What should you wear for your race day this season?

posted by Chris Valentine

Many of us look forward to a horse racing event, it’s the perfect opportunity to get dressed up and have some fun with friends. The spring/summer events continues with Aintree in April and it’s worth noting that each venue has its own dress code — so what should you wear for each?

Randox Health Grand National Festival Aintree: 4th April – 6th April

No official dress code has been announced for Aintree, but smart clothing is advised. Fancy dress is not permitted for the Grand National, instead opt for formalwear or semi-formalwear. Every year, Aintree becomes a place for people to show off their bold and bright outfits, but what else should you consider if you’re attending the festival?

  • Statement headpieces are part of many women’s Aintree outfits, including oversized hats and fascinators of weird and wonderful shapes.
  • Long dresses, short dresses, jumpsuits and trouser suits are all acceptable at the Grand National — you’re encouraged to dress to impress and “show off your personality through style”.

Scottish Grand National Festival Ayr: 12th April – 13th April

It all depends on which enclosure you’re heading to. In the Hospitality Facilities and Club Stand smart dress is encouraged, but in the Grandstand, there is no formal dress code. The first day of the Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr is the glamorous Ladies Day where visitors put their best frocks on to attend the event.

  • The official website states that “hats and fascinators are optional, but on display in abundance” so you might feel out of place without one.

Boodles May Festival Chester: 8th May – 10th May

The main day for Ladies at the Boodles May Festival is Thursday 9th. There are five enclosures at Chester, but how should you dress for each?

Winning Post Enclosure & County Enclosure

This is an adult only enclosure and the most premium at the festival. Ladies are required to wear one of their smart dresses and gentleman a well-tailored suit or blazer/sports jacket with smart trousers and a shirt, collar and tie. There are no denim jeans, trainers, sportswear or fancy dress allowed.

Tattersalls Enclosure

You should dress with a smart casual tone if you’re in this enclosure. Smart jeans, trousers and chinos are allowed but ripped jeans are not permitted.

Dee Stand & Open Course

Although many still choose to wear smart dress in this enclosure, there are no strict guidelines.

Investec Derby Festival: 31st May – 1st June

Lots of ladies attend Investec Derby Festival to show off their finery, but what is the dress code? The Ladies Day takes place on the 31st May this year, and you’re invited to enter the Style Awards where you can celebrate your outfit and win some prizes.

  • Fascinators and hats are strongly advised on Ladies Day, especially if you’re in the Queen’s Stand Enclosure where this is a recommendation.
  • On Derby Day, women are required to wear formal day wear in the Queen’s Stand Enclosure which can be a formal day dress, tailored trouser suit, with a hat or “substantial fascinator”.

Royal Ascot 18th June – 22nd June

The Royal Ascot is an event that many people from around the world come to the UK to visit. Dress code depends on each enclosure but there are also some general rules to follow, and some of them are quite strict!

Royal Enclosure

  • Dresses are required to fall just above the knee or longer but must be of modest length.
  • All dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater while strapless, off the shoulder or halter neck dresses are not allowed.
  • Trouser suits and jumpsuits are accepted, and hats are a must. Fascinators on the other hand are not welcome in this enclosure.

Village Enclosure

  • A hat or headpiece is a must.
  • Avoid wearing strapless dresses and tops.
  • If you’re wearing a trouser suit it should be full-length and jumpsuit should sit below the knee.
  • Avoid cropped wear as midriffs are required to be covered.
  • No shorts are allowed.

Windsor Enclosure

  • The dress code is more relaxed in this enclosure, with visitors recommended only to dress in smart day wear.
  • Other recommendations include a hat or fascinator for women.

Queen Anne Enclosure

  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator is a must.
  • Avoid strapless necklines for dresses and tops, this includes off-the-shoulder, Bardot and one shoulder outfits.

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