Editor of British luxury publication The Sloaney, Laura Toogood, shares her advice for what to wear to the Cheltenham Festival…

The Winter racing season has arrived and there are plenty of opportunities to watch top class National Hunt horses in action and also make the most of seasonal fashion trends when attending such events. For many, the Cheltenham Festival is the big fixture on the calendar and this is one of the most prestigious occasions in the country. The style stakes are high at this event and there is a rich prize fund available to those entering the best dressed competition.

Whether you are trying to wow the judges or need some style inspiration ahead of your visit, there are a few golden rules to keep in mind. Hospitality Finder offers a diverse range of Cheltenham Racecourse hospitality events, including Cheltenham festival hospitality packages where you’ll want to look your best as you indulge in luxury.

Dress for the right occasion

It is really important to dress appropriately. The Festival may be a leading horse racing meet but it is very different to the likes of Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood. For a start, these aforementioned flat racing fixtures take place during the summer months and they encourage bright dresses, flamboyant fascinators and open toe shoes. Cheltenham arrives much earlier in the calendar and it has a very different feel altogether. Racegoers generally opt for tweed jackets, wool coats, sturdy but stylish boots and trilby hats. While there is no strict dress code, hospitality guests should look smart. Holland Cooper is a popular shopping destination for ladies heading to Cheltenham, while men could browse the stores on Jermyn Street for inspiration. If you want to add some special touches to your outfit to make it unique, think carefully about how you accessorise and also consider customisation – the addition of striking feathers can transform a plain trilby. 

Think about the weather

As The Festival occurs in March, you can be presented with a whole array of different weather conditions. From late winter snow showers to glistening rays of early spring sunshine, you never know what the forecast has in store. With this in mind, you need to make sure your outfit is versatile. A lot of racegoers will wear a coat throughout the day, so it is useful to have lightweight attire underneath and something that will work for either standing by the track or wining and dining inside the Green Room. Layering is helpful for preparing for different eventualities and don’t forget to pack gloves and a scarf for instant warmth. Laurie & Jules has a range of equestrian-inspired accessories for ladies and Hackett is great for men.

Embrace the trends

Animal print is one of the main trends this year. Ladies can make a bold statement with a leopard print coat or give a subtle nod to this latest fashion by carrying a tiger print tote, such as the one from the latest Kate Negus Lifestyle Collection. Both ladies and gentlemen should note that shades of brown have been welcomed into wardrobes in recent months. However, for those who fancy their chances in the best-dressed competition, make sure you pay attention to the theme. While muted tones are most popular at Cheltenham, last year a pop of colour was advised for those vying for the top prize. Brighter shades will also be evident in spring collections and, if the weather is favourable, you can make the most of looking forward to the warmer months.

Combine comfort and style

Racing is a test of endurance for horse and spectators alike. You will probably have an early start if you want to get ahead of the traffic and proceedings in The Green Room begin well ahead of the first race. You will be on your feet throughout the day and comfortable shoes are a must. While there is no strict dress code as such, smart footwear is recommended in hospitality, but ladies can opt for flat shoes instead of heels. Slouchy boots are also big this year for those looking to embrace catwalk trends. Fairfax and Favor has a selection of footwear for men and women that would work with a variety of different looks.  

Discover more in the Luxury Lifestyle Publication The Sloaney

Event Date Day Want to join us?
Tuesday 10th March 2020 Champions Day Click here to enquire
Wednesday 12th March 2020 Ladies’ Day Click here to enquire
Thursday 13th March 2020 St. Patrick’s Thursday Click here to enquire
Friday 14th March 2020 Gold Cup Day Click here to enquire



Discover our other horse racing hospitality events and VIP tickets, including Grand National Hospitality, Epsom Derby, Royal AscotGold Cup hospitality and our ladies day hospitality.