With the first major horse racing event of the season completed with the Cheltenham Festival in March, there are more great events in the horse racing calendar like the Grand National in April or the Royal Ascot in June. Whether you are lucky enough to have tickets to one of these events or have plans to go to a smaller racing event, you’ll want to be sporting the latest fashions from your headpiece down to your toes. Horse racing festivals are glamorous events, and great opportunities to dress up in the latest extravagant pieces.
When it comes to luck, you don’t want to leave either your look or bets to chance. The preparation for a racing event is not just limited to the clothes you wear. You will need to brush up on your racing knowledge, even if it’s just for the fun of it: which trainers, jockeys and horses are performing well? Which horses are likely to perform best on your race course terrain and jumps? Who are the pundits backing? Websites like Oddschecker offer expert tips, latest news, market movers, stats and bookie offers. Reading up on this information will give you the insight to make informed bets, rather than selecting your horses because of their novelty names, jockey colours or office sweepstake. Make the day memorable for more than just the fabulous fashions but the winners you make as well.
Although the horses and racing are supposed to the main attraction, the fashion certainly competes for attention at these larger events with the royal family and numerous celebrities all dressed to impress in their finery. Let’s examine what every girl needs to know to perfect that winning look and turn the heads away from the horses at the races in 2017.
The dress code for you will partly depend on which area of the race course you have a ticket for, such as boxes and enclosures. What you can wear and how much you can bare is stated in the dress code. It’s important to check what’s appropriate for that seating area to save any embarrassment on the day as some of them have very strict dress codes. For example, The Royal Ascot dress code has been updated to include the jumpsuit which is now permitted in the Royal Enclosure. However, this must be a full-length jumpsuit. A more cropped jumpsuit can be worn in other more relaxed areas like the Queen Anne Enclosure.
The practicalities of the race course have to be taken into account when selecting that all-important outfit. As these races are in Britain we have bear in mind the unpredictability of the weather so plan ahead for all eventualities so with a stylish umbrella in case there’s a sudden downpour, as well as something to cover you up if the temperature drops.
Essential to every glamorous race outfit is a great pair of heels but take some time in selecting the perfect pairing as you are likely to be on your feet for a good part of the day. You’ll also potentially be walking on grass so stilettos should be avoided. Go for something slightly shorter, to allow you walk both elegantly and comfortably. Avoid those embarrassingly muddy heels getting you stuck by considering a mid-height wedge heel or a beautiful pair of flats to balance style with the practicalities of the event. This way, you can make the most of this season’s trend for modest heels and be stylishly comfortable.
When it comes to head wear the sky is the limit at the races. Whether you want to turn heads with a striking hat creation, like those memorable images of Princess Eugenie’s racing style, or a lower key fascinator. The races are a great place to experiment with a more adventurous headpiece with bold colours, daring shapes and varying sizes there is so much to choose from to finish off any stunning look.
Visit a milliner like London designer Bundle MacLaren for an exquisite range of piece or have a unique creation tailor-made for you. Alternatively, take a trip to the high street to see what stylish and more affordable pieces the department stores and boutiques have on offer. Fascinators are often more low-key but can also be very fun and attractive accompaniment to any outfit. If headpieces are not your thing, then why not pay a visit to a local salon to get a fabulous upstyle hairdo to make your hair a piece of art?
The feature piece
Decide what piece of your outfit will lead your look, whether that is a stunning headpiece or your dress. Using this key piece to build your look around and find items that both compliment and distinguish your look. How you put your full look together will help you stand out against anyone else that happens to be wearing the same or similar item as you, this is particularly important if you decide to shop on the high street.
Spring /summer trends for 2017 feature some fabulous designs ideal for days at the races. 1980’s glamour is back with lame fabrics, jumbo frills, big shoulders and off the shoulder designs. The colour palette is super bright this year with pink playing a huge part of Paris Fashion Week with designers like Balenciaga, Céline and Valentino heavily featuring it in their collections. But the range of bright colours is not limited to pink with some really striking rainbow colours making a comeback. Other trends to look for are bold stripes, big floral prints and see through peekaboo style fabric layering.
When selecting that perfect outfit, remember what the dress code states so that if you want to go bold or revealing that it doesn’t breach the rules. Remember that the length of your outfit must fit in with the dress code so go for longer lengths to give a more elegant look whether that’s a dress, skirt or jumpsuit.
The trend for spring/summer 2017 for accessories is “mix, don’t match”. Yes, you’re supposed to be wearing clashing shoes and earrings. Still, although these trends are great for the catwalk they may not go down as well with the racing set. Pick your accessories to complement your outfit and add an extra bit of style. If you are wearing a bold statement hat then tone down the accessories with more classic and simple jewellery pieces.
Statement sunglasses are must for any fashionista not only when the sun is shining – although we pray that the sun does shine. This year’s angular shapes, big frames and colourful lenses, featured in collections from Stella McCartney and Versace, will enhance any outfit.
To be on trend with your handbag there’s two directions – super size or micro mini. XXL handbags graced the catwalks in Balenciaga, Gucci, and Loewe collections; these will enable you to carry all your racing essentials. Or you may prefer to minimise, like some of the Chanel, Celie and Fendi styles, to carry those few small items and for the practicality of carrying around all day.
If you are going for a layered look, complement it with nylons. Tights and gloves in nylon with pinched or embroidered designs are hot this season and can set your look apart if the weather is colder.