The Secret Fashion Rules of Britain’s Biggest Race Day

The Secret Fashion Rules of Britain’s Biggest Race Day

Britain is no stranger to pomp and ceremony, with the inhabitants of these isles jumping at any chance to dress up and put on a fashion show.

Nowhere is this more apparent than at the heart of that most treasured of British sporting traditions – horse racing. Britain’s prestigious annual racing days bring together royalty, aristocracy, and the public in a festival of revelry, with attendees quaffing champagne and wagering millions of pounds on the horses.

Of these, the largest is the Grand National, a three-day horse-racing extravaganza, on which the public wagered a staggering £650 million in 2019. If you’re planning on attending in person, your wallet and purse are not the only things you will need to bring. The Grand National has its own dress etiquette that you should adhere to (although they intentionally leave some wiggle room for interpretation). Before you purchase your race day look, read up on the secret fashion rules of the Grand National.

Keep your clutch

The most popular activity during this three-day event is, of course, betting. The top Grand National betting sites have already released their odds ahead of the festival, which any racegoer should pay close attention to ahead of the big day. As of now the favorites to win the race are Any Second Now and Delta Work, who are both priced at odds of +800, but on the day anything can happen. If you’re placing a wager, you’ll likely be digging out your purse. If so, make sure to do so from large, ideally oversized clutch bags. Handbags with straps are permitted, but you will most likely only see clutch bags once you’re inside.

Match it up

An unspoken rule for Grand National dress is to keep your color scheme uniform and consistent. If you browse any best-dressed list from the Grand National, you’ll notice that the top fashionistas are those that have attempted block colors and carefully matched accessories. Spring colors are also de rigueur at the Grand National, so don’t shy away from yellows, baby blues, soft pinks, and refreshing whites.

Dress for the weather

While spring is always in the air at the Grand National, the mercury rarely gets the memo. Average temperatures at the Grand National hover at around 8 degrees Celsius, so make sure that you do not get caught short. A matching blazer will help to keep you warm during those long stretches in the stands and don’t shy away from bringing a pair of gloves so that your hands don’t freeze and stick to your champagne flute.

The hat is everything

At any British horse race, the hat is often the main event. This is especially true for the Grand National, where the hats worn by attendees are often the main focal point for the press. If you want your Grand National look to truly stand out, you’ll want to spend some time picking the perfect hat. Ostentatious is always a good theme to start with, as this is one event that often favors boldness when it comes to headwear. Of course, don’t forget to ensure that the hat matches your outfit, at least in terms of color.

By following these essential Grand National fashion rules, you can take the stands by storm with a look that is sure to make a splash.


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