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Dressing for the Galway Races


The Galway Races Summer Festival is one of the biggest events in many people’s calendar every year and that’s why you’ll want to ensure your outfit is onto a winner!

The Galway Races Summer Festival is one of the biggest events in many people’s calendar every year and that’s why you’ll want to ensure your outfit is onto a winner!

The renowned seven-day event is returning for its 150th year, from Monday 29th July to Sunday 4th August 2019. From fashion to fillies it stirs the soul, makes our hearts beat a little bit faster and brings us together. The Galway races is the perfect opportunity for all men to showcase their personal style, whether it be discreet or daring.  

Whether your preference is a more casual blazer look for an evening meet, a contemporary suit for the Galway plate or a more traditional tweed for ladies day, there’s a wealth of choice for the stylish man.




You can never go too far wrong with a classic suit as it works for men of all shapes and sizes. While the basic suit-and-tie combo is sufficient it’s not exactly going to make you want to stand out from the crowd, although some men are satisfied with that. A dark blue or navy suit will take you far, whether it’s to the Killanin Stand, the Festival Village or queuing up for the bookies, the classic suit is a safe bet. 


Tip: If you do opt for this suit ensure that you add accessories to give it that lift and put your own personal touch on the look your going for.



As Galway unfortunately isn’t known for its tropical weather an extra layer is always welcome. The addition of a waistcoat not only provides this but too a subtle sartorial flourish. And even if we do get lucky with a bit of sun, removing your jacket is an option as the waistcoat ensures that you will be still looking sharp. Hence why this dapper alternative is a preferred choice for many as it’s not straying too far away from the style comfort zone making the three-piece suit an overall favourite.


Tip: If you do opt for this suit ensure the waistcoat is well fitted and long enough that it covers your waist so that you can leave the last button undone.



You can be as bold or simplistic as you want, opting for a patterned suit is distinctly different but is popular in terms of racecourse style. Depending on your budget and type of pattern you choose, there’s an abundance of options out there.  

Tip: Keep the focus on the suit itself, highlight the pattern by teaming it with a plain classic neutral colour shirt and tie so that it’s not visually complicating the look or clashing with colours or prints. Stand out for the right reasons!



Usually when you think tweed the traditional patterned squares and green colour comes to mind but the classic fabric today is available in a great selection of designs, shades and patterns. As Mark Twain once said “Clothes make the man”. 


Tip: Be sure to personalise your tweed look perhaps inject some colour by introducing a bold colour tie and matching pocket square!



Once you get the right combination and fit, the trousers and a blazer route is acceptable to wear at the Galway races and in terms of comfort you are off on a clear winner! When opting for this look, though, you have to make the effort. Cashmere, tweed or heavy cotton will all give you a distinguished look but bare in mind the classic look won’t let you down - team up with a smartly pressed, slim-fit pair of chinos and your set for off. 


Tip: Make sure your trousers are a different colour to the blazer to avoid it looking like a mis-matched suit. 



Let’s face it, you are going to be walking or standing for the most part of the day so make sure to get your footwear right! Plus the fact that shoes do finish off the look despite some people saying they never take notice of others shoes. Depending on the outfit chosen to begin with should determine the colour and style of shoes or that should be your aim anyway! A trendy brown leather or a classic black is your safe bet but look further to brogues, loafers or wingtips as alternatives. 

Tip: If you’ve sore feet you won’t enjoy the day to the fullest so remember comfort first on this occasion!


Giddy up!

Hanley & Co


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