With Ascot and Ladies Day around the corner, the hunt for what to wear to the races has never been so tantalizing. With women reaching for the most bizarre mushroom shaped hats, with the concept that ‘bigger really is better’, you will be forgiven for thinking that ‘Race Day’ is nothing more than a large fancy dress party that the entire population has been invited to attend. And unlike those snobby high school biatches, who wouldn’t invite you to their ‘exclusive house parties’ as you weren’t cool or pretty enough to be part of their ‘squad’, race day is open to everyone, no matter what you look like. Because let’s face it, I don’t know about you but I sure as hell don’t want to be part of something whose invitation to attend centers around what you look like, as opposed to creating an inclusive community that everyone can be part of. While Race Day does have connotations of being a ‘posh people only’ type of event, once you get past the massive hats that will knock you out, you will find that events like Ascot or Ladies Day at the Epsom Derby, is really just an excuse for a royally approved piss up. And I don’t know about you but letting my hair down and getting into the party spirit, sounds like the perfect antidote to life.
With us Brits reaching for any excuse to get ‘down and dirty’, it is no surprise that Grand Nationals like Ascot and Ladies Day are so popular, with attendance figures topping six million in 2016. Out of all the race days however, Royal Ascot is the most popular with 300,000 people making the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making this Europe’s best-attended race meeting. Knowing what to wear to the races however is another story entirely; from stories of busted queens with streaky fake tan and sinking into the grass, with their legs flailing akimbo, you only have to look at the news to know that the press likes to ‘ridicule and shame’ ladies at race day, which to me is a load of bollocks. After all who cares if you are looking a little rough around the edges, at least you are having some fun, unlike these miserable geezers that are papping your every move. But if you would rather not wake up to pictures of yourself with your thong hanging out as front news the next morning, then don’t worry Mama Jasmine is here to save the day. From mid length midi dresses, beautifully adorned with florals to flamenco inspired ruffle mini dresses, Pretty Little Thing have fabulous outfit ideas that will solve the problem of what to wear to the races in one ecstatic browse. Question is, what would you choose?
The Blue Embroidered Midi Dress: Best For The Royal Ascot
Out of all the ‘race day’ events, Royal Ascot is the most stringent and you turning up like you are about to go to a nightclub, will have you kicked out faster than you can say ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. So if you think that it would be a great hoot to turn up with the shortest dress that you can find or even dare to come without a headpiece of some sort, I’m sorry boo but that £100 that you spent on both your ticket and train fare, is not going to get refunded to you anytime soon. As for jeans, don’t even think about it, not unless you want to be carried out of Royal Ascot kicking and screaming, unless of course your central aim is to have 15 minutes of fame on the news. In which case knock yourself out and turn up looking like you are ready for your ‘Twerk class’ in approximately 15 minutes. Oh what joyous fun that would be. But if you actually want to be able to stay at Royal Ascot for more than 15 minutes, then read on for tips on what you should and shouldn’t wear at The Royal Ascot…
Do… Wear A Dress That Is Below The Knee Or Just Above The Knee. No one wants to see your arse crack Betty, we are not in Mahiki anymore babe.
Do… Wear A Hat Or Headpiece. Apparently not wearing a hat or Headpiece that is more than 4 inches in diameter will have you thrown into jail. So unless you want to do time for fashion crimes against race day, then I suggest you do your homework and get yourself a hat that will stop traffic on the M25.
Do… Wear A Jumpsuit Or Trouser Suit If Dresses Make You Hurl. While some race days seem to have a personal vendetta against trousers, Royal Ascot likes people who wear jumpsuits or trousers suits because it matches their image of sartorial elegance.
Don’t… Turn Up With Your Midriff Hanging Out. Apparently Royal Ascot doesn’t like belly buttons, so now is not the time to show off your new ‘belly ring’.
Don’t Turn Up In Shorts… You are not going to the beach, so don’t even think about getting those legs out, just because you want to show off your bronzed pins.
Ascot Is On From 19-23rd June
Shop The Royal Ascot Approved ‘What To Wear To The Races’ Look
Shop Royal Ascot Approved Pieces Below
The Ruffle Flamenco Mini Dress:Best For Aintree
Unlike their rivals at the Royal Ascot, Aintree couldn’t give a flying f**k if you turned up in a dress that wasn’t below the knee, and their relaxed attitude to what to wear to the races is reflected throughout their dress code statement below.
