I intend to attend the Dubai World Cup at Meydan where people usually dress up very well for the occasion. I notice that every place in the world has a different dressing style at the races. Can you guide me as to what is the right way to dress in Dubai?
The Dubai World Cup is one of the premiere horse racing events globally.
You are right to note that the dressing style of attendees is uniquely tied to different countries’ horse racing events. The Dubai World Cup has evolved hugely since 1996, when it was first held.
Conforming to the norms of race-going etiquette whilst showcasing one’s individuality has been the mantra for gentlemen attending races. This would mean giving the age-old traditional race wear a contemporary yet palatable twist.
Gentlemen can keep to the traditional way of dressing with a morning coat and top hat. While it is quite easy to wear a grey morning dress with the same waistcoat, an interesting touch would be to wear different shades of grey for the waistcoat and trousers with a black morning coat and top hat. The waistcoat could either be single- or double-breasted with four or six buttons with single-pleated trousers.
Gentlemen can also dress in a contemporary manner with a two-piece or a three-piece suit. Wearing a two-piece could be with the combination of a double-breasted blazer with bright colours of burgundy, royal blue or sandy beige with contrasting cotton chinos to give an effortless elegant look. A single-breasted two-piece suit is best avoided, so as not to look like one has turned up for work. A better option would be to wear a single-breasted blazer with separate trousers or cotton chinos.
Three-piece suits would definitely be identified as the more sartorial approach for the big day. To make it more interesting, opt for a different coloured waistcoat but it should be one that works in unison with the entire suit. You could also go for a double-breasted waistcoat which gives the entire outfit the perfect balance of a contemporary outlook with a touch of heritage.
The choice of colours and patterns is very important. For two-piece and three-piece suits, wearing a different coloured or patterned blazer or a waistcoat will add personality to the outfit. Plaids or tartan checkered fabrics could effectively be either used for blazers or waistcoats to add that dash of individuality with the leisure outlook of the sporting day.
Lately, accessorising has been given much importance. A pocket watch chained to the button of the waistcoat could further be enhanced with a gentleman’s walking stick.
Interesting ties and pocket squares in paisley prints, dotted, striped or with bold patterns bring out the personality of the wearer. Alternatively bow-ties could be worn for the day. A gentleman’s sartorial knowledge is showcased by the beauty of his tie knot or the knot of a self-tied bowtie. Whilst it takes some time to perfect it, the beauty of its slight asymmetrical knot and later left open and hanging on the sides towards the end is in itself a sartorial achievement.
Pairing of shoes with the entire outfit adds a befitting final touch. With black or darker grey trousers black shoes can be worn. For blues or browns, lighter or darker brown shoes, depending on colours of the suit fabric. Brogues or oxfords give the attire a traditional touch. Finally, match the colour of the shoelaces with the suit fabric; the colour of the socks to match or complement your pocket square.
The most important thing to wear after taking the effort to dress appropriately is the attitude of being a true gentleman. Carry yourself with a quiet confidence and etiquette, treat your lady with respect, meet and greet others with a firm handshake and a warm smile while enjoying the pleasures of the day.