Formula 1 is coming to fabulous Las Vegas for the first time since 1982, so Thomas Pink gives the lowdown on what to expect and – of course – what to wear
Formula 1 and fashion go hand-in-hand. This is a world of high-octane cars, action and A-list glamour, after all. Just think back to the quiet elegance of the late, great Ayrton Senna, or the rugged charm of James Hunt and the iconic good looks of petrolhead movie star Steve McQueen. Today, Lewis Hamilton flies the flag for fashion on and off the track. Usually clad in head-to-toe designer garb, his is a unique and fearless sense of style.
As well as its superstar racers, Formula 1 also takes place in the world’s most alluring (and expensive) places: Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi springing immediately to mind. Now joining these affluent ranks for the first time is Las Vegas, as part of the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship. Scheduled to take place on Saturday 18 November, this milestone event marks the first time F1 has rocked up to Sin City since its 1981 and 1982 races, held in the car park of Caesars Palace.
But this historic 2023 edition will be on another level entirely, with a lavish opening ceremony held on 15 November with performances from Keith Urban, Steve Aoki, will.i.am and Swedish House Mafia, among others. As for the race itself, Formula 1 bigwigs have spared no expense in making this the grandest spectacle in the sport’s history. As well as re-tarmacing the roads along the famous (or should that be, infamous) Las Vegas Strip, the Formula One Group has also spent in excess of $700m on the infrastructure; even buying land specially to house a permanent new pit and paddock complex. Although it’s set to be money well spent, as the event is predicted to generate $1.3bn – double that of the Super Bowl.
The 6.2km course is a relatively straightforward one. Max Verstappen and co will start at the aforementioned paddock area before looping around the new headline-grabbing venue Sphere and zooming along Las Vegas Boulevard at speeds of over 200mph past its most iconic landmarks – the Bellagio fountains, Caesars Palace and incongruous Eiffel Tower.
Vegas is a desert city, and enjoys scorching temperatures all year round. However, spectators will need to wrap up warm for the race, which starts at 10pm local time (6am UK time), to take full advantage of the glittering Strip lights. Vegas, after all, is synonymous with glitz, glamour and an unrivalled nightlife.
Today, you can catch no-expenses spared residencies from the likes of Adele, U2 and Kylie Minogue. But back in the day it was the Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis Jr – who put Sin City on the map, thanks largely to the release of Ocean’s 11 in 1960 and the group’s legendary live performances. Vegas is also, of course, the spiritual home of Elvis Presley, who spent much of the 1970s in the notorious city with his sold-out residency. Elvis’s attire at this time was rhinestone-clad ostentation; larger than life in more ways than one. Sinatra, meanwhile, was credited with rebranding Vegas itself, largely due to his impeccable, classic style.
‘Frank wouldn’t go out after dark without a sports jacket on, let alone perform out of a tuxedo,’ commented former Nevada Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt-Bono in a 2013 interview with Smithsonian magazine. ‘He was the spark that changed Las Vegas from a dusty Western town into something glamorous.’
If you’re lucky enough to have secured tickets to the upcoming Grand Prix or are planning a trip to Sin City soon, there are a few things to consider, so let Thomas Pink be your guide…
Deep Green Tailored Fit Velvet Unstructured Evening Jacket
Chances are you don’t associate Las Vegas with words like “traditional” or “classic”, especially when it comes to fashion. But there are those who adhere to the more formal regulations associated with Monte-Carlo’s famous casino. Whatever your personal style, Vegas is a good excuse to get dressed up. So why not take a step back in time and channel your inner Dean Martin et al with impeccably tailored pieces? Thomas Pink stocks a range of smart blazers and matching trousers, including our Las Vegas-ready plush velvet evening jackets. The jewel tones (in navy or deep green) add a festive touch that will fit in perfectly with your flashy surroundings. Make sure you pull the look together with a crisp white evening shirt, bow tie and cufflinks – all available at Thomas Pink.
Padded Gilet in navy
You might not think you need a coat in Las Vegas. And for, the most part, you’d be correct. This is a desert city, after all, and much of your time will be spent in vast, climate-controlled casinos and hotels. But temperatures can dip to as low as -1°C in the winter months come nightfall, and if you’re lucky enough to be in the Grand Prix stands, you’ll need to make sure you’re wrapped up warm. Invest in a Thomas Pink gilet, including our fantastic new padded version, which is thoroughly insulating yet slips on effortlessly over a shirt or underneath a smart jacket. Or keep it cosy in one of our Merino wool sweaters, bomber jackets or roll neck jumpers. We also have a range of new coats and jackets that tick the style and substance boxes, including our chore jacket, pea coat and militaryinspired M65 jacket. Our luxurious new overshirt, which features a special twill fabric woven in Japan, is also a great layering piece to keep out the cold without adding excess bulk.
Multicolour Classic Fit Formal Multi Bengal Stripe Shirt
While there is an air of old-school glamour to Las Vegas, it’s also the entertainment capital of the world and a place of unbridled excess. There’s no such thing as having too much bling or being overdressed, shall we say. So if you usually like to err on the side of caution when it comes to your wardrobe, Vegas is the perfect excuse to shake off your inhibitions and indulge your inner wild child. Dress up in a shirt and opt for colour and print – preferably both at the same time. Our Jermyn Street Edition shirts provide Las Vegas panache in spades. Try the contrasting cuff-collar combination in our new multi-stripe for a nod to 1980s extravagance, or pick a solid colour shirt in a rainbow of options including turquoise, red, orange, green and, of course, pink.