The Spectator Guide to Henley 2016 gives an impression of what you can expect in 2017
"At the Nereus Rowing Club in Amsterdam, the younger members inherit their jackets when older rowers leave. The oldest jacket belonging to his club dated back to 1963."
Every blazer tells a story: Men reveal the secrets of those amazing Henley Royal regatta jackets (including the stains they keep as a badge of honour)
Rowers wear different colours to show which club/country they compete for
Jackets can be passed down through clubs and families
They don't dry clean them as stains are part of blazer's history
By Lucy Waterlow for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 18:04 BST, 5 July 2013 | UPDATED: 18:50 BST, 5 July 2013
Forget who had the best dress or hat at the Henley Royal Regetta, this year it was the men making a style statement with their bright blazers.
The jackets created a rainbow of colour along the banks of the River Thames on the regatta's third day.
The preppy blazers come in stripes and checks with an array of different shades. But while they may make the wearer look dapper, on closer inspection they are somewhat stained and threadbare.
According to the oarsmen, they refuse to get them dry cleaned in order to follow the age old tradition of wearing the coffee and beer stains of yesteryear as a 'badge of honour'.
This also explains why some appear to not quite fit as they have been passed down the generations of a family who don't share the same size.
'You can't wash your blazer or tie,' said James Parkin, 38, wearing a cream jacket and tie from St Edmund Hall, Oxford University. 'Each stain tells a story and that is why you will see guys in their 70s walking around in tatty jackets.'
The stains, missing buttons and patches are all part of what makes the blazers a part of the regatta's 174-year history.
Every blazer tells a story, wear and tear is kept as a badge of honour: From left, Oliver James, Robert Lawrence and Jack Barden De Lacroix
As Mr Parkin observed of his own jacket: 'This coffee stain is from four years ago and this is beer from last year. It does show up worse on the light coloured jackets but it is all part of the history.'
Steve Salter, 29 years, from London Rowing Club added of his blazer: 'I am told that each stain is supposed to tell a story and be a badge of honour. It is something that has been passed down from the older members.
'Each member is told when they get their blazer that it is bad luck to get it cleaned. Nobody questions it.'
At the Nereus Rowing Club in Amsterdam, the younger members inherit their jackets when older rowers leave.
Menzo Appledoorn, 24, explained that the oldest jacket belonging to his club dated back to 1963.
'It is all part of the tradition,' he said as he posed in his faded red blazer that comes complete with patches. 'They are passed down to the new members as older ones leave. It may look shabby but we wear them with pride. Mine even has the names of the two previous owners stitched in. I think mine is about 30-ish years old but the club has one that is 50 years old.'
Rowers wear blazers in different colours to show which club or country they compete for. In some cases they are also a clue to the wearer's success on the water due to the insignia, such as stripes on the cuffs.
Despite the balmy conditions the men were not allowed to remove their jackets in the Stewards' Enclosure.
They have only been allowed to remove them twice in the history of the event which started in 1839.
The guidelines stipulate that men must wear lounge suits, jackets or blazers with flannels and a tie or cravat.
Women must wear dresses or skirts and would not be admitted if their hemline was below the knee or if they were wearing divided skirts, culottes or trousers.
The Stewards' Enclosure was founded in the nineteenth century after a viewing stand was organised along the river bank near the finish.