Guaranteed to bring out the inner Pretty Woman in all of us, who doesn’t love a day at the races?
Chester, Cheltenham, Ladies’ Day at Ascot, there are fixtures held all over the country. From small local tracks to headline events held at prestigious courses. But for many of us, when it comes to horse racing, it’s more about wear than where!
Famed for strict dress codes, funky headwear and iconic fashion, if ever there’s an occasion to dress to impress, this is it. Blimey, the Grand National takes style so seriously they even dish out a £5,000 ‘style award’ on Ladies’ Day to the best dressed there, with £3000 and £1000 runner up prizes.
Want to throw your fascinator into the ring as a contender for the best-dressed racegoer? Then check out our guide to everything you need to know for fabulous race day fashion with She Selected.
Hedge your bets – 7 things to consider for race day outfits
1. The racecourse
Whilst the general vibe of race day is ‘dressing up’ (it’s all part of the fun after all), different courses have different rules. So, if being dolled up to the nines is out of your comfort zone – don’t panic. Chances are you don’t have to go all out. There’s a definite difference between the fashion stakes levelled at Ascot compared to the more chilled ‘picnic’ atmosphere at Cartel races. So do your research before you start on outfits.
2. Your enclosure
It’s not just the racecourses that have different requirements – the dress code within individual enclosures varies too.
Usually, it’s the pricier tickets that up the ante on outfits. The general stands typically have fewer do and don’ts, but it’s best to check out the UK racecourse you’re planning to visit, to find out exactly what’s expected.
3. The time
Summer race meets often involve evening races. But hold your horses (sorry, not sorry!), before you get all excited thinking about how a picturesque sunset will be the perfect backdrop to your knockout dress for your Insta post, let’s just remember that this is the UK…and there’s nothing sexy about goosebumps!
Important then, to dress for the time of day and work in a jacket or pashmina that pimps up - rather than covers up - what you’re wearing.
This is Mighty Blighty, so it’s not just evening races that threaten cooler weather. Check the forecast, yes, but working in a blazer or scarf to cover chilly shoulders can help to keep you comfortable. Worth too, picking a bag that has enough room to squeeze in a brolly. It’s not about getting those bangs wet!
‘The races’ is a long day – and chances are you’ll be on your feet for most of it. Think about how you’re getting there. Do you need to factor in a walk from the train station? Does your enclosure have tables or seating? Let’s face it, it’s not about being the girl who walks in looking fabulous and walks out barefoot, bedraggled and clutching a pair of broken heels.
The good news is, ’22 footwear is all about the platform. Giving you that all-important lift and the even more crucial comfort – phew!
6. A hat – yes or no?
Some courses make hat wearing compulsory but these days whether or not you don headwear is mostly up to you. But why not, we say? How often do you get to go all out with a fancy hat or fascinator? And they can literally be the crowning glory of an outfit.
7. The bag
Lip gloss? Check. Powder? Check. Whatever you pack as your ‘essentials’ a bag is a big part of your race day outfit. A safe place to stash your betting slips and store your winnings (fingers crossed!). So, whether it’s a slinky clutch, over the shoulder or crossbody, make sure you give some thought to your bag.
Race day inspo
What to wear for a summer race day
Turn heads and make sure all eyes are on you with bright summer shades. We love this off-shoulder midi dress in a lush yellow from Lavish Alice.
Or stay cool and quirky with the AX Paris ditsy floral playsuit. Pair with heels and a cute summer hat for perfect race day styling.
What to wear for evening races
Worried about being chilly at evening races? Don’t want to hide your killer outfit under a massive coat? Then how about opting for trousers or long sleeves? A great way to up the style tempo and the temperature.
Goldie London’s boiler suit is ideal. With a plunging feminine neckline, you can ramp up the style stakes with a statement necklace or big earrings.
Is a dress the only way for you? Then how about something like the AX Paris Long sleeve midi to fend off the evening chill.
What to wear for more casual race fixtures
Turn heads with the Yasmin buckle detail bright floral dress from Girl in Mind. Comfy yet classy, this beaut will take you anywhere. Even better, it looks great paired with comfy flats meaning you can enjoy your day without the bore of sore feet.
The pink wrap dress from Y.A.S. is another great choice. Just the right amount of flirty and still super easy to wear. Team with a bright clutch for race day success.
Odds on for great fashion
Best place to find a winning outfit for a day at the races? She Selected.
Home of great independent designers, we are the start and finish of your outfit search, with a great collection of race day fits, perfect for a day at the races.
And thanks to us offering free next day delivery as an option, you can look great and still have money left over for a little flutter.
Follow us on Instagram for your daily dose of fashion and don’t forget to tag us in your race day pics, so we can see just how fabulous you look. Have fun!