Ladies’ Day at the races is as much about the fashion as it is about the horses. From locals to celebrities, everyone chooses their Ladies’ Day outfits with care in a bid to be crowned the best dressed and win an exciting prize package.

Fashions come and go and every year will see slightly different trends, but there are certain rules and guidelines that remain the same year in and year out.

It’s all about the hat

No matter what the particular fashion, Ladies’ Day at the races is always an opportunity to wear that big, bold hat you wouldn’t wear anywhere else. The hat should always complement the outfit but there are few rules other than that.

Some like to go all out with a huge headpiece, while others prefer a more tastefully understated hat. Ladies’ Day hats have in recent years come to be replaced by the fascinator by many, giving you plenty of options for head-wear.

Whatever your preference, wear your hat with pride and you won’t go far wrong!

The dress

No matter what the fashions of the day, there will always be plenty of dresses to help you look fabulous on Ladies’ Day. However, shopping for your shape is going to help you look and feel better than simply choosing what’s on the covers of the magazines.

Floral summer dresses are almost always acceptable, while skimpy is usually not. Try to think practically as well – if you have a long way to travel before you arrive at the course you may want to consider fabrics that do not crumple or crease.

The shoes

While it may seem highly impractical to wear stiletto heels to the racecourse, on Ladies’ Day they will be everywhere. Glamorous but treacherous, the best advice for the stiletto wearer is to pack some ballet pumps for later in the day once the outfit has been seen.


Accessories are what make an outfit complete and there are many different accessories that can be brought into play. We already have the hat, so why not combine it with a matching handbag?

Scarves, jewellery, brooches and more can complement the overall look for an outfit that truly stands out from the crowd, even on Ladies’ Day.

The rules

Ultimately, Ladies’ Day is about feeling glamorous and looking like the best version of you, whatever that might be. However, there are certain rules and dress codes and it’s advisable to check these out for the particular racecourse and enclosure before going shopping, especially if you’re in the Royal Enclosure.

Most courses stipulate how much flesh can be on display, with rules about hem length, exposed shoulders and more. Save the spaghetti straps and mini-skirts for another day and aim for elegant rather than over-the-top.

The men

Things are rather simpler for the men. A smart suit with tie is typical throughout most of the course, although those in the Royal Enclosure are usually required to wear a top hat and tails.

No matter what you wear, the aim of the day is to have fun so make sure you’re comfortable as well as stylish.