How to dress for Cheltenham Races. Your style guide, top tips and look book!

Hold onto your hats!! It’s almost time!! 🐎

Heading to the races but really not sure what to wear, or where to start? Ladies, I’ve got you! Racing outfits don’t have to be challenging, they can be practical, stylish and warm – and really easily put together!

Racing is probably my biggest passion, stemming back years and years to when I worked at a racing yard, followed by intensely studying jockey and racehorse through my Degree and Masters. Racing to me is more than a boozy catch up with friends (although I love that side too!), I have such an intense appreciation for the horse and jockey as elite athletes, and I thrive off the competitive element of race days.

Whilst the day for me is all about exceptional talent, I am of course, obsessed with race day outfits. There is something so special about those outfits, and they often have so much about them, whilst giving off such a stylish elegance. I have collated some of my race day styles below for you to have a look at, whilst talking you through some of the best (and most practical!) options!


Time to indulge in race day style!

Tops, Jackets and Dresses

There are so many options when I comes to jackets for the races. I prefer longer line jackets for the most part, these are a classic look, but also a little warmer. Tweed or wool options will keep you warm, but they look stylish, whilst being practical. You can wear any coat, from anywhere. High street stores offer great, affordable options, stick to classic colours such as Navy, Red or Black if you aren’t sure. If you’re looking for tweed options, Welligogs or Holland Cooper offer luxury tweed wear.

I would generally opt for a jumper over a shirt or blouse. One of the keys things to keep in mind, are you going to be mainly outside, or inside. The bars get very busy and crowed. If you are planning to be inside all day, you won’t need to dress quite as warmly. Most people will have a drink (or few!) inside, but spend the majority of the day outside, so I would advise a roll neck jumper. This will offer that extra bit of warmth up round your neck, and you can easily hide a thermal underneath.

Dresses are still very much an option for National Hunt racing, but just bear in mind the change of season. Floaty dresses, huge hats and sky high heels are less seen at the National Hunt courses. If you’re going for a dress, if you can fit a thermal underneath this is always a good option, as are tights if you can. Opt for a long line coat for additional warmth. Ladies Day’s are a fantastic opportunity to show off dresses during the National Hunt season!

Top Tip:
Wear a thermal under your outfit! Any additional layers to trap heat will help to keep you warm as the afternoon sets in.

Skirts and Trousers

Both trousers and skirts are great options for Race days. Checking the weather and considering warmth is definitely a consideration. If you would have to wear nude tights, and its going to rain, trousers may be a better option. But if you could wear thicker black or brown tights with your outfit, skirts can still be warm enough options. I often opt for fleece lined tights, you can pick these up really cheaply from high street stores such as Primark.

Tweed skirts will always be a popular choice. These look effortless and can be styled in a multitude of ways. To keep things subtle, pair tweed with creams, browns and black roll neck jumpers. If you want to experiement a little more with colour, look to pull out one of the colours within your tweed check, and match some key parts of your outfit. E.G if you tweed as a cerise and baby pink check, why not pick one of these pinks for your jacket or jumper, or match your accessories.

White jeans are another popular option, being incredibly versatile, they can look stylish paired with so many options. These are an easy option if you aren’t sure what to go for. They are safe.

Any colour trouser is an option on race days – anything goes! I have frequently worn pink jeans (both pastel and bright), as well as other colours. You have the freedom to dress as boldly or subtle as you like. Pastels, greens and browns, plus your neutral white and black, will blend in and create a elegant, classic look. Bolder, brighter colours create a statement, and make for a beautiful, bold stand out outfit. If you are opting for a bright trouser, consider toning down the rest of your outfit.

Top Tip:
Invest in some fleece lined tights if you’re wanting to wear a skirt for added warmth to your outfit!

Footwear …

The most important thing on the day is comfort! It is likely you’ll be on your feet for a lot of the day. Unless you have a box, hospitality or plan on spending most of the day in the bars, it is likely you’ll be on your feet all day. Comfortable, practical footwear is essential.

I like wearing boots, whether that be tall boots or ankle boots. I have spoken a lot about investing in good quality footwear in general, and I still stand by that. I wear Fairfax & Favor footwear and there is no beating the quality, but also style of these boots. If you’re wanting to look for something just for the day, why not check out some Chelsea boots from high street brands, there are lots of affordable options available that will still look great. Black or tan are the classic options!

Suede shoes are certainly an option, so don’t shy away from these. Spray with a good suede protector in advance, and this will help to product your boots.

If you’re concerned about being on your feet all day, look at some gel insoles or heel pads to help.

Top Tip:
Spray any suede footwear with a protector (such as Liquiproof) before heading out to the races to ensure it is protecting against any showers.

Accessories …

Bags, scarves, hats and gloves are key parts of finishing off the perfect race day outfit, and certainly shouldn’t be forgotten about! These can be tied into a colour within your outfit, or they can be in a classic, neutral colour, keeping things understated.

For a handbag, I often look for something between a clutch and an everyday handbag. I am pretty guilty of carrying far too much round with me, but I do like to take an umbrella to the races, along with hairbrush, purse, make up etc. A clutch is a slightly more dressy option, and if you can space save, these are perfect for the races, otherwise look for a smaller size handbag to carry all your essentials.
Some racecourses have a handbag size guide, do check this before you travel if you’re looking to take an exceptionally large bag.

Silk scarves are a great additional to any race day outfit, they are classic, yet elegant and beautiful. These can be tied in so many different ways. If you want to add a unique touch to your outfit, why not research some different ways to tie your scarf, this could change up your outfit completely!

I would always recommend a good pair of gloves, you can bring these out in the afternoon when the temperature drops, and you will really notice the difference!

A fedora would be my last essential for race days! It is often windy, and could rain, therefore an extra bit of protection for your hair and face will make all the difference. A fedora is one of the most classic pieces to add to your race day outfit, and it will complete any look. With so many styles and colours on the market now, there is sure to be the perfect match for your outfit!

Top Tip:
Use hat tape under the brim of your fedora to ensure a secure fit on windy days!

Don’t forget that you can find all of my racing blogs on my racing page (CLICK HERE!), with lots of previous meet inspo!

If you’re heading to the races in November, or any other meets, I hope you have the most fantastic day!

See you in my next blog, going live Thursday (11th Nov) at 7pm!

Lots of love, Lucinda xo

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

-Oprah Winfrey

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