The RBS Six Nations rugby tournament kicked off on the weekend with wins for Scotland, England and Wales.
While many relax in the comfort of their homes, some will spend the games (set to continue through March) in corporate boxes and/or take in the spectacle from the best seats in the house. So, what do you wear if you possess a coveted invitation to an executive box or will be benefitting from corporate hospitality?
According to Keith Prowse, the official hospitality provider at Twickenham, the dress code differs slightly according to the event and the particular executive box or seating area you have been allocated. You may or may not be given an indication to the dress code on your invitation. If not, the general rule is smart casual.
I spoke to a former coach of the England Women’s Rugby team and Harlequins who advised:
“Dress would generally be smart/casual, but it probably depends on who is hosting the event. Trousers and jacket would be appropriate and a suit suitable for a more high-end corporate event. However, the trend is more towards casual dress these days. A tricky one!”
Smart casual – that term again! It is safe to interpret this as chinos or similar with a collared shirt and a smart jumper (cashmere or merino) paired with casual leather lace-ups or loafers. In cooler months, add a smart wool coat and scarf (particularly if you have stadium seats), if it’s warmer a sports jacket in a soft fabric is perfect.
That brings me on to jeans. A well cared-for dark pair (no fading or fraying) teamed with a collared shirt and jacket may be appropriate. Remember – the nicer the shoes, the dressier your jeans will appear. But proceed with caution: dressing for these events is about showing respect for your host, particularly if you are doing business with them.
A word about team colours: if attending a rugby match, you may wish to add a subtle nod to your preferred team’s colours, but official merchandise can look too informal. It may also offend your host or other guests if they don’t support the same team as you!
A useful way to gauge your outfit is to take a look at the photography used on the corporate hospitality and executive box pages of official sites or search online for photographs from the same event the previous year.
Most of all, ensure you feel comfortable – the last thing you want is for your outfit to hinder your enjoyment of the game!
If you are ever in doubt, Alexandra is always available for style advice and shopping tips.
Some advice if you’ve been invited to enjoy corporate hospitality at other sports:
Football: Replica colours or team merchandise is prohibited at many corporate hospitality events and executive boxes as there is no segregation. Some football clubs and venues demand a suit, but this is rare. Wembley Stadium offers useful information on dress code on their website.
Cricket: Lighter fabrics are essential in the summer heat so opt for collared shirts in linen, 100 percent cotton or one of the newer light-weight crush-free fabrics we have at Alexandra Wood.
Rowing: You may not be inside for these types of events, particularly if they are held at a rowing club by the river. Do ensure that your shoes have sufficient grip to handle damp grass.