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Cheltenham Dress Code: What to Wear to the Races

The Cheltenham Festival, renowned for its exhilarating horse racing, infectious atmosphere, and elegant fashion, has long been a staple event on the social calendar. Traditionally, attendees would adhere to a strict dress code, wearing their best clothes to show off their style and sophistication. However, in a surprising turn of events, the Cheltenham Festival has embraced a new approach to fashion, encouraging attendees to prioritise comfort and personal style over adhering to past expectations. 

With the recent announcement that the festival now encourages people to “dress to feel your best,” a wave of excitement and intrigue has swept through the fashion-savvy community.

The festival’s updated dress code signals a shift towards inclusivity, allowing attendees to express themselves and showcase their unique fashion sensibilities while enjoying the thrilling races and lively ambience.

What to Wear at Cheltenham Races: Dress to Feel Your Best

Regardless of the day, there are certain dress code guidelines that apply to all attendees. These include:

  • Dressing confidently: Opt for sophisticated and stylish outfits that reflect your personality and accessorise with confidence to make a lasting impression at the races.
  • Dressing comfortably: While it is important to dress to feel at ease, it is also essential to dress comfortably. You’ll be on your feet for most of the day, so comfortable shoes are a must.
  • Dressing for the weather: Cheltenham is held in March, in the UK… So you know it can get cold and wet. Make sure to dress warmly and bring a coat or umbrella if necessary.

By dressing to feel your best, attendees can help to create a memorable and enjoyable experience for all.

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Casual Cheltenham Races Outfit Ideas

You would have seen hundreds of different articles about outfit ideas for Cheltenham telling you to dress in the finest suits, glamorous dresses, how to don a fascinator and everything in between. However, with the emphasis now being to ‘dress to feel your best’ some of you may not feel comfortable or confident in such smart attire, therefore we have put together some brief casual outfit ideas for Cheltenham 2024.

Women’s Outfit Ideas

If you’re attending the Cheltenham Races and wondering what to wear, we’ve got you covered. Here are some outfit ideas that are both stylish and comfortable.

Dress and Jackets

A dress is always a good option for the races, and you can pair it with a jacket to keep warm. Opt for a midi or maxi dress in a classic print like polka dots or houndstooth. You can also choose a dress with a statement sleeve or neckline to add some interest to your outfit. Pair it with a blazer or a leather jacket for a chic look.

Trousers and Tops

If you prefer trousers, go for a pair of tailored trousers in a neutral colour like black, grey or navy. Pair it with a silk or chiffon blouse in a bright colour or print to add some personality to your outfit. You can also opt for a statement top with ruffles or lace detailing. Finish off the look with a pair of statement earrings and a clutch bag.

Footwear Selection

When it comes to footwear, comfort is key. You will be spending a lot of time on your feet, so opt for a pair of comfortable shoes like ankle boots or loafers. You can also wear a pair of block heels if you want some height. Avoid stilettos or anything with a narrow heel as it can be difficult to walk on grass. Make sure to also bring a pair of flats or flip-flops to change into after the races.

Hats and Fascinators

Get ready to turn heads and add a dash of playfulness to your Cheltenham Races outfit with fabulous hats and fascinators! From wide-brimmed wonders to feathered fantasies, these headpieces will have you looking chic, classy, and oh-so-fabulous as you soak in the racing excitement. Embrace your personal style and let your creativity shine while staying racecourse-ready with these delightful hats and fascinators!

Overall, the key to a great outfit for the Cheltenham Races is to keep it simple and classic. Stick to neutral colours and classic prints, and add some interest with statement accessories. Remember to also dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.

Men’s Outfit Ideas

If you’re attending the Cheltenham races and want to dress casually, you can still look stylish and put-together. Here are some outfit ideas to help you look your best:

Blazers and Shirts

A blazer is a great way to dress up a casual outfit. You can wear it with a shirt for a more formal look, or with a plain T-shirt for a more relaxed look. Make sure your blazer fits well and is in a neutral colour such as navy or grey.

For shirts, stick to classic colours such as white, blue or pink. You can wear a plain shirt or one with a subtle pattern. Avoid loud prints or bright colours as they can look too casual.

Trousers and Jeans

For a casual look, you can wear jeans or chinos. Make sure they fit well and are not too baggy or too tight. You can wear them with a plain T-shirt or a shirt.

If you prefer a smarter look, you can wear trousers. Choose a neutral colour such as grey or navy, and pair them with a shirt and blazer.

Shoes and Accessories

Shoes are an important part of your outfit. For a casual look, you can wear trainers or loafers. Make sure they are clean and in good condition.

Accessories can add a touch of personality to your outfit. You can wear a watch or a bracelet. Avoid wearing too many accessories as they can look too busy.

In summary, for a casual Cheltenham races outfit, wear a blazer with a plain shirt, jeans or chinos, and trainers or loafers. Add a watch or a bracelet for a touch of personality.

Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches

To round off your Cheltenham Races outfit, pay attention to the finishing touches. Ladies opt for statement jewellery pieces that complement their attire. Whether it’s a dazzling necklace, a pair of chandelier earrings, or stacked bangles, let your accessories reflect your unique style. Complete your look with a tasteful clutch or a stylish tote to carry all your essentials.

Gentlemen, a tasteful tie clip, sophisticated cufflinks, or a stylish pocket watch can elevate your ensemble to new heights. Choose accessories that match your personal style and enhance your overall look.

Explore Fashion Blogs and Social Media for Inspiration

If you’re seeking further inspiration for your Cheltenham attire, fashion blogs and social media platforms can be valuable resources. Fashion bloggers and influencers often share their Cheltenham outfit ideas, providing a diverse range of styles and trends to suit different tastes.

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