Top Styling Tips And Shoes To Wear For A Day At The Races

Race season is almost in full swing, so it’s time to start thinking about your perfect race-day outfit!

Although a day at the races provides the perfect excuse to dress up if you’ve never been before, deciding what to wear can be daunting. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered at Rosamund Muir! 

In this guide, we’re offering our top race day dressing tips, including what to wear depending on the season, what to do with race day dress codes and most importantly, which shoes will keep you comfortable and stylish whilst you have a long day on your feet!

Table of contents:

What to wear for the races 

What are race day dress codes? 

Top points to consider when choosing your race day outfit

What are the best ladies’ shoes for the races?

What to wear for the races

Friends enjoying a day at the races, dressed up watching with their champagne

If you’re looking forward to a day at the races, it’s time to start planning your outfit now, so you’re prepared for the big day. 

Going to the races provides a perfect excuse to really dress up, so embrace the opportunity and get ready to dress elegantly from head to toe.

If you’re unsure of what sort of look to go for, check the dress code if the race meet has one and use that as a starting point, so you can rule out the outfits that won’t be suitable. Then, consider an outfit you’d wear as a wedding guest or attending a Christening and build out your look. 

Chic, formal dresses in classic shades or stylish florals for summer are ideal race outfits. Pastel and nude-coloured looks are also a great choice, as they look incredibly chic on a sunny day. 

The back of lady's head. She wear a large pink and black fascinator for the races

Race day accessories can be so much fun to style, so plan those alongside your outfit. Even if the dress code doesn’t require it, a stylish hat or fascinator never looks out of place at race meets. 

You’ll need to consider the weather depending on the time of year of the race you’re attending. In the UK, the weather can be unpredictable, whatever the season, but there are some things you can expect. 

For example, if you’re attending a winter race, you’ll want to wear a stylish coat or cover-up to keep you warm. And at summer races, you’ll want to prioritise lighter fabrics, so you don’t overheat. 

What to wear for Ladies Day at the races?

Kate Ozerov wears Montana Lemon Sandals
Montana Sandals on Kate Ozerov (left)

Many local horse meets have a ladies’ day, and it’s your perfect opportunity to dress in bold colours and accessorise with stylish jewellery. Even though a hat isn’t always essential, nothing quite says ladies’ day than a stunning hat or headpiece! 

Ladies’ day allows you to go above and beyond, so why not go all out?!

Some racecourses and meetings have dress codes for ladies’ day and formal occasions, such as Royal Ascot (which we’ll discuss in more detail). Be sure to carefully scrutinise your race meet’s dress code carefully when planning your outfit. 

Goodwood, although a prolific race meet, has a more relaxed dress code, and it’s a good one to check if you’re looking for some ladies’ day inspiration. 

What are race day dress codes? 

Certain races and meets require guests to adhere to dress codes when they attend the racecourse. Royal Ascot, for example, has different dressing rules depending on which enclosure you’re attending for the meet, so it’s always important to check whether or not you have a dress code to adhere to before you head off to your race meet.

A well-dressed couple in the sunshine drinking champagne at the races

Popular race day dates and dress codes

Cheltenham Festival (14-17th March 2023) 

There’s no formal dress code for Cheltenham; however, most attending still dress up. As the festival happens at the beginning of spring, the weather can be unpredictable, so you may want to factor this into your outfit and footwear choices.

Aintree – The Grand National (13th – 15th April 2023)

One of the biggest racing festivals of the year, the dress code for the Grand National is ‘dress to feel your best’! So it’s the perfect opportunity to dress fancy if the weather and mood are right!

A field of horses and jockeys during a race.

The Guineas Festival – Newmarket (5th – 7th May 2023)

This festival celebrates three days of horse racing on a flat course! The great thing about Newmarket is that the ‘dress to feel your best’ dress code is embraced here also. So whether feeling good for you is smart jeans with boots or you feel more comfortable in a dress with sandals, then both styles work just fine!

