While it's not compulsory to dress up for the Goodwood Revival, you would be rather missing the point if you didn't! Taking time to assemble an authentic outfit will ensure that you feel fully immersed in the proceedings. With the event running over 3 days you have the opportunity to recreate different looks for each day. Fortunately, vintage clothing is comparatively affordable. Here are our own recommendations for Goodwood Revival outfits, plus some tips on costs and availability of garments, and when to buy...
Look 1. The Country Gent
Vintage 3-piece Tweed suit, or 2-piece suit plus doeskin waistcoat, (a tweed jacket with doeskin waistcoat and corduroy trousers will also look the part), Tattersall check shirt, woven or shooting style tie, brown or burgundy brogues shoes. Accessorize with Trilby hat or flat cap, pocket watch and shooting stick.
Look 2. Chaps in Summer
Navy blue or black wool blazer with gold / silver / brass buttons (single or double-breasted), or linen jacket, white / cream cotton trousers, striped or plain shirt, cravat or repp tie, pocket square, black or brown oxford shoes. Accessorize with Panama hat, vintage cricket jumper (thrown over shoulder), vintage binoculars.
Look 3. Just Arrived From Town
1940s, 1950s, 1960s worsted suit with appropriate shirt and tie, formal leather shoes (preferably vintage) and hat. Accessorize with pocket square and tie clip. Double-breasted suits are particularly popular for the 1940s (look out for the 'CC41' mark found on genuine war-time utility pieces) and 1950s pieces (slightly softer tailoring and cloths), while single-breasted skinny lapel and narrow leg suits, often in a tonic or mohair cloth, are great for the 1960s look.
Look 4. Officer Class
Goodwood's World War II history means that you'll see lots of chaps (and chapesses) in uniform. RAF, Royal Navy, British and US Army are all perfectly appropriate and you can't help but look smart (do remember to polish your shoes!). When putting together your outfit it's worth looking for pieces that date back to pre 1966 to keep with the spirit of the event. Also, if sourcing items from different places, try to ensure that the lacings are all for the same rank.
Costs & Availability
Not surprisingly, original 1940s, 1950s & 1960s suits in excellent order command the highest prices, especially if they are in harder to find 'modern' sizes (larger than 40" chest). Investment in an authentic vintage suit will bring many years of enjoyment and will stand out at The Revival to those in the know. If you're seriously considering such a piece, and one comes along in your size and preferred style, snap it up; they don't come along too often!
When availability or budget encourages a more pragmatic approach, we recommend mixing vintage pieces with classic modern garments that you already own. For example, a vintage blazer can be paired with cavalry twill or cotton trousers, or you could pair a vintage tweed jacket with a doeskin wool waistcoat, tattersall shirt and corduroy trousers. Another opportunity for savings comes from finding authentic vintage pieces that are in lesser condition but still wearable (a few visible repairs only add authentic character, anyway!).
Last, but not least, remember that accessories can make all the difference; hats, ties, cravats, pocket squares, scarves, binoculars, shooting stick, hip flask.
When To Buy
Sought-after authentic pieces get snapped up all year round by collectors, so don't hesitate if that special item comes along. Whatever your budget, the earlier you start shopping the more choice you will have. In any event, try to allow enough time in case your item needs any alteration to fit. Though, if you have left it to the last minute, we can still have items with you the next day!
Enjoy The Revival!