Make sure your clothing and equipment comply with the latest rules

Although the British Driving Society doesn’t have strict rules on dress for private driving classes, it offersthe following advice on suitable clothing and turnout.

Hats, gloves and either a driving apron or knee rug are essential for the show ring.

Female drivers should wear small, close fitting hats in a colour that suits the vehicle. Men can choose from a top hat, bowler or soft felt hat. Top hats, which can be in either black silk or pale grey felt (for the summer months), are not suitable when driving a varnished or rustic looking vehicle.

Gloves can be made of brown leather, chamois leather, wool or string.

Aprons are usually made from thick box-cloth or a similar material. They should be either a light fawn colour, commonly known as drab, or a dark colour that suits the turnout. Lightweight aprons made of linen with a check design are popular for summer.

Men should wear dark suits. Tailored clothes that tone with the vehicle are best for female drivers. Trousers suits are OK for ladies but the apron should be large enough to cover their legs.

Simple flat shoes with a rubber sole complete the picture, which should be of understated elegance.

Male grooms should be dressed in a similar way to the driver, but should not wear an apron.

Female grooms can choose from a black or navy riding jacket or tweed hacking jacket worn with either cream jodhpurs or a light fawn pair of trousers. A bowler hat or velvet cap and brown leather gloves complete the outfit.

For more information on private driving contact the British Driving Society (tel: 01926 624420).

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