Goodwood revival 2009

Not content to be simply the world’s largest historic motor racing meeting, the Goodwood Revival also serves as a magical portal to the fifties and sixties, with both competitors and spectators alike donning period fancy dress for the occasion.

Commemorating the 1948-1966 heyday of the Goodwood Motor Circuit, the three day event takes place each year in mid-September, and this year’s edition saw droves of gentlemen in dapper suits and ladies in 1950’s cocktail dresses. With special guests Buzz Aldrin, Stirling Moss and even Mr. Bean , the revival featured a range of classic racing cars, from fifties single seaters to classic Mini Coopers.

The spirit and atmosphere of the event is quite unlike anything else, and the costumed crowd are as much a part of that as the motors. From soldiers in full military dress and land girls to colourful post-austerity era swingers and teddy boys, everyone at Goodwood always puts in that extra bit of effort to look the part. Where today’s motor racing spectators tend to edge towards the casual, yet rather boring, jeans and T-shirt look, enthusiasts in days gone by would don their very best clothes, and after the end of World War 2 rationing people started to wear wonderfully colourful garments that banished the dull drabness of 1940’s fashion to the dustbin of history.

If you’re thinking of attending next year’s Goodwood revival you still have plenty of time to consider your fancy dress outfit. Smart old-fashioned army, navy and airforce uniforms are what’s in for men, while women lean towards looking like celebrities of the period, dressing up in Twiggy and Audrey Hepburn fancy dress costumes.

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