Next week is the Cheltenham Festival set in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds.
The Gold Cup forms part of the National Hunt Racing Calendar with prize money second only to the Grand National, making it one of the most high profile race meets of the year.
National Hunt differs somewhat from Summer Racing. The main difference being that the former takes place during the winter months and is steeplechase (i.e. fences and ditches) and the latter takes place during the summer season and is flat racing.
There are also differences in the acceptable Dress Codes for each of these events. The Cheltenham Festival traditionally takes place over St. Patrick’s Day in March and has a reputation for often being one of the harshest weeks of winter weather, which I can vouch for having experienced snow and hailstorms on occasion.
What is shocking though is how many young ladies dress as if attending Royal Ascot with summer dresses, strapy sandals and fascinators…..brrrr.
So what should you wear?
The Cheltenham Festival has no Dress Code and yes, fancy dress is permitted; but you wouldn’t be considering that option now would you??
Generally people tend to make a bit of an effort if they have tickets for the Tattersalls or Club enclosures and this is the perfect time for both men and women to bring out their tweeds. Not only is tweed now back in Vogue but it is also a warm material making it perfect for those March winds that can blow across the Cotswold Hills.
Tweed can, however, have a tendency to look a little fuddy-duddy so it should be worn carefully to ensure a chic, not geek look. Tailoring is one of the most important aspects and a good tweed should be cut in a fashionable shape and fitted well to the body.
There are also many colours to choose from at the moment incorporating light blues and pastel pinks, which certainly give them a more contemporary feel. Try House of Bruar for both men and ladies collections and also Joules for ladies tweed jackets.
If you feel top to toe tweed is a little overboard then you can certainly look at wearing separates. Men’s tweed jackets teemed with corduroys, a shirt and a tie look stylish and ladies can choose between a tweed skirt and a jacket.
Footwear should be comfortable so smart brogue boots for men are ideal and simple flat leather or suede boots for ladies. High heels are no-no.
And of course to finish the outfit off and really look the part you can add a Tweed Flat Cap or Felt Trilby Hat.