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Race season is on it’s way! Yes, Cheltenham and the Grand National will soon be upon us, bringing an array of weird and wonderful style from racegoers and celebrities alike. For fashion watchers, race season is always eagerly awaited, whether you follow elegant royal style, or like to look at the more interesting and colourful looks of the WAGS and wannabees who seem drawn to Aintree.

I’m never sure whether the lure of race season is the chance to have a little flutter and maybe win a few pounds, or the chance to dress up. It is probably a little bit of both, tied in with the chance to people watch too. Whatever your thoughts, if you are planning to attend the races this year, then a voucher towards the cost of your outfit, or towards the cost of your picnic basket, would probably be most gratefully accepted.

Race Day Fashion

Competition time

The nation is preparing for racing season. The shops are stocking the latest fashion and fascinators and the supermarkets have ordered in the panic blankets and champagne in preparation.

For the Grand National betting latest then check out the date and times of the races online and keep up with the latest ‘race day’ trends by entering our giveaway.

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Top designers likely to be worn at this year’s Royal Ascot

Image Source - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/The_Royal_carriages_leave_after_carrying_The_Queen_to_the_races_-_geograph.org.uk_-_852016.jpg

Image Source – http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/The_Royal_carriages_leave_after_carrying_The_Queen_to_the_races_-_geograph.org.uk_-_852016.jpg

After its introduction in 2012, the dress code for Royal Ascot has become well-known for banning fascinators, spaghetti straps, and asking male guests to wear only black or grey top hats. 2015 is no exception to the rule and this year’s style guide has outfit suggestions for guests to wear. Here are some of the top designers that are most likely to be worn at this year’s race meeting:

 

Gina Foster

Hats are a necessity when it comes to Royal Ascot fashion. Gina Foster is a popular alternative to Sir Philip Treacy when it comes to luxury millinery. With a special collection on her online store dedicated to the Royal Ascot in a range of colours, designs and textures there is bound to be something there to suit all outfits. The prices range between the £300 – £900 mark which, although expensive, is not too outrageous for a designer hat.

A great Gina Foster hat

A great Gina Foster hat

 

Ben de Lisi

Known for designing for the popular department shop Debenhams, Ben de Lisi’s dress which was commissioned by Coral last year made the news after Strictly come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff was asked to change it as the dress, which was made of Coral betting slips, had spaghetti straps. This year, Coral have commissioned another dress from de Lisi which he says is inspired by the jockey silks and will even incorporate a silk necktie so it is likely that this year’s dress will be more tasteful.

 

LK Bennett

When it comes to finding an outfit which is perfect for the Royal Ascot, L K Bennett tends to be a brilliant place to start. A British designer whose dresses are the ideal style for the dress code, the summery patterns will go well with most accessories, making it an ideal choice for those looking for an outfit within the £300-400 price range.

Kate Middleton is a huge fan of LK Bennett

Kate Middleton is a huge fan of LK Bennett

Hetherington Hats

As gentlemen guests in the Royal Enclosure are required to wear either a black or grey Top Hat, Hetherington Hats are bound to be making an appearance at this year’s Royal Ascot. Located on Walpole Street, just around the corner from Harrods, they stock over seven hundred different hats for sale or hire and fit each hat to the wearer’s head individually.

 

Barbara Casasola

For those who are looking for an outfit which is a little more unusual, Barbara Casasola’s collection of ladieswear is ideal. Describing her designs as “pared-back but sensual”, Casasola’s designs are regularly placed in the “best dressed” section of Royal Ascot and it seems likely that this year will be no exception.

An evening at the races – a few styling tips

A few months ago I received a very exciting invitation – would I like to be a judge at the Wolverhampton Races Ladies Evening event taking place at Dunstall Park on September 6th. I must admit I felt really honoured to be asked, and under a little bit of pressure to sort my own outfit. The role of judge is to help pick the best dressed, to find the best hat on display, and to see who could give Carrie Bradshaw a run for her money in the best shoe department. My outfit is now sorted (a gorgeous Gina Bacconi dress that will be showcased on the blog next week), but I’ve been asked to share a few of my tips for getting your outfit right for an evening at the races.

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And we’re off!

First Tip – Colour!

If you really want to get noticed at the races, wearing a beautiful bright dress is a great way to go. One lady who always seems to look fabulous at race events, from Royal Ascot to the Derby and Goodwood, is the stunning soprano Katherine Jenkins.  Katherine often opts for a simple, but bright dress that she then tops with a truly great hat for a look that is chic and eye-catching. Coleen Rooney and Samantha Barks are ladies who also channel this look really well.

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Tip 2 – But Black and White is alright too.

One of the most iconic race day outfits of all time was the one created by Cecil Beaton, and worn by Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. This stunning monochrome masterpiece made black and white perfect Ladies Day wear, and the look is one that appears again and again. Nicole Kidman paid homage to Audrey just last year at the Australian Derby Day.

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Tip 3 – Don’t forget the hat.

Ladies race events are one of the few occasions where you can rock a seriously big hat without looking too ostentatious (or silly, delete as applicable.) A gorgeous hat can be teamed with a simple dress for the ultimate in chic outfits. I think neat pillbox styles look best on shorter hairstyles, and a veil can add a touch of glamorous mystery – just look how amazing Thandie Newton looks in vintage style. But don’t worry if a hat isn’t your thing. Delta Goodrum looked stunning in her floral head-dress, and Kate and Pippa Middleton are twin queens of the fascinator.

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The Final Tip is all about those shoes…

My tip about shoes is simple. Wear them as high as you can, but make sure you can actually walk in them. Falling off your heels never looks glamorous, unless you’re Naomi Campbell, and the last thing you want to be on your special night is what Stanford Blatch described as ‘fashion roadkill’. That said, if there was ever an occasion to break out the Louboutins, it’s this one.

For ticket information about The Tile Choice Ladies evening, visit the Wolverhampton Racecourse Website here.