How to dress for Glorious Goodwood

Ensure a photo finish at the country’s most picturesque racecourse with our essential guide to how to dress for Glorious Goodwood....

Once again, the Qatar Goodwood Festival — better known as Glorious Goodwood — is upon us. Set over five days, the festival remains one of the flat-racing season’s most eye-catching events and a highlight of our summer calendars. 

Goodwood, easily the most picturesque racecourse in the country, is nestled amongst the Sussex hills, and this year it will see racing enthusiasts descend to witness some spectacular sport, including a world-class field at the £1 million Sussex Stakes and the newer Qatar Goodwood Cup worth £500,000. 

But what to wear? We turned to William Woodhams, CEO of Fitzdares — the world’s finest bookmakers — for advice. From the shoes you lace onto your feet to the hat you pop on your head, here’s how to look your best (or should that be most glorious?) at Goodwood this week.

Buy a proper folding Panama hat

It all starts with the hat, according to Woodhams. The Panama hat is an icon of the Qatar Goodwood festival, worn by men young and old. Opt for a folding design, and it becomes even more practical — adding pliable versatility to its sun-shielding wide brim and timeless style.

Lock & Co. Men’s Rollable Panama


Buy Now

Find a lightweight, light-coloured linen suit

Dress codes that demand a jacket may be the bane of the summer event season — but only if you don’t find the right suit. Linen is your best bet here, with a loose, porous weave that conducts heat away from the body and gives your tailoring a more relaxed finish.

Ralph Lauren Gregory Silk-Linen Suit


Buy Now

Button up a linen shirt (with a semi-formal collar)

With shirts, go for understated, soft and breathable. A high quality natural fibre will ensure you feel comfortable throughout your visit to Goodwood — and the semi-formal collar stipulated by Woodhams will guarantee you never get hot under yours (even if the races aren’t going your way).

Emma Willis Pink Linen Shirt


Buy Now

Find a fine silk — and understated — Hermès tie

Hermès. It’s a brand suggested by Woodhams for a very good reason. Not only have nearby, Goodwood-headquartered Rolls-Royce collaborated with the French fashion house on occasion — but the brand make some of the most sumptuous, understated silk ties in the world. Pick one, pick any — you can’t go wrong.

Hermès Faconnee ‘H’ Tie


Buy Now

Buckle up an event-appropriate dress watch

Not a sports watch, as Woodhams is keen to point out. Despite the fact that your more function-laden watches, offering up chronometers and split-seconds, may help you keep track of the timings and races, nothing looks as suave or sophisticated as a stripped-back, pared-down dress watch. 

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Platine


Buy Now

Slip on a pair of retro, vintage-styled sunglasses

There’s an old-school charm to Glorious Goodwood. Like the Goodwood Revival that takes place in just over a month’s time, people dig out the heirlooms and antique accessories for the occasion. Sunglasses are perhaps the best example of this — with brown, round frames being particularly prevalent.

Oliver Peoples Finley Vintage Sunglasses


Buy Now

Lace up a pair of reliable, comfortable brown shoes

It’s perfectly acceptable to wear brown shoes to Glorious Goodwood, or so says William Woodhams. In fact, he reveals that even the wacky styles from Berluti won’t turn heads for the wrong reasons. Call us conservative, but we’re firm believers in the classic Oxford; such as these from Crockett and Jones. 

Crockett & Jones Edgeware Oxford shoes


Buy Now

Want more sporting style? These were the best dressed men at The Championships, Wimbledon 2021…

Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.

Gentlemen's Journal is happy to partner with The Prince’s Trust RISE campaign, which is working to create a network of young adults aged between 21-45, who are passionate about social mobility. You can become a Prince’s Trust Riser by donating just £20 per month to the scheme.
Get Involved

Further reading