Getting Ready for Goodwood Revival

The increasingly popular Goodwood Revival event is coming up soon (September 7th to 9th), an event that celebrates the heyday of motor car racing (1948 to 1966). As one of the only motor events where the majority of attendees are in period dress - we are increasingly asked about what to wear.

The iconic event is an excuse to dress-up to-the-hilt in the vintage inspired fashions and style of the period covered (1940s, 50s & 1960s), so here's our little guide on how to dress the part.

Things to note for Goodwood Revival First Timers:-

  • if you don’t dress up you will regret it

  • take something warm just in case you decide to stay late – it can get very cold

  • you may have to walk a fair way from your parking – take suitable walking shoes and change. This can also save precious vintage shoes from wear!

  • you can get your hair done but its worth booking in advance

First Things First….

You know you want to dress up - so first of all you need to ‘Choose an era’. Most people select a favourite decade, research the looks (which can be done easily online) and start putting their outfit together. The 40s is the era of ‘practical’ wartime looks but let’s not forget the feminine ‘pinup’ look which hails from the 40s. A 1950s look is always extremely popular at Goodwood Revival and is extremely flattering. Pick between the 50s ‘full and frothy’ skirts or the elegant wiggle dresses and swing coats. Lastly, whilst the 60s brings less formal looks to mind - let’s not forget Jackie O’ chic and the ‘Madmen’ inspired sophisticated look!

With so much to choose from - we’ve just gathered a few options to help get you started.

Some easy ‘1940s look’ options

When we think of 1940s fashion, we probably think of the glamour of the 40s Pin Up and the practical styles of the wartime Land Army Girls. We think of ultra feminine 1940s tea dance dresses in floral prints, wedge shoes and brogues. The fashions were of course, influenced by the war and economic situation and so fashion was practical but this can be really helpful for Goodwood Revival - since you will be travelling, walking around a lot and the weather is not always guaranteed.

The Tea Dress

We love a classic tea dress because it’s supremely feminine and its a flattering style for all shapes and ages. Pair with a cardigan for a dressed down look or formalise with a blazer, faux fur and hat. Always try to get matching accessories such as gloves, hand bag and hat or head scarf. Below are a few suggestions:-

This is a great 40s tea dress ensemble - as the jacket provides essential arm cover for the chillier evenings.


The 1940s Trouser

Or if you fancy a more practical 1940s look - the practical styles that wartime demanded meant that the wearing of trousers became more acceptable. These were high or natural waisted and wide leg - really flattering and paired with a simple blouse and a waisted jacket.


1940s ‘Get the look’ tips:-
subtle winged eyeliner, red lip

Hair: 1940s hair is definitely the iconic element of this era - but can easily look silly if not done right. Avoid victory rolls and try the 40s poodle or pageboy with hair flowers.. check out instruction videos on youtube.

Accessories: seamed stockings/tights (order here), hat or snood, diamanté jewellery

Shoes: brogues or sandals with a platform

Some Easy 1950s Looks

For those of you who like a glamorous look and want to feel like you're really dressing really differently then a 1950s inspired choice is the one for you!

There's no doubt that the 1950s look is one of the most flattering for all shapes - whether you go for a sultry wiggle pencil style or a full and frothy petticoat - it's all so glam. Think Liz Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. You can go ‘all out’ with the 50s look.

The Full Skirt look

Go for glam with a wasp waist and a full skirt. Full petticoats and boned close-fitting bodices were used to create the supreme feminine silhouette so desired in this era. You may need control underwear to get the desired look - try ‘what katie did’ for a great selection of waist cinchers if you feel the urge


The Wiggle Dress Look

For those who like to dress well but want a sophisticated look - then adopting the 1950s pencil line style is for you. You can do this in a number of way - a sexy wiggle dress that hugs your curves or a more conservative pencil skirt paired with a boat neck top and a 50s style swing coat.


1950s ‘Get the look’ tips:

Makeup: Strong winged eyeliner, bold lip in red or pink

Hair: 1950s classic hairstyles were just as varied as the 40s but perhaps more daring. Short and shaggy Italian cut styles, curled and waved short hair, pageboy or worn in a ponytails with bangs. Again check out instruction videos on youtube.

Accessories: seamed stockings/tights (order here), plenty of jewelry, matching bags and gloves

Shoes: brogues or sandals with a platform

A Sophisticated 1960s Look

Fancy yourself as Joan from Madmen? The 60s doesn't have to just mean a mini skirt or mod look. For many, the 60s epitomises the grown up glamour of the 'pill box hat' styles from Jackie O and Pam Am. This is a perfectly classy look for Goodwood Revival.

So get your twin sets out and your pearls and check out our grown up glamour options which are perfect for Goodwood.

This is a stunning little suit set for early 60s fans and is the epitome of early 60s fashions. A must for ladies who love grown-up glamour and perfect for The Goodwood Revival - this set will take you from luncheon through to candlelit dinner...just thrown on a pair of heels, some 3 string pearls and you're set!


For more information on ‘Getting ready for Goodwood’ you can visit our style guide here:

Or for more vintage style help - click here: