St Leger Horse Racing Style

Written by Robert | 09/09/2014

The traditional Doncaster St Leger race meeting takes place this week in an event which sees Group 1 flat racing- the highest category of horses racing in that discipline- compete in the last classic of the horse racing season. Having been inaugurated in 1776, it is one of the oldest races in the world and the oldest of the five classics we have in Britain each calendar year. It also boasts the feats of being the longest of the premium races, as well as the horse racing season’s finale. It is therefore the last chance for horse racing fans to scrub up and enjoy any late season heat in mid-September.


“The fastest horse wins the Guineas; the luckiest the Derby – and the best horse wins the St Leger.” – the old saying which highlights the importance of this weeks races in Doncaster.

One of the most prestigious meets on the annual calendar, it is a race which attracts the leading stables year-on-year and has some of the most famous and acclaimed horses’ names etched upon the past winners roll of honour.

As one of the region’s biggest annual attractions it will be a day which brings together punters from all over the country, and you can expect the standards of dress to be familiarly high. The dress code for attending “gentlemen” is a shirt and tie with blazer shoes and trousers, keeping the rich tradition in tact as a result. Everyone associates horse racing with the grandeur of dressing up in suit, ties, and even top hats in some cases, view our St Leger style tips next:


Gents St Ledger Style Forecast

Key Materials- If you are trying to construct the ideal suit for the season then the guide below could well help.


The key to pulling off a look which will turn heads at a horse racing event is breaking conventions- and whilst that doesn’t mean combine your suit with some sparkling white trainers, there are always ways to give a fresh spin on tradition.

A formal dress code might seem restricting but it is the perfect opportunity to show that sartorial panache is an invaluable asset. As the old saying goes “less is more” and in this case keeping the basics can be just as eye catching as anything. Whether you revive a classic three-piece or ditch tradition for a modern seasonal ensemble, a day at the races is the perfect platform to show off any fashionable flair you have in your locker.

It doesn’t matter if you have no interest in horse racing or gambling, St. Leger is a social event which is all about looking good and enjoying some late summer bubbly and Pimms!

Below: Tweed is clearly a popular style at St Leger



We have a lot of really nice formal footwear just in for the new season here at Mainline Menswear in mainly Brogue, Double Monkstrap and  Loafer styles, all of which are perfect for an occasion such as this showcase Doncaster event.

The choice you make should largely depend on the style of outfit you are going for, with Monkstraps and Brogues being much more suitable to the classic three-piece whereas Loafers act as a much better aid to the likes of chinos and two-toned casual outfits.

Lt Ledger Shoe Choices


Whilst other classic meetings in the racing calendar relax the dress code and even allow fancy dress in some sections of the racecourse, such as Cheltenham and the Grand National at Aintree, St Leger has maintained its sense of tradition and therefore you will be better advised to stick to a chino or trouser base.


On Top

Blazers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours these days, and there are no rules when it comes to fits, giving you room to experiment with a range of styles to suit any weather conditions on the day itself. Shirts are the item which you will find endless room to experiment with and again it will allow you to dress up or down to your own discretion. The only rule you should try to stick to is not to over-do it and look like you are attending a wedding or else a business function. Double cuffs, eccentric collars and bright tones all contribute to an outfit which looks out of place in this environment; a little too flash when paired with a tie- this includes pairing shirt and tie with matching colours. Deliberately mismatched hues on the top and bottom of outfits has been a look more popular at races around the country of late and you could complete a look like this with chinos and a playful bow tie or fedora style hat.


Final Touches 

It might be September now but the stereotypical race-goer will always want to have a decent pair of shades in tow. Luckily, we have Ray Bans which are a perennial favourite of young men attending the races, but for those who want to steer away from the status quo we have other popular brands like Emporio Armani and Lacoste which will prove just as effective for this occasion.

You might not choose a winner during your visit, but should you become one of the lucky ones and go home with more money than you came with, you’ll need to make sure you have a wallet which fits the extravagance of your win itself. A dark leather number is a timeless safety choice which will always maintain a sense of class. Otherwise, you can lose the bulkiness of a wallet and swap it for a compact card holder.

Finally, an item which is almost as important as wearing your trousers themselves it to support your outfit with a quality belt to hold it all together; you’ll need to tuck your shirt in to look smart and fitting at the races, leaving the slats at belt level exposed and showing a lack of attention to detail no matter how tailored or well-fitting your clothes may be.

Try something new: a fedora hat or an eye-catching handkerchief pocket are two more ways to catch the eye


Are you going home a winner on the horses, or in the style stakes? This info might help you accomplish both!

Tips for the St Leger Stakes

After a heavy 14 mm of rain covered the ground in the run up to this week it is a soft ground at the minute and besides this suiting certain horses more than others it also means you should also consider extra layers on your race-day outfit. But, the weather has brightened in the past few days and is expected to remain dry for the duration, meaning the headline race on Saturday should feature a good racing surface. That eventuality should suit the pre-race favourite Kingston Hill who has already been tipped by its owner to run well on the back of brilliant recent form. It was the runner up in this year’s Epsom Derby and is likely to compete in a field of 15 horses for the title, however, many more races are due to be completed, featuring 30 races over 4 days for almost £2 million in prize money and over 400 top horses in competition.


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