Messing about on the river
Whether you’re shouting from the banks of the Thames for Oxford or Cambridge, you’re off to the Henley Regatta, or have decided to pop across the Solent for Cowes Week, choosing your outfit requires some serious consideration – not just because of the notoriously unpredictable British weather – the wrong colour, the wrong outfit for the wrong event just doesn’t bear thinking about!
Smart oar casual
With the Oxford vs Cambridge boat race the first in the calendar, it’s unlikely we’ll be experiencing a heat wave, but what we can promise, is a huge rivalry between the universities. So the key thing is to choose the colour of your attire wisely. The last thing you want to do is be supporting Oxford and be accidentally wearing a nice pale green pocket square.
If you’ve one of the lucky ones able be get close to the teams at Putney or in Barnes, you’ll be needing to look the part. Lounge suits, blazers and flannels (rowing club blazers) are usually acceptable so long as you’re in a shirt and tie too. When choosing your style, think of thicker, warmer fabrics. Dark coloured chinos and a blazer would be deemed acceptable, for any bouncers, and the temperature.
There are plenty of pubs you can head to beforehand for lunch or a drink, so make sure you punt for something flexible that you feel comfortable in, whatever the outcome.
Row with some colour
Henley starts in late June. So along with the possible opportunity to ig out your sunglasses, there’s chance to be a bit more playful with your colour choices and fabrics. You can enjoy most of the course wearing whatever you want, but to access the Steward’s Enclosure, you’ll need to be wearing a suit, or rowing blazer/flannels, along with a shirt and tie. We’ll also point out using your mobile in the enclosure is banned, so if you want a few selfies to show off your style, best take before you go in.
Yacht to wear
Cowes Week starts on the first Saturday after the last Tuesday in July, which means it’s usually a great time to pop across to the Isle of Wight and enjoy a bit sunshine too.
As well as the boating element, Cowes is much loved for its social prestige. Parties and live music have become as much of a part of the week as the yachts.
So what to wear? Stick to looking the part in deck shoes, sunglasses and the windproof gear. There will be lots of walking, watching and waiting involved.
If you’re going for a blazer, team it the coloured chinos. We’d go stone or cream, or a navy blue to look stylish, and feel cooler. Also remember that there’s always the possibility to board a yacht, so soft-soled shoes, or none at all, are required. So make shore (sorry) your socks are up to scratch too.
And when the sun is over the Yardarm…
Heading for an evening soiree? They’re mainly black tie. So put your boat shoes to the starboard and grab a port.
We’ll leave you right now, go cast off your bow. Go messin’ about on the river
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