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A day at the races

Love a day at the races? Think your outfit will get you into the winners' enclosure? Newbury Racecourse is looking for the Most Stylish Racegoer and we thought we'd try and help you win.

Fancy a day at the races? Sunshine (we can hope), fizz, fun and perhaps a little flutter – and occasionally a party in the paddock. It’s a day out that just keeps on giving. Then comes the thorny issue of what to wear. Sooo many factors to consider – racecourse rules, comfort, hat or no hat, are fascinators still considered fabulous or a fashion fail?

Yep, trotting into the parade ring needs a bit of consideration. In fact, knowing how much we love our fashion, Newbury Racecourse is scouting for its Most Stylish Racegoer at every Saturday race throughout 2018. A guy, gal or couple will be chosen on the day for looking hot to trot  – and there are prizes. The winners from each race day are then invited back for the Hennessey Cup in December for a VIP Day when one person will be crowned Most Stylish Racegoer 2018 and win a holiday to Qatar.

I always think that race days can be hard to get right. Particularly if there are no strict guidelines. It’s fab opportunity to get dressed up and even wear a hat, if you fancy it – it’s tradition, don’t fight it. Also remember this is a day event, you’re not dressing for a night at the Ritzy. My advice keep the fake tan light, the hemlines long and have a bit go fun…

We want Muddy readers to be in the winners’ enclosure, so I rifled through the rails at Camp Hopson in Newbury to bring you a little inspo.

 

Take it to the maxi

Breen silk maxi dress tan sandals cream blazer and start boater race day fashion

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Straw boater, £80, Not On The High Street; Hall Huber silk maxi, £149; Wallis cream blazer, £33.60; Dune London tan sandals, £80 – all available at Camp Hopson Newbury and Laurel leaf hair clip, £29, Athropolgie

What’s not to love about a maxi dress, a less liberal application of fake tan required, multitude of sins hidden and you can wear them with flats. This Hall Huber silk chiffon maxi (£149) will suit pretty much everyone – and the silk fabric is perfect for summer race days. No sweaty pits to worry, simply sling on a slouchy blazer (Wallis, £33.60) , a comfy pair of flats – these are Hermes designer dupes from Dune London, £80 – and you’re good to go. If you don’t fancy wearing a hat, statement hair clips look cool. If you’re all in, a cute straw boater will help you stand out from the crowd.

 

Jumpsuit for joy

Jumpsuit race day outfit collage

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Pillbox hat, £159, Hostie Hats; Whistles jumpsuit, £199; Michael Kors watch, £249; Dune London kitten heels, £90; Furla Metropolis mini bag, £235 – available from Camp Hopsons Newbury

Regular Muddy readers will know my love for the jumpsuit. I have a few and they’re the easiest items of clothing to wear ever – unless you need the loo, and then you practically strip naked to have a wee. Meh! It’s worth it. This jumpsuit is from Whistles, £199 – they have a great selection and I honestly believe there is a grown up baby grow for all shapes and sizes. Love Valentino? These Dune London blush, studded, kitten heel shoes are a homage to a pair they produced last year, and a fraction of the price at £90. Personally I would opt for a simple, elegant hat and a statement bag. Furla has done some amaaaazing prints on their mini bags this season. They’re quite pricey at £235 but who can resist a pair of peacocks? Accessorise with a Michael Kors rose gold watch (£249) and you won’t miss a single race.

 

Two’s company 

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Floral hair band, £30, Not On The High Street. Hall Huber blouse, £69; Silk chiffon midi skirt, £99 and Dune London peep toe shoe, £80, all Camp Hopsons

When it comes to formal events, our first instinct is to wear a dress. Guilty as charged, m’lud. But a skirt and blouse can be a much more versatile investment. This Hall Huber cotton striped blouse, £69, is soooo flattering and the skirt, £99, is silk chiffon with an elasticated waist. When you’re wearing something all day comfort is key. Plus you can pack away more than a few glasses of bubbles and burger and no one will notice. If you don’t love the idea of wearing a hat, why not wear a floral hairband? You may be having an 80s bridesmaid flashback, but trust me, they’re hot.

 

Pants people

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Fascinator, £89, Etsy. Hobbs pink suede bag, £99; Hobbs print palazzo pants, £149 and Dune London flats, £99 – all Camp Hopsons Newbury

I’m quite partial to a pear of palazzo pants. I think it makes me feel like I’m in my PJs, but they’re elegant and perfect for race days, weddings and even a night out down your local. They’re easy to wear (providing they’re not too long), easy to dress and you’ll feel cool and comfy all day long. Jeez, I’m turning into my mother. These Hobbs monochrome geometric print pants, £149, are pretty bold, but wear it with a simple white blouse, black slingback (Dune London £99) and an architectural fascinator. Ditch the black bag, if you’re going to win Most Stylish Racegoers, you need to catch the judges attention. The brightest bag EVER (Hobbs, £99) should do it.

 

Here come the boys…

Got a love a fella who makes an effort. But an upcycled navy, grey or black work suit is not going to cut the mustard. The high street has delivered bright blues, pastels and a lot of check. Guide your man to work it with a bold blazer, waistcoat and bow tie or go crazy and wear a the a dandy three piece. I’ve not stepped foot in a Moss Bros since I got married *ahem* 13 years ago (I was a child bride), and, boy, has it changed. The Camp Hopson’s department had skinny fit suits, funky blazers, bold colours – it was not the tailcoat hire shop I remember. I was seriously impressed. My one rule for fellas, you’ve gotta wear socks. The no sock thing may acceptable in down the pub, but its not happening on my watch on raceday. Check mate!

 

Al Shaqab Lockinge Day, Newbury Racecourse, Sat May 19: live music, Royal Wedding on the big screen and the four legged rock stars doing their thing. Tickets from £26. 

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