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How to dress at the races

Heading to the races this summer? Then it’s time to start preparing your outfits. One of the most glamorous events you will attend all year, it’s the excuse you’ve been waiting for to get your glad rags on – and Ladies’ Day is the perfect opportunity to showcase your flair for fashion with a show-stopping outfit that will really get the crowds talking.

Whichever iconic racing venue you’re attending – from Cheltenham to Ascot – Ladies’ Day has become one of the most hotly anticipated dates in the sporting calendar; and it’s not just down to the action happening on the race course. Known for its well-dressed guests, who never fail to dazzle in an array of luxurious colourful garments and fabulous hairstyles, it’s as much about the fashion as it is the thoroughbreds.

This spring at Aintree, a combination of velvet and bold colour took centre stage, with beautiful outfits from Valentino and The Vampire’s Wife wowing customers and leaving a lasting impression for months to come – and at this summer’s Royal Ascot, female spectators are expected to step things up a notch with some even more elegant attire.

Bright and bold colours might be your first port of call when searching for an eye-catching outfit, but remember the mantra that less is often more

Whether you’ve left it until the last minute to secure yourself a summer show-stopper or have decided to get ahead and start planning your outfit for 2019, there are plenty of ways to start getting inspired – and to help you get started, we’ve picked out the three key trends to take note of when choosing the ultimate race day outfit.

Colour is king, but neutral shades can still rock

Bright and bold colours might be your first port of call when searching for an eye-catching outfit, but remember the mantra that less is often more. Neutral and pastel shades may feel understated, but combining different textures and choosing well-cut designer pieces will leave a lasting impression for all the right reasons.

Starting with a simpler base also leaves room for experimentation with accessories; try an embellished bag or a dramatic fascinator for a look that screams creative flair.

Stylish layering remains key

Whether you’re attending Ascot this summer or are looking ahead to next year, it’s crucial to take weather conditions into consideration when planning your outfit to make sure you’re dressed for the occasion. Two of the most iconic Ladies’ Days in the racing calendar take place in the spring, with the Cheltenham and the Grand National Festivals concluded before April is over – and with British summertime just as notoriously unpredictable, it pays to be prepared, whenever the event.

Light, floral dresses will never look out of place on race day

Opt for carefully chosen layers to get you through all eventualities – from sustained showers and cold snaps to blazing sunshine and mini heat-waves. Stoles, boleros, light jackets and scarves are all good choices, and can serve as the perfect finishing touches to an elegant and polished look.

And, given that sophistication and glamour is key at the races, intelligent layering offers the best chance of creating a fitting and functional look – as well as ensuring that you’re comfortable enough to enjoy every moment of the day.

Floral dresses remain a summer hit

For warmer, summer race meetings, it’s fair to say that a few classic fashion principles remain unchanged. Light, floral dresses will never look out of place on race day, as these pretty, versatile and entirely practical garments offer style and comfort in equal measures – and paired with simple, one-colour accessories and some beautiful jewellery, it’s one of the easiest yet most impressive looks to go for.

There are a multitude of fabrics and designs available, each capturing the very essence of summer – and all of them promising to form the basis for a chic and sophisticated look that will earn you all manner of compliments.

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