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Henley Outfit Ideas: What to wear to the Henley Royal Regatta 2024

From the Stewards' Enclosure to the riverside... make sure you’re the best dressed at the historical rowing race this year

Henley Outfit Ideas: What to wear to the Henley Royal Regatta 2024
Lauren Ramsay
Online Writer
Updated: July 1, 2024
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Established in 1839 the Henley Royal Regatta is a modern sporting event with a history steeped in tradition. The quintessentially British event is undoubtedly the best-known regatta in the world and a highlight of both the summer sporting calendar and social season. 

The event attracts thousands of visitors over the week, and spectators are thrilled by over 300 races of an international standard, which can include Olympic rowers, as well as crews new to the event.

Taking place from Tuesday, 2 July to Sunday, 7 July Henley Regatta has become as well known for the fashion as the rowing, this year they have once again teamed up with Crew Clothing Company on an exclusive capsule collection. 

"We work closely with Henley Royal Regatta when creating the collection, drawing inspiration from the prestige and heritage of the event," Jo Miller, Head of Design at Crew Clothing tells H Fashion, "It’s one of the best dressed events in the British sporting calendar, and whether it’s deck chair stripes or the iconic crest, you’ll find references to Henley Royal Regatta throughout the range."

Henley Royal Regatta x Crew Clothing
Henley Royal Regatta x Crew Clothing

"It’s a fantastic event and there’s lots to experience when you’re there," Jo Miller, Head of Design at Crew Clothing tells H Fashion, "I’d recommend planning out your day to make the most of it: make a note of when any teams you’re interested in are racing and keep an eye on the weather forecast – British summers can be unpredictable!"

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned member, you don’t want to fail in the style stakes. So we have pinpointed the best outfits to keep you looking your best on the river bank...

What is the Henley Royal Regatta Dress Code?

While there is no formal dress code for most of Henley Regatta, many opt to respect the heritage of the event when dressing for the occasion, which means summer dresses and smart casual attire. There are areas and enclosures, such as The Stewards Enclosure, where the dress code is slightly more formal... but thankfully for those of you who may have left outfit planning to the last minute it's not as strict as Ascot. Many well heeled spectators opt for nautical references in their attire, which means navy, blues and whites. 

"The first thing to consider is where you’ll be watching the rowing from. If you’re lucky enough to be headed to the Stewards’ Enclosure or the Hospitality Tent, you’ll want to dress up a little. Dresses should be below the knee for the Stewards’ Enclosure, and it’s traditional for ladies to wear a hat – although you don’t have to," Jo Miller tells us, "Keep in mind you’ll be walking on grass and opt for wedge espadrilles or sandals rather than stiletto heels... If you’re watching from the riverbanks instead, you might prefer something more casual." 

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What to wear in the Stewards' Enclosure: 

The Stewards’ Enclosure does have a formal dress code. Members and their guests are requested to respect the heritage of Henley Royal Regatta when dressing for the Stewards' Enclosure and are expected to dress appropriately. "No one will be admitted to the Stewards' Enclosure wearing shorts, leggings, tracksuits or jeans," explains the official Henley style guide. Consider yourself warned, "Admission will not be permitted to anyone not dressed appropriately,"

Women: According to the Henley style guide women are required to wear "dresses or skirts, with a hemline below the knee, or jackets or blazers with trousers or trouser suits." Hats are also encouraged, "Whilst not a requirement, Members and Guests are encouraged to wear hats." Dresses and skirts should be made from high-quality fabrics such as silk, chiffon, or fine cotton, and may include subtle patterns, solid colours, or tasteful embellishments, avoiding overly casual or revealing designs. If you opt for a trouser suit these outfits should be well-tailored and the blazer should complement the trousers in colour and style, creating a cohesive look. Hats add a touch of traditional elegance and can enhance the overall outfit, boaters look great with suits, while hats and fascinators complement dresses beautifully.