Epsom Derby (2nd & 3rd June 2023)

One of the most colourful race fixtures of the event calendar, the Epsom Derby dress code is also ‘dress to feel your best’, so embrace colourful style for this one. The Derby even has style awards to award the most stylish race-goers across the weekend. 

The Queen Elizabeth II Stand enclosure and hospitality does, however, have a dress code that needs to be adhered to, so if you’re heading there, you need to wear a formal day dress with a hat or fascinator. 

Royal Ascot (20th – 23rd June 2023)

One of the more traditional race meets, it’s synonymous with excellence and elegance, which is reflected in the strict dress code that must be adhered to. 

Although it differs between enclosures, strapless, off-the-shoulder, halter and spaghetti strap dresses aren’t permitted. Dresses should fall to the knee or lower, straps should be at least an inch wide, and hats with a base of at least four centimetres in diameter are necessary. 

If heading to this prestigious race festival, carefully check the dress code for your enclosure’s rules before planning your outfit. 

A table set for lunch at the races, with flowers, champagne and a model horse

Goodwood Festival (1st – 5th August, 2023)

Goodwood prides itself on a quintessentially British look, encouraging guests to dress as they would for a garden party. Think floral and floaty dresses or elegant trouser suits when choosing your outfit and embrace British style!

Top points to consider when choosing your race day outfit 

So now you know the dress code of the race you’re attending, it’s time to have fun choosing your outfit! But before you go and explore your race day outfit options – here are a few final tips to help you make your choice!

The time of year, weather and season 

We touched on this before, but with the unpredictable British weather, the chances are your race day outfit will look very different in March than it will in August. 

For colder seasons, make smart choices and choose a coat you can pair with closed-in shoes, like a stylish and comfortable pair of Paulina boots.

Rosie Tapner wears Felixa dark brown boots with a tweed trouser suit
Rosie Tapner wears Felixa dark brown boots with a tweed trouser suit

For winter horse meets, prioritise staying warm. Think stylish long-flowing skirts or full-length jumpsuits that keep you warm, covered up and comfortable. Choose a fashionable coat and finish off your look with a pair of chic leather gloves. 

Presenter Francesca Cumani wears dark green Paulina boots with a tartan coat
Francesca Cumani in green Paulina boots

In the summer, think about the heat. Look for floaty dresses made with lightweight and breathable materials, that are elegant but comfortable. Simple and light colours are always effective, but any shade goes on a bright summer’s day, so be daring with your colour choices. Wedge sandals work well on uneven terrain and look chic with a summer dress.

Similarly, you may consider opting for a slightly warmer outfit if you’re heading to an evening race, just in case the weather worsens.

Embrace colour and style! 

Just because you’re going to the races doesn’t mean you must wear a dress! Even the strictest dress code rules permit jumpsuits of a certain length and trouser suits, so if you’re not a fan of a floral dress, don’t let that hold you back! Why not take the opportunity to find a stylish jumpsuit or wear that elegant ivory trouser suit you’ve been saving for your summer vacation?

If you are a dress lover, the races are the perfect opportunity to try a new style, go bold with colour or embrace florals. Look for options you love but could wear again to a summer wedding or a Christening to get the most out of your look. 

Have fun with your outfit, and be bold with colour, especially if you’re heading to a summer race meet. Or, take the opportunity to wear white; it may be frowned upon when you’re a wedding guest, but it certainly isn’t at the races!

What are the best ladies’ shoes for the races?

Your shoes are an integral part of your race-day outfit. You’ll want to choose a comfortable and practical pair that allows you to show off your style. 

Skyscraper heels and stilettos can look glamorous; however, you need to ask yourself how your feet will feel after you’ve been on them all day. If the answer is ‘uncomfortable,’ they aren’t the correct choice. Also, there’s no point wearing thin heels if you spend the day sinking into the grass. 

