What To Wear To The Races 2019

What To Wear To The Races 2019

Posted by Hel and Mel | 31 May 2019 | Magazine, Style & Beauty

Looking for a winning wardrobe this racing season? Take a bet on Style Editors Hel and Mel’s top styling tips to ensure your race day outfit goes the distance.

Whether you’re sipping Laurent Perrier at Ascot, or having a flutter trackside with the girls at Cheltenham, every woman is keen to come first place in the fashion race. With differing dress codes to adhere to, choosing the perfect, yet practical outfit, can be a daunting and overwhelming task for even the savviest of fashionistas. Here are our top six tips for race-day style success…

1 – Hoof it to Karen Millen

Royal Ascot is renowned for having the strictest of dress codes, depending on which enclosure you are in. Luckily for us, Karen Millen has teamed up with Royal Ascot to launch an exclusive collection. The new range of beautiful dresses, jumpsuits and cover-ups all adhere to the dress code, guaranteeing a photo finish fit for royalty. We absolutely loved the Karen Millen x Royal Ascot Collection dresses we tried for this shoot (main image, above) – we know you will, too.

Polkadot Tiered Maxi Dress, £280, Karen Millen | Image credit: @thefashionablepan

2 – Get Your Hat On

Unless you’re Lady Wimbledon, it’s likely you don’t wear hats that often. Although it’s not necessary for all events, it’s such a great excuse to add a bit of elegance to your look and help you stand out from the crowd.

Hats can be tricky to pull, off so make sure you choose one that doesn’t wear you. It needs to be in proportion to your shape and size. If in doubt, a fascinator or an elaborate hair clip is always a great alternative.

TOP TIP  Hire a hat. Your local milliner will hire hats, making it a more affordable way of obtaining a statement piece that won’t cost the earth. Let’s face it, are you really ever going to wear it again anyway?

Hats for the races

From left: polka-dot headband, £9, ASOS; Valentina fascinator, £745; Deauville hat, £645, both Emily-London.com

3 – Take A Bow

Bows are the perfect accessory, be it on your head, jewellery, belt, bag, shoes or outfit. Bows are one of our favourite summer trends for adding a feminine touch. Big bold bows, bountiful back bows, bedazzling bows, embracing romantic bows, beautiful floral bows… Anyone can work a bow into their look.

TOP TIP Place the bow where you want to draw attention!

Summer trends: bows

Clockwise from left: Melbii Berry Sundae tie-strap dress, £199, Ted Baker; faux-pearl bow hair clip, £6, DesignB London; Arayi crystal bow strap sandals, £155, Ted Baker

4 – Think On Your Feet

Going to the races involves a lot of walking and standing up, so it’s worth giving your feet a thought! Classic school girl error 101: wearing new heels to a big event – DO NOT attempt this! Stick to your old faithfuls or make sure you’ve worn the new ones out at least twice. Wedges are a good comfortable option – they tackle turf with aplomb – and there’s some really stylish choices out there.

• Gel cushions for the balls of your feet
• Heel protectors for walking on the grass
• A pair of fold-up flats in your handbag for the journey home

Shoes for the races

Wedge heel almond-toe espadrilles, £25, M&S; Butterfly Twists fold-up ballet flats, £19.95, Hogiesonline.co.uk; White Perspex Gem Embellished Sandals, £55, River Island

5 – Get Spotted

We’re dotty about polka dots – they certainly worked for Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. And for S/S19, their revival is more audacious than ever before. Spliced together with ruffles, contrasting different-sized dots or applied to sexy silk slips, this classic print is tipped to be a sure thing.

TOP TIP  Team with a colour contrasting bag or shoes for a pop of colour.

Polka-dot outfits for the races

From left: asymmetric polka-dot dress, £40, AX Paris; polka-dot cotton wrap dress, £350, De La Vali at Harvey Nichols; cropped spot blazer, £65, with belted shorts, £30, River Island

6 – Goosebumps A Go-Go

Dreaming of sipping on a Pimms whilst basking in the glorious sunshine? Er, hello, this is England! Even the latest weather app can’t guarantee the weather, so be prepared for the worst. Over-sized blazers are bang on trend right now, and look so chic draped over the shoulders.

And remember, a dress isn’t your only option for the races: tailored suits and elegant jumpsuits are everywhere this season and a great alternative to dresses – plus they keep legs goosebump-free!

TOP TIP  Wear a Spanx-style body underneath your outfit. Not only will it cinch you in and smooth your lines, it’ll also add a layer of warmth.

Cover-ups for cool days

Aleida double-breasted cream blazer, £235, Reiss


Bandeau culotte jumpsuit with big bow detail, £45, ASOS


Hel wears: Evie Jacket in Aqua, £240, and Evie Trouser, £130, Reiss | Mel wears: Antonia button-detail jumpsuit in Gold, £225, Reiss

Free Rein To Stirrup Trouble

To sum up: what’s truly liberating and empowering for women going to the races in 2019 is the sheer amount of choice. This is your chance to wear that white dress you couldn’t wear to your friends wedding, or to be fun and playful with colour. The shops are bursting with daffodil yellows, hot pinks and baby blues… nothing is off limits this season.

Be bold, go big on accessories and dress for yourself by feeling confident and comfortable in your outfit. But remember – you’re not going to a nightclub, so keep it classy!

Hel and Mel xx


Written By: Hel and Mel | Style Bloggers

Instagram: @HelandMel
Twitter: @Hel_and_Mel
Facebook: @HelandMel

About The Author

Hel and Mel

Fun-loving influencers Hel and Mel can spot a trend at 50 paces – sharing style tips and what-to-wear advice on Instagram, they're our go-to girls for all things fashion.

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