Men: "Gentlemen are required to wear lounge suits, or jackets or blazers with trousers, together with a tie or, if preferred, a cravat," says the style guide. This dress code ensures a polished and sophisticated appearance, suitable for the occasion. Suits should be made from fine fabrics such as wool, cotton, or linen. It should be well-fitted and in colours ranging from traditional dark shades like black, navy, and charcoal to lighter hues such as beige or grey. Additionally, gentlemen should accessorise with tasteful items such as cufflinks and pocket squares, watches should be elegant and understated (no one wants to see the watch before they see you.) Polished dress shoes, such as oxfords, brogues, or loafers, in leather or suede, are essential to complete the look.

Children: "Children aged ten and over are welcome in the Stewards’ Enclosure and are required to adhere to the appropriate dress code," explains the guide. 

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What to wear in the Regatta Enclosure:

The atmosphere in this enclosure is informal and relaxed, "Many do embrace the spirit of the event by wearing club blazers and other rowing apparel," explains the official Henley Regatta website. 

Stylish guests at the Regatta in 2022© David M. Benett
Stylish guests Hum Fleming and Gracie Egan at the Regatta in 2022

Women: Many women choose to wear club blazers, often adorned with the insignia or colours of their rowing club. These blazers can be paired with skirts or trousers, creating a smart-casual look that is both comfortable and stylish. Lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen are popular choices, particularly in warm weather. In addition to blazers, women might opt for dresses that align with the relaxed yet festive atmosphere. These can range from casual summer dresses to more tailored options, maintaining a nod to tradition.Accessories. Women may accessorise with hats, though it is not required. Simple sunhats can add a touch of elegance and protection from the sun. Footwear should be comfortable for walking and standing, with many opting for stylish summer flats, sandals, or espadrilles.

Men: Men often wear their rowing club blazers, featuring their team colours contributing to the aesthetic camaraderie and visual appeal of Henley. These blazers are typically paired with chinos or tailored trousers, striking a balance between formality and comfort. Hats are a popular choice among men as well, we suggest boaters, panama hats, or more casual caps, depending on personal preference. Footwear tends towards the casual side, with loafers, boat shoes, or dressy sneakers being common choices.

5 Henley Royal Regatta Outfit Ideas:

Polka Dot Perfection

This charming ensemble features a yellow polka dot dress with a white collar and buttons, evoking a retro vibe. Complemented by a delicate silver oar necklace, a white headband, and espadrille wedge sandals, it offers both style and comfort. The wicker basket bag with floral details adds a touch of rustic elegance, making it an ideal choice for a day at the Henley Regatta, blending sophistication with a playful edge.

  • DRESS: Alessandra Rich polka-dot silk midi dress, £1,645.00, NET-A-PORTER
  • SHOES: Eleanor Wellesley Amore Wedge Espadrilles, £450.00, ELEANOR WELLESLEY
  • BAG: Waiwai Rio Blooming Top Handle Bag, £760.00, CULT MIA
  • HEADBAND: Clementine & Mint The Ivory Satin Slim Headband, £40.00, CLEMENTINE & MINT
  • NECKLACE: Sterling Silver Regatta Double Oar Necklace, £99.00, TURQUOISE JEWELLERY 

Nautical Elegance

Embrace nautical chic with this blue and white embroidered two-piece set. The crop top and matching skirt are adorned with intricate lace patterns. Accessorise with anchor-themed earrings, a fan for comfort, and white heeled sandals with woven details. A stylish beaded handbag completes the look, adding a touch of bohemian flair. This outfit strikes the perfect balance between elegance and casual charm, perfect for the rowing.

