Goodwood Revivial Dress Code

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MrBenovich
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What is it with the interpretation of 'Period Dress' that numerous so called enthusiasts struggle with? This year was indeed busier than previous years (and commercially heavy - careful it doesn't suffer the same fate of Festival of Speed!) but there seemed to be a growing number of visitors - whom we shall call day trippers - that appeared to have purchased cheap and cheerful 'fancy dress' online and many more making absolutely no effort at all.

One of the pleasures of the Revival is the spirit in which visitors and enthusiasts make the effort to turn out in period dress making the whole place thoroughly enthralling. You feel much more part of the event having gone the extra step in dressing accordingly. So do those who chose to wear wigs/moustaches, 1960's psychedelic jerseys, immitation Naval whites, Thunderbird outfits (?!?!) feel they are getting into the spirit? And what about those who arrive in jeans, training shoes and modern motorsport polos? Not to mention the number of gentlemen in shorts, white socks and tennis shoes. Honestly...!

Goodwood's Revival is indeed becoming a social event (perhaps inevitable), but surely it should remain one of quality. And since it is now bulging at the seams with record attendance figures (while I have seen no statistics, the fact that it was sold out all weekend suggests this might be the case), I would imagine it is in a strong position to make any dress code compulsory?!?

So, here is my suggestion to Lord March and his team: Enforce the dress code being clear on what period dress is and include in small print that you may be refused entry even with a valid ticket if not dressed accordingly. The alternative to tweed/military dress/period overalls etc is for gentlemen to wear shirts, ties and jackets (assuming their lady companions will dress to suit). I would imagine you are only at risk of upsetting a small percentage of the overall attendees, and that there are others who may like to have bought a ticket ready awaiting to fill in the places.

To far a step to do all at once? Well, how about kick it off with making access to the infield of the circuit on this basis for 2013, and then go for all access to the circuit in 2014. For those enthusiasts that would prefer to wear Rizla Racing jackets or Honda F1 Racing shirts, then might I suggest delving into the pockets of the commercial partners and fund some big screens for the outer car parks for them to watch. Seeing as the trader villages are growing and encroaching on the classic car park there will be plenty for them to do throughout the day, aside from kicking themselves for not dressing accordingly to gain access to the main event itself.

jagnut12
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To add to the above comments here are my views;having attended the very first Revival meeting in 98,I have noticed the dress code slipping away,surely when the circuit was first opened for motorsport in 1948 to the closure in 1966 spectators chose to wear appropriate outdoor wear for men and women  it was all about    the  fashion of  the time but the key factor comfort,whist I can appreciate the connection between the original WW2 airbase West Hampnet,I am not convinced even any  keen pilot or Army soldier  interested in motorsport would want to spectate at Goodwood in uniform,but this is not my beef,the event is focused on "Yesteryear" and I shake my head when I see folk not making any effort by wearing shorts T-shirts trainers,for me this completly spoils the whole occassion.Goodwood Revival is all about attention to details so please letstry and keep it that way.

TeamMooMooJimbo
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I would hazard a guess that most of the people not in costume are first-time visitors.  I remember the first time I went (not very many years ago) - I simply didn't believe that most people would be dressed up.  Yes, I'd seen photos, but if you were posting photos you'd pick the scenes that had the most costumes in, wouldn't you?  I imagined it like a fancy dress party where I'd been told, "sure, EVERYBODY'S coming in costume, the bigger the better!" and then me turning up in my giant condom outfit to find everyone else in jeans and shirt with a mildly comic bow tie.

I won't be doing that again.

Moving on ... I don't think there's any way around the inevitable trepidation of first-timers, except for implementing Mr Benovich's idea of having "privileged access" for those in proper costume, which I think is a great idea.  Give the non-dressed-up folk a part of the show with a teaser to how things might be if they'd made the effort.  That could work.

Personally I have no objection to the Thunderbirds outfits.  It's all part of the fun.  And I don't think there should be controls over what constitutes a "proper" costume and what doesn't - there be dragons in that there grey minefield.  That would put a lot of people off, worried about whether their outfit was up to scrutiny.  I would certainly be put off by that as I'm less sartorially gifted than Timmy Mallett's ringworm.

But I don't think a fancy dress should win the Best-Dressed award, as happened on Sunday.

James Elliott
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I actually have more of a problem with those that do dress up and in their manner of doing so seem to mock the entire event via their silly stick on moustaches or ridiculously out of period or OTT apparel than those who turn up in jeans and a T-shirt. The latter are more the proper enthusiasts in my experience, the former more the "season" followers who are there for the Champagne instead of the cars.

The easy option cop-out army/RAF/navy uniform thing is getting a bit tired, too. Very un-period, but definitely better than nothing.

I'll admit that I made very little effort this year, but it was smart and I wore a tie and was respectful to the spirit of the event (I hope).

Goodwood's runaway success presents its own challenges and the biggest of those is the threat of the most sublime piece of theatre becoming a circus. And the moustachioed clowns were circling this year...

 

 

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Coventry Climax
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I remember a few years ago seeing a group wandering around dressed as astronauts, which is just ridiculous and makes a mockery of the organisers' efforts to create a period feel. A dress code is definitely needed.

Nuno Granja
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my point of view about "period dress code" (I hope that no one get upset with...)

