If you’re planning a trip to this year’s Cheltenham Festival, and you should be because it’s one of the best sporting occasions on the planet, you’re probably wondering what you should wear.
The great news is – Cheltenham isn’t Royal Ascot – and there is no DRESS-CODE! However, fancy-dress is not permitted in the Club Enclosure, but it is everywhere else, unless it’s offensive.
Much of what people will be wearing this year will depend on the weather, though come Ladies Day they’ll be plenty of ladies dressed to kill in their designer dresses, high-heels and best hats, whether the sun is shining or the snow is falling.
Despite the lack of a dress-code, it’s till commonplace for men to make an effort by wearing a suit or smart pants, jacket and tie, especially in the Club Enclosure, restaurants and hospitality facilities. If you’re going for all four days of the festival, and staying in a hotel, it’s wise to take a choice of different warmth suits as the temperature can be vary greatly on different days. So always keep an eye on the weather forecast.
National Hunt enthusiasts are often known as the Tweed and Wax Jacket Brigade, and those articles never seem to go out of fashion. They’re ideal for keeping you warm on a cold day and not too heavy to carry if it gets too hot to wear it.
There are few places where hats are still fashionable for men – but National Hunt racing, Cheltenham in particular, is certainly one of them, and likely leading festival trainer Willie Mullins and likely leading festival owner Rich Ricci are two of their biggest advocates. A Trilby for cold days and a Panama for warmer days are recommended to complete your wardrobe.
When it comes to the ladies, there tends to be lots of fur coats around on the colder days. Whether they’re real furs or artificial furs I’m not sure – unfortunately probably a mixture of both.
Either way, underneath those fur coats this year there will probably be a wide and varied selection of dresses, cat-suits, skirts, tops and blouses – with the colour scheme predicted to be nature’s neutrals and soft, cool hues.
Even if it’s cold on the Wednesday of the Festival, which is Ladies Day, many ladies still brave the weather in a bid to show off the outfit they’ve been planning to show-off all year. If it’s warm, it’s an all-out fashion parade – so, if you’re going, pray for a little sun shine!