‘Although there is no official dress code, smart is preferable and is often adopted. Aintree is a spectacle of colour throughout the year, with many using their trip to the racecourse as an opportunity to showcase their favourite raceday outfits.Hats are optional too, but are frequently worn.Sports clothes and fancy dress are not permitted for The Randox Health Grand National Festival’.
So if you want to turn up looking like you are going to the nightclub, or would rather not wear a hat that will knock out your friends and any poor bystanders, then by all means be Aintree’s guest. There are only a few simple rules when it comes to Aintree, and below I have outlined what you can and can’t wear at Aintree, which has four main racecourse events:Grand National Thursday (12th April), Ladies Day (April 13th), Grand National Day (April 14th) and Randox Health Grand National Festival (12-14th April).
Do… Look Like You Have Swallowed A Rainbow. Aintree is all about a personal expression of ‘colour’ and neutral colours just aren’t going to cut the mustard.
Do… Show Off Your Legs If You Are Feeling Frisky. Remember at Aintree anything goes, I’m not referring to going to your nearest strip club but when it comes to what you wear, there is no such thing as ‘hem lines’ at this fashion forward racecourse venue.
Don’t… Feel The Need To Wear A Hat If You Don’t Want To. Unlike it’s competitors Aintree is very much a fashion forward pioneer, who won’t throw you into jail, if you dare to ‘expose your hair’. This is not Medieval Europe ya know.
Don’t … Look Like You Are Going For A Jog Or Have Decided To Come Dressed As Ronald McDonald. While Aintree is pretty relaxed about its dress code, it does frown upon anyone who tries to come in looking like they have ‘either ransacked the nearest fancy dress shop or turned up looking like they are about to work out. Don’t even try it girl.
Shop The Aintree Approved ‘What To Wear To The Races Look’
Shop Aintree Approved Pieces Below
The Smart Dress & Jacket Combo: Best For Investec Derby Festival
In comparison to Aintree and Royal Ascot, Investec Derby Festival at ‘The Epsom Derby Racecourse’ falls somewhere in the middle, when it comes to its attitudes towards ‘Race Day Couture’. While its normal race course ‘days’ are pretty laid back, with a ‘smart casual dress code’ allowing you to wear smart denim and smart shorts, Investec is an entirely different ball game. As the biggest ‘race course day’ on the Epsom Derby social calendar, must wear formal day dress, or a tailored trouser suit, with a hat or substantial fascinator, while men must wear a jacket, collar and tie with top hat. While jumpsuits are not allowed women are able to wear smart, tailored trouser suits if dresses make you want to burn everything in your wardrobe as an act of defiance.
Do… Come Looking Like You Are Dressed For A Royal Wedding. You might not see the Queen, but the dress code (I kid you not) quite literally states ‘To save embarrassment, please ensure that all members of your party are aware of the dress code requirements at Epsom Downs Racecourse’. If you don’t believe me you can read the dress code statement for yourself LOL.
Do…Ensure That Your Children Are Dressed Smartly. Unlike the other race courses, it is not frowned upon to bring children but apparently you will be turned away if even your 2 month old baby is not dressed looking like he has a saddlebar mustache and top hat to match. Some dress codes will never cease to amaze me.
Don’t… Come In Denim That Looks Like You Have Been Attacked By The Local Cat. While denim is permitted (for men only- apparently women can’t wear anything that isn’t seen as ‘elegant’ or feminine’…) you can’t wear ripped, frayed or torn denim as it won’t get you any cool points at The Epsom Derby.
Don’t…Wear ‘Bare Tops’ Because Apparently Mesh Is Offensive To Their ‘Sensitive Eyes’. God forbid you even dare to showcase a little bit of skin, with a subtle peekaboo (and yes I realize that my dress above has a little bit of ‘skin showing’ but since it is covered in flowers I think its fine) because ya know we are still in the Victorian Era and its not ok to show your chest to anyone.
Shop The Semi Approved Investec Derby Festival Look
Shop Investec Derby Festival Pieces
And Don’t Forget The Shoes And Accessories
Have You Ever Been to Race Day? What Was Your Favourite Race Day Look?
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