A three-day festival held each September at Goodwood Motor Circuit near Chichester, West Sussex, the Goodwood Revival recalls the glamour days of motor racing and is as much about the dress code as it is the classic cars. This year’s 25th anniversary edition took place September 8-10, and it was a winner!
On and off the track, drivers, mechanics and spectators parade in their fashion-best to celebrate the 25th anniversary year of the Goodwood Revival. It’s a catwalk line-up of 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, to celebrate the history of the automobile and honour the legacy of motor racing between 1948 and 1966.
Recreating the glamour of motor racing as it used to be, the Revival is the only historic race meeting presented in period dress. It marks a return to the halcyon days when Goodwood was the spiritual home of British motorsport – a celebration of a bygone era, with motorcar and motorcycle racing around the classic circuit. And it remains unchanged since its heyday.
Wheels and heels, pistons and ponytails, curls and carburettors; an outfit to fit the occasion and to reflect the ambiance. One to make a statement or to blend in with the crowd. The passion for the fashion and culture of the 40s, 50s, and 60s finds inspiration from the era whether its overalls and dungarees, full military uniforms, combat or ceremonial, or luxury vintage dress. A char lady or land girl, an officer or a character of Dad’s Army – the dilemma remains – what should I wear?
Vintage is a growing trend. It’s sustainable with the re-usage of clothing hidden in the attic, stored in trunks or handed down from grandparents. It’s the essence of the Revival, bringing back to life those fond memories and images of old garments, lovingly restored as new. And it’s the nostalgia that draws smiles and laughter and relates stories to share and generate togetherness.
The Entrance to the Goodwood Circuit
Fashion On Display
Pill box hats, plimsolls polka dot dresses with net petticoats peeping at the hem is a popular look especially for mums who dress their baby daughters to match. And with headscarves returning to fashion pages, they are very evident in high colour print, accessorising outfits whether its hairband style, tied under the chin or knotted at the top. Handbags and glad rags, another accessory in every form from a wicker basket, a vinyl pleated handbag to an alligator skin purse with seamed stockings to complete the look, Ribbons add to the fun while fur conveys the feel of luxury. As for gentlemen its braces, brogues and boaters, flat caps, peak caps, checked shirts and cravats. The military is in the line-up too. The RAF, the WRENS and a host of other services. Standing to attention are the smart uniforms, the real McCoy, authentic with proud medals and badges, guns and holsters, hats and shiny shoes. In contrast are the bikers in full leathers on classic bikes and the fashioned set on Vespas and Lambrettas with Mobil oil workers on standby. And if you want to compete with the tattoo set, this year brought in its first tattoo parlour.
As for hairstyles, up styles, half down or all curls? Don’t worry, there’s Betty’s Salon ready to rescue with those hood dryers, huge curlers and nets. For the men there are barbers for the moustache tidy-up, or a quick short back and sides.
Handmade, Repair And Restore
Sustainability is a keystone of the Revival, which embraces the ethos of its Revive & Thrive concept. Fashion is made easy and convenient by making one yourself during the event at one the workshops taking place in the repair and wear area of the Revive & Thrive Village with sewing classes, fashion talks, designers at work and pop-up boutiques.
Setting The Scene – A Glamorous Theatrical Experience
Picture old fashioned prams with camouflaged spirit optics for a sneeky shot on the run. Or take inspiration from the musicians – the Delray Rockets, Spitfire Sisters and the Fifinellas Swing Band, or learn more moves at the jive-dance workshop.
On the track the roar of tuned engines bellow, brakes screech. There’s non-stop action on the circuit with trophy races, motorcar and bike parades. A throng of rumbling period chopper and bobber motorcycles opened the circuit on each of the day – a perfect wake-up call of some 200 classic bikes while Supermarine Spitfire aircraft loop-the-loop above and as well as on display on the ground. The Fordwater Trophy proved a particular highlight, with wheel-to-wheel action in the event’s first all sustainably-fuelled contest. Rolex Testimonees Mark Webber and Jenson Button drove pre-1966 Porsche 911s, adding miles to their history and laps to their pedigree.
For quieter moments off the tracks, stroll in to dream of owning the range of eyewatering expensive cars on display. Under the spotlight in the Earls Court Motor Show Centre are the new Lotus Emira, the all-electric Evijia and Eletre models. Alongside are Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover and the latest Jaguar F-type.
Sunset at the 2023 Goodwood Revival. Ph. by PA.
To Buy or Sell
Bugatti, Bentley, Porsche, McLaren – the elite of statement cars was the draw of The Bonhams sale at the 2023 Goodwood Revival which yielded grand results with stunning cars finding their new owners.
2023 is the year of anniversaries with the 75th anniversary of British marque Lotus showcasing competition cars spanning three decades on the circuit. Marque Royal Enfield celebrates its 130th anniversary while American maker Harley-Davidson celebrates its 120th birthday.
Fashion takes center state at the Goodwood Revival
What To Wear?
And now to 2024 – what will you wear? Check out the costume ideas on here in time for The Goodwood Revival 2024 which takes place Friday 6th – Sunday 8th September. Tickets for the Goodwood Revival go on sale at goodwood.com
BeSeeingYou In: West Sussex, UK at The Goodwood Revival
Good To Know: The races can be addictive view
WOW Factor: It’s like stepping back in time, everyone is in costume.
Tip: Start researching your outfit well in advance
Author Bio: Jane Wilson