Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Henley Royal Regatta 2011: Dressing for the Occasion

With Henley Royal Regatta just a couple of weeks away, it is time to think about the most important aspect of this great sporting occasion: what to wear. Whilst there is no strict dress code for the event, if you are planning to be in the stewards’ enclosure then you will need to adhere to the rules of entry which means jacket, collar and tie.

Even if you are not in the stewards’ enclosure, it’s fun to enter into the spirit of the day, so leave the T-shirt and jeans at home. First off, I suggest that a navy blazer is a good start. This can be single or double-breasted, and can be made from cotton, linen or wool, with the most traditional being made from flannel. For the more adventurous among us, a striped or taped edge blazer should do the trick.

Blazers are best worn with white or washed red (the colour of old sails) trousers. Khaki chinos are a good alternative but cream flannel is the smartest. Shirts can be simple blue and white stripes or plain white, ivory or pale blue. Stripe ties are mandatory, so perhaps it’s time to dig out your old school tie, or if purchasing a new one make sure it is not a club that you have no allegiance to as you wouldn’t wish to be seen flying under false colours.

Henley is one of the few places where you will see an abundance of boaters, but unless you are confident enough to wear one the safe option is to wear a Panama hat. Shoes can be white bucks or suede brogues, while old-fashioned plimsolls add a dash of retro style and look great when worn with colourful stripe socks.

It’s also worth taking a pair of binoculars and, it being England and the height of the summer, it’s bound to rain so take a brolly - a bright striped one.

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