Cheltenham Ladies Day – How to turn heads around the parade ring.
The Cheltenham Open is one of the most iconic meetings in the UK racing calendar, but whilst some people go for the racing alone far more go for the festivities and the social hobnobbing.
People watching and celebrity spotting are my favourite occupations at Cheltenham, so here are some of my tips if you want to be first past the post rather than an also ran in the fashion stakes.
Don’t just wear the uniform, whilst a window pane tweed ensemble will immediately identify you as one of the equestrian crowd it can also make you look exactly the same as everybody else –if you want to wear your trusty “squares” make sure you add vibrant accessories, you can do wonders with a flamboyant team of matching scarf, handbag, tights (a must) & gloves, - rich and strong, choose orange, teal, raspberry something a little quirky – but never tarty!
Notice I didn’t say “hat” when I mentioned accessories earlier, one thing the observer can immediately see is whether a lady is comfortable in her headwear, especially in high winds or rain - very tiresome. Sumptuous Toscana earmuffs are a great alternative, they keep you warm but don't feel heavy or intrusive, easy to slip off and tuck into a handbag with no "bad hair effect" - perfect.
Ladies Day gives every girl the opportunity to really dress up, but whilst beautiful strappy cocktail dresses look stunning they can be extremely impractical, we all know some of the coldest places in the UK are racecourses, don’t cover your glorious outfit in a frumpy heavy overcoat think about a cashmere/merino wrap, lightweight, snuggly warm but very sophisticated, just the motion of throwing that wrap over your shoulder can demonstrate some seriously sexy sass !
Save your feet (and your shoes) -stilettos and grass are not a good marriage- so please don't forget your plasters & heel protectors - they really prevent you sinking into the mud and make standing on grass so much easier. Of course the cute answer is a pair of replacement pumps in your handbag, a far better idea that will guarantee you'll be smiling and striding out until after the last race has run
The final but most important essential is the cowhide hair-on handbag - whether purchased in advance to flaunt on the grandstand or invested in from your winnings this is the quintessential Gold Cup accessory - the ultimate statement and the one thing guaranteed above all others to make heads turn, garner admiring glances and make you feel like a million dollars – I always choose Black or Brown Splash – but frankly any great hair-on hide bag ticks all the winning boxes.
Enjoy the races ladies!
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