I love the races! My husband will spend the days leading up to race days buying sports papers and studying in depth the form of every runner, working out which horse is going to win and how much to bet on said horse. (The time he spends before the races doing this is directly related to the amount of swearing that happens when one of ‘his’ horses invariably loses!)
But me! I spend the time beforehand preparing my outfit. From the top of my personally handcrafted headpiece to the tip of my pretty (but practical for the races) shoes, every inch of my outfit is designed to complete a whole look. I search stores, the internet, markets and more for the perfect dress, belt, gloves, shoes and accessories. I love it.
But not everyone shares my passion. And for the big race days and meetings, there are a few do and don’ts that you should adhere to, so I’ve put together a few tips for you:
1. Your headpiece is the icing on the cake, and you are the cake! Whether it’s a hat, fascinator or a simple headband, the important thing is that the colour, texture, material and size is appropriate for you, your outfit and the season. Leather and felt are great in Autumn and Winter, but inappropriate for Spring and Summer races.
2. Your dress (or skirt and top) should be well cut, not too tight,and knee length. Your shoulders should be covered. If you choose to wear a strapless or shoe string strap garment, you must wear a jacket and leave it on. Sequins, evening dresses, midriff baring and clubbing dresses should not be worn to the races.
3. Shoes – for Spring racing, bare, smooth legs and sandals and peep toe shoes are fine, but for Autumn/Winter race days wear closed in shoes and hosiery. Choose a comfortable heel that won’t sink into the grass, and one that’s not too high for you to be able to walk in gracefully. Leave your shoes on. Do not wear thongs.
4. Clutch – Traditionally this should match your shoes. Clever fashionistas of the field get away with mismatching, but if you are not confident doing this, play it safe.
5. Gloves – Where else in this day and age can you wear gloves? Again, save the leather and felt for the cooler race meetings, and choose lighter fabric gloves for Spring. Gloves are optional, but such a beautiful, finishing, stand out from the crowd look.
So there you have it… I am happy to help you style a Race day outfit – in fact, I would be ecstatic!