I love nothing more than an excuse for a day out! The Cheltenham Festival is less than a month away, and I couldn’t be more excited. Whilst some events in the horse racing calendar call for high heels and hats, this festival is altogether more relaxed in style. Those who are used to Ascot dressing should take some tips from the country folk for Cheltenham. Here are my pointers on how to style the perfect Cheltenham outfit.
Keeping Warm in Style
For many horse racing enthusiasts, Cheltenham marks the beginning of proper spring. It won’t quite be time for cracking out the summer wardrobe, but there’s a good chance you can leave your oilskin coat at home. If blending in is your ultimate goal then you can’t go wrong with a tweed jacket. So many designers have gorgeous options to choose from, but if your budget won’t stretch to Harris Tweed then Rydale does a cute collection of fitted blazers for women. Remember that a tweed jacket is a true investment in the classic country wardrobe, so go for colours that will always be in fashion. Muted greens, blues, and greys are your friend.
If You Must Wear a Dress
If you just can’t wait until Ladies Day then, of course, you can wear a dress to Cheltenham. Floral and frilly isn’t going to cut the mustard here though, so go for something chic instead. A fitted style in a neutral tone will look as elegant with ankle boots as it will with stilettos, so opt for something classy and camel. Pair it with the aforementioned tweed jacket if the weather looks promising, or opt for a low calf length duster coat if there are clouds overhead. As much excitement as choosing the perfect dress is, the real reason we’re all here is for the racing. If you fancy putting a bet on one of the horses then you should first check to see if you’re eligible for a free bet, there are lots of companies that offer deals like this to new sign-ups. There’s no feeling quite like cheering your horse past the winning post, especially in such sartorial style.
Don’t Get Muddy!
Footwear for an early Spring occasion can be tricky. I usually opt for safety over stiletto and plump for a classic ankle boot. You can wear a chunky heel to give you that extra lift, and still be fairly certain you won’t sink into the grass. Your whole palette for this look should be made largely of neutrals and earthy tones, so you needn’t worry about Pantone matching your boots to your bag, just keep them simple and classy. If rain is forecast, and you’re not willing to take any chances then do as the women of the owners and trainers circle do and don your Ariat boots. They’re a whole lot classier than a grubby pair of Hunter wellies and almost as weatherproof.
If you really must wear a hat then don’t go for the ‘mother of the bride’ style. Fascinators and frills aren’t quite the thing for Cheltenham. Fedoras are always popular, they look sleek and ‘country’, and bonus, they’ll keep the weather off! A tres chic beret is also another elegant option, you can keep it neutral, or go for military colours like deep red, navy blue, or bottle green. Top of your beret with a pheasant feather accent, and you’ll instantly look like part of the in-crowd.
The Final Freeze
If you’ve planned your whole outfit carefully and the week rolls around and there’s snow, then don’t fear! Layers can look incredibly elegant, and you’d much rather be toasty and warm in a faux fur coat, than showing off your slinky new dress as you slowly freeze. In snowy or frosty weather your coat is going to make up the majority of your outfit, so it needs to be a striking one. Fur is always a popular choice, though try to get your hands on a good quality faux fur option, please. A long trench coat can also look very glamorous, black or camel are both timeless, but red is a bold and beautiful statement. After all, if you can’t show off your dress, then why not go full glamour with your coat?