About the problems reported here;

It seems obvious that "period dress code" in such big events, will lead to the kind of problems reported here. Unless the organizers create some kind of KGB for the dress code, it will be dificult put everyone dressed under the same "code".

 

About period dress code;

I have nothing against people who have fun with this kind of play, but I d'ont have any interest in such thing.

Such ideias of make it mandatory, tend to give to any event a Disneyworld feel, and that definitely put me off.

 

nuno granja

 

Chris Martin
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For what it is worth, I have never been to the Goodwood Revival, (or even to the Revivial as it says at the top of the page) but I understand the original reasoning for asking people to come in 'period dress' to add to the atmosphere. The exact rules were never really clear to me, but I understood that to mean anything suitable from post-war forties until racing ceased in the sixties.

Not sure about some military unifoms, but the RAF especially has a rightful place at Goodwood; so it is late forties, through to the fifties, Marilyn, Elvis lookalikes etc, and probably a few tacky pink Cadillacs to go with it, then the groovy sixties, flares, mini-skirts etc for those in E-Types or Hillman Imps. As a fashion show it was always going to be an odd mix anyway, my granddad's demob suit would have looked distinctly odd in the swinging sixties.

The requirement for no mobile phones is admirable, but then if we apply other social rules appropriate to the time, shouldn't everyone be smoking, and doing so everywhere, not just restricted to a corner of a far off field? With maybe some of the right chaps smoking pipes too? Of course some of the sixties folks might take that a bit further, but then those nice Mr Plod policeman would sniff them out pretty quick.

I can certainly agree a suitable period look for the mechanics and team personnel in the pits appropriate to the vintage of the car makes for a good show, and Leica even now make a digital camera that is modelled on their classics of the era, so the press too have no excuse not to get the right look.

Agreed, stick-on moustaches are a bit silly, (who says all the men had to have facial furniture anyway) but if someone wants to go to the trouble of dressing up as a Thunderbirds character, or even a Dalek come to that, surely it all adds to the fun? Why is that any worse than an Elvis?

So, short of having a strict fashion police vetting the public at the gate I suspect the mix is as good as it is going to get. Maybe some are starting to take it too seriously?

Chris M.

 

Russell Campbell
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I must say it’s the people that wear the uniforms that smack me (many would like to) of lazy, unimaginative, unmentionables that probably think a bit too highly of themselves. That said, knowing what to wear can be tricky – it was the blind leading the blind when a couple of colleagues accompanied me on a vintage-clothing shop. Having said that the outlay was £10 (from Primark of course) for a tie, hat and shirt, having borrowed a jacket from the old man. It seems a shame not to tow the line when the organisers have made such an effort. After a few after-work shandies, when the aforementioned colleague and I wandered through the “high street” we got a genuine Back-to-the-Future feel. Running into a shell-suited youth would have spoiled that.

seac420
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MrBenovich of the royal we exhibits the worst of classic car event attendees. There was I thinking erroneously that the whole point of classic car racing was to give pleasure to all who eg njoy

Jim
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It was my first time at the Revival this year, but have seen enough coverage and reports of previous years to know that turning up in some decent garb would add to my enjoyment. Didn't go mad, just a linen suit and tie but it made me feel part of the event rather than a mere spectator.

I'm a bit ambivalent on the military uniforms - done well they can look good if done with respect, but there were too many half baked attempts that wouldn't fool anyone. And the silly false facial hair for those with an otherwise authentic RAF uniform seemed to undermine and mock something that should be treated with more respect.

And as for those going round in Nazi uniforms, they need to take a long hard look at themselves...but it was a talking point, I spoke to few and went straight into Fawlty Tower's Major role - Germans! Don't much care for Germans Fawlty!'

Chris Martin
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Jim wrote:

It was my first time at the Revival this year, but have seen enough coverage and reports of previous years to know that turning up in some decent garb would add to my enjoyment. Didn't go mad, just a linen suit and tie but it made me feel part of the event rather than a mere spectator.

I'm a bit ambivalent on the military uniforms - done well they can look good if done with respect, but there were too many half baked attempts that wouldn't fool anyone. And the silly false facial hair for those with an otherwise authentic RAF uniform seemed to undermine and mock something that should be treated with more respect.

And as for those going round in Nazi uniforms, they need to take a long hard look at themselves...but it was a talking point, I spoke to few and went straight into Fawlty Tower's Major role - Germans! Don't much care for Germans Fawlty!'

No really? As much as I would play down the seriousness of what some would see as after all just a race event with some fancy dress on the side, it would still behove those taking part to make an appropriate effort. Were there really people dressed in Nazi gear? Or any WWII German military wear? If so they should have been shown the door pronto. That is just bad taste pretending to be a sick joke. Of course the Germans never did manage to invade British soil, Goodwood or elsewhere, and their engineering prowess it could be argued came about as a result of their wartime defeat and the resulting rebuilding of a broken nation.

In a historical perspective the fine display of pre-war Silver Arrows had no direct connection with Goodwood, but I am sure made an excellent display anyway, at was has (whether chronologically correct or otherwise) become the premier historic racing event anywhere. That still does not permit an irrelevant political history to be attached by whatever means to what is supposed to be a fun event.

Next year, your Lordship, may I ask that your security people and staff at the gates at least ensure this is not allowed.

Or is Jim having a joke and me over-reacting?

Chris M.