Et Cetera: Proper Turnout

The etiquette of dressing for the hunt



Photography by Mary-Louise LeVeen

When foxhunting, wearing the appropriate attire is paramount. Proper turnout varies according to three main categories — one’s gender, whether one has been awarded colors and cubbing versus the formal season. During cubbing, early in the season, there is no difference in proper turnout between members who have been awarded colors and those who have not, or between the field, masters and staff. There is also little difference between the attire of gentlemen and lady members. Once the formal season begins, there are more distinctions between men and women and whether or not they have been awarded colors. However, four elements of attire — headwear, neckwear, gloves and vests — are universal.

• Headwear: All members of the field should wear a hunt-style helmet — a brimmed cap with a black velvet covering. Top hats and bowlers are suitable under certain circumstances.

• Neckwear: A white or cream stock tie is considered the only appropriate neckwear during formal season. It should be properly tied and secured with a gold pin. The pin should be placed horizontally as only professional staff place the pin vertically.

• Gloves: Full leather, brown gloves in various shades are appropriate. In rainy weather, white or buff string gloves or chamois gloves are considered appropriate. 

• Vests: Canary or tattersall, in various color combinations, are appropriate vest choices. A vest made from material matching the hunt’s official color is also acceptable in that hunt field only. Canary is considered to be the most formal color.When foxhunting, wearing the appropriate attire is paramount. Proper turnout varies according to three main categories — one’s gender, whether one has been awarded colors and cubbing versus the formal season. During cubbing, early in the season, there is no difference in proper turnout between members who have been awarded colors and those who have not, or between the field, masters and staff. There is also little difference between the attire of gentlemen and lady members. Once the formal season begins, there are more distinctions between men and women and whether or not they have been awarded colors. However, four elements of attire — headwear, neckwear, gloves and vests — are universal.

• Headwear: All members of the field should wear a hunt-style helmet — a brimmed cap with a black velvet covering. Top hats and bowlers are suitable under certain circumstances.

• Neckwear: A white or cream stock tie is considered the only appropriate neckwear during formal season. It should be properly tied and secured with a gold pin. The pin should be placed horizontally as only professional staff place the pin vertically.

• Gloves: Full leather, brown gloves in various shades are appropriate. In rainy weather, white or buff string gloves or chamois gloves are considered appropriate. 

• Vests: Canary or tattersall, in various color combinations, are appropriate vest choices. A vest made from material matching the hunt’s official color is also acceptable in that hunt field only. Canary is considered to be the most formal color.

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