Cheltenham Festival Ladies Day: It’s All About the Fashion
In the past, there used to be a stringent dress code for men and women alike at the Cheltenham Festival, but those are no longer officially applicable. This freedom has actually made Cheltenham a more fashionable occasion than it used to be. Style and class now have room to breathe and add uniqueness to the mix, making Day two of the Cheltenham Festival as much about fashion in the stands, as it is about horseracing on the tracks.
Colour Comes First on the Second Day
Colours have always dominated the second day with a preference towards the blues, violets and dark reds being in vogue. Don’t shy away from the brighter shades of green, pink, and off-white either if something catches your eye while shopping. Keep the earthy tones reserved for the other days, because Ladies Day is all about the colours. If you need inspiration or courage to wear colours on Ladies Day, take it from Her Majesty the Queen herself.
Mid-March is likely going to be pretty cold, but not cold enough for heavier head protection. This means that there will seldom be a better time to add extra oomph with a large, side-sweep trilby in red, blue, or violet, complete with a few select feathers.
Put your betting hats on and enter the racecourse in pastel, floral hues on Day Two. If a trilby doesn’t do it for you, handwoven Egyptian silk flowers make for mesmerising floral headpieces for complementing a floral dress. You can even combine the two by getting a trilby side-sweep with silk flowers instead of feathers, which is always a classy and beautiful option to go with.
Contrast in Brightness?
In a way that only Queen Elizabeth II can, she pulled off a bright, fluorescent green dress and hat during her 90thBirthday Parade (2016) and she did so in unmatched elegance. She has also donned similar colours at the Cheltenham Festival and other major horse racing events over the years since.
What caught the eyes of fashionistas around the world at that time was the way in which she manged to create contrast in bright hues. Her fluorescent green hat had bright pink (fuchsia) flowers on it, and despite the two bright hues being layered on top of each other, the contrast was astoundingly profound. The point is that if you think that you can create something similar with bright hues, Ladies Day would be the perfect day to try it out.
The Three Easy Rules to Dress for the Cheltenham Festival
Just keep the following three ground rules of dressing yourself for the Cheltenham Festival in mind and you should be fine:
- Suits for the men
- Dresses for women
- Preferably a hat for both
Dress yourself as you would while attending a semi-formal or formal occasion and that’s all there is to it. Do experiment and add some colour to the festival. Besides, it’s not every day that we get the chance to wear a hat these days!
A Few Restrictions to Keep in Mind
The Cheltenham Festival is one of UK’s most prestigious and oldest events, embedded deep into the British equine culture. Therefore, although there isn’t exactly a dress code, there are a few restrictions and suggestions which you should keep in mind before planning a dress for Day Two. They are as follows:
- All guests are instructed to wear flat, light shoes that won’t damage the grass, so stilettos and pencil heels are out of the question.
- Keep your fancy dress ideas reserved for Halloween – they won’t go down well at Cheltenham!
- The authorities at the Cheltenham Racecourse are reserved in their ways, so don’t wear anything that’s too revealing.
- Any dress, slogan, picture, theme, etc. that might be considered offensive can stop you from gaining entrance.
Note that while it is very unlikely these days, the Cheltenham Racecourse reserves the right to deny admittance to a person who breaks the silent codes but rest assured they will not be allowed admittance to the inner enclosures. So, enjoy shopping for your Ladies Day outfit, but keep the above advice in mind.
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