People often make the misconception that the horse racing ‘season’ is just that. In fact, there are races going on throughout the year, often with different dress codes and levels of decorum. The Royal Ascot is famed for its terrifying dress code, which is fun for some and oppressing to others. What if there was a horse racing event which matched your style? You could have fun dressing up and enjoying the day as opposed to panicking about dress codes and having to wear a dress you borrowed from your aunt’s best friend’s cousin whilst all the while fearing that you’re going to spill ketchup all over it. Read on to find your perfect race day:
Jolly Hockey Sticks – The Cheltenham Festival
The Cheltenham Festival is held in the south west of England every spring. With British weather being typically unpredictable, racegoers ditch the heels and frocks and in favour of (very English) tweed and boots. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a casual affair, the British take tweed at Cheltenham as seriously as they take Hugo Boss’ Royal Ascot dress code. The best part about The Cheltenham Festival is it usually takes place over St Patrick’s Day, perfect if you’re feeling like taking a punt on the horses. William Hill has Presenting Percy to win 2/1, a surefire bet if you really want to look the part.
Princess in Waiting – Royal Ascot
If your style sits comfortably between the realms of ‘English rose garden’ and ‘Princess in waiting’, Royal Ascot is probably your ticket. Regarded as the most formal event in the racing calendar, Royal Ascot is attended by the Queen and her subjects, and this means that racegoers must be dressed accordingly. The rules for the dress code at Ascot differ depending upon which stand you choose to spend the day within, and most tend to go for tea dresses and pastel colours.
Lady Gaga’s Quiet Cousin – Kentucky Derby
We’re in Kentucky, the home of bluegrass, fried chicken and of course the Kentucky Derby. Often referred to as ‘the Met Gala of the South’, the Derby is not for the faint of heart. You’ll want to make sure that you’re wearing your brightest colours and a hat so heavy you’ll be suing for neck injury by dinner time. If you’re a head turner, a trend setter and you like to wear your personality in your clothes, you’ll want to visit the Kentucky derby.
French Fashionista – Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
As with anything French, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a stylish affair. Whilst it has been rumoured that the dress code is very relaxed, any self-respecting French woman will ensure that she is no less than immaculate. Hats feature, but they’re tasteful and accompany the outfit as opposed to taking a starring role. Cover up for cold weather with a shawl, and have a huge pair of sunglasses ready for when the sun comes out. Think chic, muted colours, a rare smile and a large pair of sunglasses and you’ll fit in perfectly. What’s more, you can spend your evenings in the city centre, Parisienne style.
Remember that when race day comes around, nobody can tell you how to dress. Make the dress codes work for you and have lots of fun. Who said you can’t wear goth boots to Royal Ascot?