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    How Horse Racing Fashion Showed  Aristocrats and Trendsetters
How Horse Racing Fashion Showed  Aristocrats and Trendsetters

How Horse Racing Fashion Showed  Aristocrats and Trendsetters

Horse racing has influenced fashion. This influence spans centuries. It reflects societal changes. Fashion trends have often mirrored horse racing events. This article explores this historical influence.

Early History (up to 18th century)

Horse racing dates back to ancient civilizations. It was popular in Rome, Byzantium, and the Arab world. Aristocrats often displayed their wealth and status at these events. This led to the adoption of elaborate riding outfits. These outfits were both functional and fashionable.

Fun fact: In medieval times, knights would wear their armour during horse races. This showcased both their wealth and military prowess.

19th Century

The 19th century saw-horse racing's rise in popularity. This period brought significant changes in fashion. Both men and women had distinct riding clothes. Men wore frock coats and riding coats with tight-fitting trousers. Women's riding habits included tailored jackets and long skirts. People used natural fibres like wool, velvet, and linen.

Fun Fact: The frock coat was a fashion staple for men in the late 1800s. People knew its fitted waist and flared skirt, which reached the knee or lower.

Early 20th Century

In the early 20th century, horse racing influenced fashion. Events, like the Kentucky Derby, played a major role. The royal family affected fashion. King Edward VII set the standard with tweed jackets and top hats. Women's fashion saw the rise of fascinators, attributed to the royal family's influence​​.

Fun fact: Hollywood glamour influenced mid-20th-century horse racing fashion. Stars like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn set trends.

Mid-20th Century

Post-war fashion trends were also influenced by horse racing. Hollywood influenced the evolution of horse racing attire. It now includes elaborate hats for women and stylish outfits for jockeys. The classic mid-century silhouette with a cinched waist and A-line skirt became popular​​.

Fun Fact: In the 1960s, Fashions on the Field events began. These combined horse racing with fashion contests. They elevated the fashion stakes at horse racing events.

Late 20th Century to Present

Horse racing continues to influence modern fashion trends. The late 20th and early 21st centuries saw a shift toward more casual racing attire. Bright colors and bold patterns became more popular. Fascinators became popular among women, and jockey silks evolved in design and style​​.

Fun Fact: Celebrity fashion choices continue to influence horse racing attire. For example, Paris and Nicky Hilton's fashion at the Melbourne Cup.


Horse racing has influenced fashion over the centuries. Horse racing has been shaping fashion trends for over a century. The aristocratic riding habits of the 19th century were the earliest influence. In the modern era, fascinators and casual attire are popular. This shows how fashion reflects societal changes and cultural preferences.

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