their life. Or, opt for a statement, such as a plush velvet loafer or glitzy embellishment.

For the piece de resistance, why not try a top hat? Hats are the order of service for gents and ladies at the races, so why let the latter have all the fun with their frilly fascinators? A handsome hat will make a statement and elevate your look.

Off to the races

The Dubai World Cup is one of the biggest events in the sartorial sporting calendar in the Middle East. It’s the most glamorous weekend of the year, so it’s worth pulling out all the stops to make sure you’re looking sharp.

But we know better than most that dressing for the occasion can be a sartorial minefield, so we’re here to help. Just pop into your favourite store for a consultation, suit planning and fitting – we’ll get you ship-shape in no time. We look forward to seeing you soon, gents.

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