  • TOP: Borgo De Nor Crocheted Lace-trimmed Chambray Top, £425.00, NET-A-PORTER
  • SKIRT: Borgo De Nor Rhea Crocheted Lace-trimmed Chambray Midi Skirt, £650.00, NET-A-PORTER
  • SHOES: Sculptural-Heel Strappy Mules, £65.00, CHARLES & KEITH
  • FAN: Fisura Handheld Folding Fan, £7.61, AMAZON
  • EARRINGS: Anchor Charm Hoops, £65.00, ROSIE FORTESCUE
  • BAG: Blooms Beaded Handle Embellished Denim Bag, £90.00, DUNE

Pink Power Suit

Stand out in this elegant pink blazer and trouser set, tailored for sophistication. Paired with unique lace-up espadrilles, it merges comfort with style. The seashell charm bracelet and whimsical handbag add playful elements, making it perfect for the Henley Regatta. This look exudes confidence and chic femininity, ideal for those who want to make a fashionable statement while enjoying the event.

  • BLAZER: The Single Breasted Jacket, £1,295.00, THE DECK
  • TROUSERS: The Cigarette Trouser, £695.00, THE DECK
  • SHOES: Aquazzura Ric Rac 85 Raffia Wedge Espadrilles, £635.00, NET-A-PORTER
  • BAG: Antique Rose No.14 Portobello House Handbag, £345.00, LULU GUINNESS
  • NECKLACE: Brinker And Eliza Montauk Shell-Embellished Necklace, £370.00, SELFRIDGES

Classic Boater Beauty

A timeless black polka dot dress is the centrepiece of this outfit, offering a flattering and versatile look. Paired with comfortable block-heeled shoes and a chic white handbag, it's both stylish and practical. Gold heart-shaped earrings and a straw hat add elegant touches, ensuring you're well-dressed for the regatta. This ensemble combines classic charm with modern accessories for a polished finish.

  • DRESS: Black Shirred Spot Midi Dress, £46.00, RIVER ISLAND
  • BAG: Dakota Hobo Bag, £425.00, KATE SPADE
  • EARRINGS: Anisa Sojka Gold Heart Earrings, £90.00, CULT MIA
  • SHOES: Sydnie Trench Twist Trim Loafer Court Shoes, £299.00, LK BENNETT
  • HAT: Boutique Bonita Boater Ribbon-embellished Straw Hat, £60.00, SELFRIDGES

Crisp Summer Chic

This all-white jumpsuit exudes effortless elegance, perfect for a summer day at the regatta. The wide-leg design and tailored fit offer a modern silhouette. Paired with straw woven sandals, a matching handbag, and a colourful silk scarf, it balances sophistication with casual ease. Pimms-themed earrings add a playful pop of colour, making this outfit both stylish and fun, ideal for a day by the water.

  • JUMPSUIT: Norma Kamali Belted Pleated Jersey Jumpsuit, £325.00, NET-A-PORTER
  • SCARF: Cavalcades Twilly, £185.00, HERMÈS
  • BAG: Midi Mayfair Raffia Bag, £695.00, ASPINAL OF LONDON
  • SHOES: Raffia Slingback Espadrille, £135.00, RALPH LAUREN
  • EARRINGS: Sweet Treasures Drop Earrings, £80.00, KATE SPADE

How We Chose:

Style: When exploring the top fashion sites for the best Henley festival pieces, we ensured that each of our selections was chic, flattering, and perfect for the Henley setting.

Price: Whether you're planning to splurge or find a bargain, we've got options in your price range. We've curated our Henley outfits using a mix of high-street brands and luxurious designer labels.

Why You Should Trust Me:

I've been a part of the Hello! Fashion digital team since 2022.  Keeping up to date with the latest trends is my passion, whether it's dissecting runway looks or decoding influencer styles. This enthusiasm has led to me leading our 'Try the Trend' series, conducting interviews with industry luminaries like Mary Katrantzou and Sharon Sever, and an array of the coolest tastemakers through the Fashion Insider series. I gained an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Roehampton University in 2018, but after delving deeper into digital content creation during the pandemic, I realised being a journalist was my calling. I then completed a postgraduate degree in Magazine Journalism at City University, where my passion for fashion and lifestyle blossomed. My journey in the fashion world has been diverse, with experiences ranging from fashion assistant work at Grazia to merchandising at brands like Reiss. 

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