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goodwood style

A quick look back at the style of the Goodwood Revival

Posted on: 27th Sep, 2018

September holds a particularly intriguing event in store for us here in the UK – namely, the Goodwood Revival racing festival. Held over the course of three days on the first week of September, it’s always a brilliant event to behold, known not just for its heart pounding races but also for its distinctive style. If you were there, you’ll already have an inkling of what we’re talking about. And if you weren’t, here’s what you may have missed!

What is the Goodwood Revival?

The Goodwood Revival is a somewhat unique fusion of classic car exhibition, full-fledged racing event, and period fashion show. It’s held to celebrate the heyday of the eponymous Goodwood racing track, which saw most action between the 1940s and 1960s. As a result, all the cars you’ll see racing are genuine vintage vehicles, and the vast majority of the racegoers will be dressed in spectacular vintage style. It’s this commitment to authenticity that makes Goodwood such a famously distinctive festival, with dapper gents in bowler hats going arm-in-arm with elegant ladies in baby-doll frocks. From the pared-back style of the 1940s all the way through to the unapologetically celebrative sartorial statements of the 1960s, there’s always plenty of period pieces to revel in at the Goodwood Revival.

How to get the Goodwood style

couple at goodwood

Dressing the part isn’t actually compulsory for attendance to the festival – but let’s be honest, who’d pass up the opportunity? It’s the perfect excuse to have a little fun and embrace the glamour of a bygone era. Those attendees who are truly committed to their outfits can even be in with a chance to win the annual Best Dressed competition, in which experts of fashion and culture in the ’40s, ‘50s and ‘60s judge the most detailed and authentic costumes.

If you’re thinking about attending next year, there are all sorts of options you can explore. Just one basic jumping-off point involves a charcoal or navy suit, which can easily be ‘dressed down’ with a novel waistcoat. (We went into a bit more detail about those the other week!) A double-breasted suit and silk tie is always a safe option, and you can jazz it up a slim knitted silk tie, to perfectly bridge that gap between contemporary and vintage style. On the other hand, if you’re committed to the little details for that coveted Best Dressed award, you might want to consider elements like a starched white collar on a coloured shirt; an authentic period detail.

Plus, if you’re fond of a bit of fancy headgear, hats had a slightly different reputation back then than they do today. Trilbies and fedoras are de rigueur at Goodwood, and racing gloves are a similarly common sight. Pocketwatches on chains are a favourite alternative to more modern wristwatches, and another brilliant way to accessorise your period outfit. In terms of fabrics, Brushed Wool and Cotton are particularly common, especially as September can be a bit unpredictable weather-wise. For suiting fabrics, checks in earthier shades – such as our Fife 20 Brown or our Fife 25 Brown check fabrics – are great choices for period-styled suits.

One of the most magnificent aspects of having multiple decades to choose from, however, is that it still leaves you plenty of leeway to express yourself! Feel free to explore our full range of fabrics here, or if you’d like to place an order, just give us a call on 01282 698 662. We’re here to help!