If you have experienced the speed and glamour of flat racing in the summer but have yet to sample the thrills and spills of winter racing, you have a treat in store. Here are some winter style tips to make sure you can relax and enjoy your day.

First things first

Dress codes

Winter racing style is much more informal than summer racing and dress codes are minimal. So here are some simple tips:

Dress code

The coat is the key

Making the right choice

This is fundamental to putting together your whole look. Think texture, colour and cut. It is your chance to invest in a statement coat that will be luxurious but practical. Velvets, tweeds and boucles are all good choices. You know the score with the British weather, so decide how you will adapt on the day if it is colder or warmer than expected. A coat that looks just as good worn open or buttoned up is a good choice, and a roomier style will allow you to wear more layers underneath (see my layering tips later!). Pictured: right Hobbs Esther Coat.

Keep calm and keep it together

Bring your look together

The autumn/winter colour palette this year is fabulous – dark blues, greens, wines, mustards and lots of delicious shades of chocolate and coffee abound. Stick to one or two tones rather than lots of contrasting colours, and you will look more “put together” and elegant. If you are going for separates, many styles this season are reminiscent of the forties. No-one has quite equalled the mix of glamour and practicality this era gave us, so it is a perfect choice. Think long-sleeved blouses gathered into deep cuffs and below the knee skirts in warmer fabrics. Polo necks can be a godsend; refined versions in practical, elegant fabrics like merino wool can also be popped under a blouse or shirt dress. If you want a bit of a shortcut to that “put together” look then the dress is your friend. There are more around now there have been for a long time, so it is easier than ever to find something that ticks all the right boxes.

Love those layers

Keeping warm in style

One more tip to make sure you are not caught out by our incredibly unpredictable weather. Don’t forget gloves. Nothing spoils a day outside like cold  hands. Choose a good quality leather pair in a colour that either tones in with your coat or adds a splash of contrast. A faux fur scarf is also a great way of topping off your outfit with a touch of old school glamour. By the way, this is where you can add a little injection of animal print if it’s your thing, without it looking too “over the top”.

Best foot forward

Be comfortable

Many winter race-goers swear by boots and they are a great choice; popular choices are knee-high styles with a low heel that will not sink into the turf, for example, Spanish riding boots or low western style heels. A block heeled ankle boot would also work with a longer length midi skirt or dress. If you prefer shoes, no problem – but again that heel needs to be practical (you could be on your feet for quite a while).  Dark colours and practical materials are essential. This is not the time to rock your pale cream suede loafers.

If you want to get ahead…

Winter hats and headpieces

If you are treating yourself to a special day at the races, do it like you mean it and set off your fabulous outfit with a hat! What’s more it will keep your head warm and stop your hair from whipping in your face if it is windy. A classic felt trilby or fedora is ideal. The royals often opt for a “smartie” or pill box style which is another elegant choice for more formal meetings. Feather trims are popular with the jumps racing crowd, but not obligatory.

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