From floral prints to shimmering sequins - there are a host of styles to wear to the races. See our edit for inspiration now...
The summertime races are a time of celebration in England as many of us flock to see one of the oldest sports in the country, whilst enjoying traditional picnics and sipping on fizzy wine – but the stress of finding the perfect outfit for the races can put a dampener on any excitement we have for the big day.
When the moment arrives for Ascot to fling open its grand doors to the public, it’s all hats, heels and purses on deck as ladies across the UK flood to the famously elegant Ladies’ Day in their dresses for the races. Now is the time to start thinking about those all important race outfits. You should be oozing with elegance and glamour, and what better time to treat yourself to a gorgeous new outfit than when you’re going to the races?
If you’re unsure which of these dresses, our outfits, for the races will suit your body shape, or what trends to shop this year, our fashion experts are full of tips on the styles that will get you noticed for the right reasons. When it comes to the races, ladies should aim for longer, demure skirt length that would ideally reach each below the knee, and ensure that your dress has straps or that you wear a cover-up over a strapless number. Be sure to check the dress code of your particular race location – some racecourses are very strict as to what you’re allowed to wear. You can find the Ascot dress code here.
We have compiled our favourite finds complete with skirts, tops and elegant cover ups, ready for the event. We’ve trawled through our shoe archive to find fashionable footwear to compliment dresses for the races, so that you can wear them all day and still stay comfortable. We’ve even chosen the right accessories to finish off your look. Simply click through to find your perfect race day look…
We love the vintage feel of this Hobbs spot dress – very Pretty Woman! Wear with wedges and a floppy hat for carefree summer races style.
No wonder the Duchess of Cambridge favours nude courts from LK Bennett – they’re the ultimate leg-lengthening heel, thanks to the nude tone and ankle-trimming pointed toe. Wear these with just about everything and feel instantly more confident.
You’ll need a hat for the races, but if you’re going to spend that bit extra we recommend opting for a neutral colour palette you can wear again and again. This Rosie Olivia style stands out, but isn’t too ‘out there’. Made by one of the UK’s top milliners, you can guarantee quality if you make the investment.
If you’re lucky, the sun might shine! In which case you’ll need a stylish and elegant pair of sunglasses to show off in. This is one time you can go designer without feeling too guilty about the price. These Dolce and Gabbana cat’s eye glasses will never date, so snap them up now and wear for years to come.
This bolero cardigan is an easy cover-up for the races, in a lightweight knit with flattering three-quarter length sleeves. It comes in 5 different colours, so you can coordinate with your outfit.
Chunky jewellery can give a clever twist to a feminine look, and quirky styles are a firm fashion favourite this season. This horse bracelet from Bill Skinner couldn’t be more perfect for the races, and you can choose from rose gold, gold or silver.
If you’re pear shaped, this Karen Millen dress might just be the perfect style for you. With leg-lengthening vertical stripes and a high-waisted design, it’s a flattering midi dress that can be worn for many occasions.
If you’re planning on wearing your hair up, finish off the look with a pair of drop earrings. These gold swing earrings represent the sun – so you can always hope that they’ll bring you luck with the weather! Keep the rest of your jewellery simple to help them really stand out.
The modern races dress code swings much more favourably to those who prefer trousers. If you fall into that category, why not try a jumpsuit? They’re flattering, easy to wear and comfortable – and even celebrities are embracing them on the red carpet instead of evening gowns. We love this long sleeved style from LK Bennett, which will give you a tiny waist thanks to the belt.
White wide leg trousers are a great option for the races – provided you can keep them clean, of course! Wear with a matching blazer and embrace the trend for suits, or simply tuck in a floral top – just don’t forget the leg-lengthening heels.
Since most races call for a longer hemline, it’s a good opportunity to wear a longer lenth dress. This simple style from Miss Selfridge can be dressed of with a statement necklace and pashmina, or keep it simple and just add heels.
We love the sparkle on this sequin-embellished jacket by East. It’s open-fronted, to sit elegantly over a dress in a contrasting colour.
A floppy sun hat never goes out of style, and will add a chic finishing touch to your outfit for the races.
Fool everyone into believing that you’re wearing a designer ring with this stunning buy from the National Gallery jewellery collection.