At Rosamund Muir, we know the importance of comfortable, stylish feet. That’s why we’ve rounded up our top picks for the races to guarantee comfort and style for your feet!

Stefana Sandals 

Block heels are ideal for the races, particularly if the terrain is uneven. Our Stefana sandals are a perfect race day option that means you won’t have to spend the day trying not to sink into a lawn! 

Race presenter Francesca Cumani wears Stefana Sole sandals at the races
Presenter Francesca Cumani wears Stefana Sole Sandals

Full of Dolce Vita sensibility, our Stefana sandals combine colour, flamboyance and comfort and are an exceptional choice for a day spent on your feet – the perfect pairing to your race day attire!

Each style in the collection has a buckle strap and block heel, built with your comfort in mind. Full of Italian flair, these two-tone designs come in five colour variations; they’re tailor-made for fun and confident dressing!

Stefana style tips: Whether pairing yours with a floral dress or a chic, ivory pantsuit for the races, match your Stefana shoe colour with part of the print to make them pop, or pair them with bold accessories for a stunning, stand-out style. 

Jeanne Wedges 

If there was ever a shoe built for navigating the uneven terrain of a racecourse on ladies’ day, it’s the Jeanne. Available in a stylish selection of four unique colours, including pink, lime green, navy and nude, the Jeanne is the epitome of chic summer dressing!

Baker Manon Lagreve wears Jeanna wedge sandals with a pink dress
Manon Lagreve wears pink Jeanne wedge sandals

Fabulously comfortable, each pair of Jeanne wedges in the collection comprises a wearable wedge heel and a stylish t-bar strap design. Available in buttery leather, patent leather and chic suede, the hardest part will be choosing just one colour of these exceptional shoes!

Jeanne style tips: The Jeanne wedge is incredibly wearable and versatile, which means you can style it with anything! Whether you wear a knee-length or floor-length dress for the races, a pantsuit or a jumpsuit, Jeanne will keep you comfortable all day and carry your look to the evening. Then, after the race event, your wedges will look just as chic paired with skinny-fit jeans as they will on your next summer vacation.

Aurora Sandals 

If you want to add a touch of Hollywood glamour to your race day look, our Aurora sandals are an exceptional choice. The perfect pick for those who love metallics or a 1920s aesthetic, their comfortable 10cm cone heel means that you’ll be able to easily navigate race day without worrying about sinking into the ground!

A woman wears a pink dress and Aurora sandals

Available in eight stunning colourways, from chic emerald green and gold to dazzling black glitter and pretty metallic pink, the Aurora will wow on race day, make the perfect shoe for your next wedding guest duties and won’t look out of place at a red carpet event!

Aurora style tips: Let the shoes do the talking and pair your Aurora sandals with a block colour dress or jumpsuit, such as ivory or cream for summer or black velvet for an autumn race meet and get ready to step out in style. Or why not pair them with a dress embellished with beads to embrace that elegant 1920s look? 

Dressing for the races – The highlights 

When choosing an outfit for the races, always consult the dress code for the specific race you’re attending if the race in question has one. Then, once you’ve established this, think about the weather you can expect at that time of year and start to build your outfit around that.

Whether you opt for a dress, a jumpsuit, or a chic trouser suit, choose something that you look good and feel comfortable wearing to concentrate on enjoying the day and the experience. 

Always opt for shoes that will allow you to move around easily and will still be comfortable at the end of the event.

Finally, have fun with your outfit, experiment with colour and embrace the opportunity to have a fashionably fabulous day out in your most stylish attire!

Shop for the perfect shoes for the races at Rosamund Muir 

Find exceptional shoes for race day at Rosamund Muir. Whether you’re looking for summer sandals, stylish wedges or perfect pumps, you’ll find attractive options to suit, sustainably handmade in our atelier from responsibly sourced, deadstock materials. Explore the collection today and get ready to put your best foot forward. 

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