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Last Minute Style Guide: Dressing For The Races
horse racing style guide

Last Minute Style Guide: Dressing For The Races

If you’re looking to party hard with the girls and get all glammed up, a trip to the races should be on your radar. The spring/summer events kicks off with Cheltenham in March and it’s worth noting that each venue has its own dress code — so what should you wear for each?

Cheltenham Races: 12th March – 15th March

Cheltenham is all about sporting your favourite tweed outfit, but it must be tailored extremely well and reflect the love of British country life. Think you can pull it off?

Ladies Style Advice

Practicality is something that many women bear in mind when it comes to the Cheltenham Races. Taking place in March, the weather is unpredictable so be prepared for all temperatures.

  • Consider wearing classic country colours such as brown hues and neutral shades to blend in with the country theme.
  • Opt for smart below-the-knee boots rather than high heels, the terrain is often damp, and two-thirds of the car parks are on grass.
  • Tailored tweed is always on-trend at this event, add something extra with fur collar trims and a feather brooch.
  • Many women choose to wear a hat, not only as an accessory but to also protect them from the cold. A trilby hat with an added feather is one way to embrace the style of the event.
  • Fancy dress is permitted at the event as long as it doesn’t cause any offence.

Randox Health Grand National Festival Aintree: 4th April – 6th April

If you’re heading to Aintree, it’s important to know that there is no official dress code to follow. Fancy dress is not permitted for the Grand National, instead opt for formalwear or semi-formalwear.

Ladies Style Advice

Everyone knows that at this venue, it’s all about being bright, bold and beautiful. Don’t be afraid to step out in your favourite colour!

  • Statement headpieces are part of many women’s Aintree outfits, including oversized hats and fascinators of weird and wonderful shapes.
  • Long dresses, short dresses, jumpsuits and trouser suits are all acceptable at the Grand National — you’re encouraged to dress to impress and “show off your personality through style”.

Scottish Grand National Festival Ayr: 12th April – 13th April

You will have to dress differently depending on which enclosure you’re booked in to. In the Hospitality Facilities and Club Stand smart dress is encouraged, but in the Grandstand, there is no formal dress code.

Ladies Style Guide

If you’re looking to choose one of your favourite going out dresses for your next race day event, the Grand National in Ayr is the perfect opportunity.

  • The official website states that “hats and fascinators are optional, but on display in abundance” so you might feel out of place without one.

Boodles May Festival Chester: 8th May – 10th May

We’ve all heard about the fun that goes down at Broodles May Festival. There are five enclosures at Chester, but how should you dress for each?

Enclosure 1: Winning Post Enclosure & County

For adults only, this is a premium enclosure that is all about that lux lifestyle. Ladies are required to wear a smart dress and gentleman a well-tailored suit or blazer/sports jacket with smart trousers and a shirt, collar and tie. There are no denim jeans, trainers, sportswear or fancy dress allowed.

Enclosure 2: Tattersalls

If you’re wanting the perfect look, smart casual is recommended. Smart jeans, trousers and chinos are allowed but ripped jeans are not permitted.

Enclosure 3: Dee Stand & Open Course

Smart dress is encouraged here, but you are free to wear what you feel best in.

Investec Derby Festival: 31st May – 1st June

People who attend this festival like to make a statement with their outfit, but there are some rules that should be followed.

Ladies Style Advice

At this festival, you can even put your name forward for the Style Awards and win some fabulous prizes — what could be more exciting than that?

  • Fascinators and hats are strongly advised on Ladies Day, especially if you’re in the Queen’s Stand Enclosure where this is a recommendation.
  • On Derby Day, women are required to wear formal day wear in the Queen’s Stand Enclosure which can be a formal day dress, tailored trouser suit, with a hat or “substantial fascinator”.

Royal Ascot 18th June – 22nd June

This is the race course that every special lady wants to attend. Dress code depends on each enclosure but there are also some general rules to follow, and some of them are quite strict!

Ladies Style Advice

Entering the Royal Enclosure

  • Dresses are required to fall just above the knee or longer but must be of modest length.
  • All dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater while strapless, off the shoulder or halter neck dresses, are not allowed.
  • Trouser suits and jumpsuits are accepted, and hats are a must. Fascinators, on the other hand, are not welcome in this enclosure.

Entering the Village Enclosure

  • A hat or headpiece is a must.
  • Avoid wearing strapless dresses and tops.
  • If you’re wearing a trouser suit it should be full-length and jumpsuit should sit below the knee.
  • Avoid cropped wear as midriffs are required to be covered.
  • No shorts are allowed.

Entering the Windsor Enclosure

  • The dress code is more relaxed in this enclosure, with visitors recommended only to dress in smart day wear.
  • Other recommendations include a hat or fascinator for women.

Entering the Queen Anne Enclosure

  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator is a must.
  • Avoid strapless necklines for dresses and tops, this includes off-the-shoulder, Bardot and one shoulder outfits.