A Hume’s Guide to Ladieswear for National Hunt Season
This is the type of question that can throw the un-initiated into blind panic and arose a flutter of nerves in even the most seasoned race-goer, when in essence the matter is much more simple than it first appears. Just step back from the precipice of the fashion faux pas and consider a few important points before you totter out the door in your sling backs.
Firstly, the weather. Goosebumps and hypothermia have never been chic so regardless of a preponderance of spaghetti straps at Ascot Ladies Day, if you step out at Kelso in November, or Cheltenham in March, think warmth and functionality.
Tweed has always been a National Hunt stalwart and thanks to a trend for brighter, more playful designs, is experiencing a moment in the fashion sun. But beware, touches work better than what Meally Thornton, the stylish wife of jump jockey Robert ‘Choc’ Thornton terms a ‘sea of tweed.’
Our Tweed picks are:
The Magee Portnoo Jacket. Wearing this elegant, zesty tweed with its baby blue and pink overcheck, you will stand out at the paddock for all the right reasons.
And the Arrowgrass Pencil Skirt, by Dubarry, which we feel is the ultimate in Ms-Moneypenny-at the-races-chic. The flattering qualities of a high-waisted pencil skirt should never be underestimated.
The second point to consider is comfort. Most likely you’ll cover a couple of miles in a day’s racing, often on grass, and there is nothing that makes a lady lose her composure more than aching feet and sinking slowly into the turf.
Georgie Browne, Cheltenham Ladies Day Ambassador and partner of champion trainer, Paul Nicholls, shared her footwear tip with online racing magazine Eclipse
‘Dubarry boots are great and very fashionable and…., as they are flat…, will be comfortable for a day out at the races.’
Finally, to hat or not to hat? Fascinators may be all a flurry in the summer season but for winter ‘jump’ meets, the fashion buzz has revolved around the Trilby, ladies in tweed caps and our personal favourite for sheer luxe appeal, the fur headband. Not only will your ears be snug, but it will also stow easily if the weather turns mild, or – should the wind pick up, you’ll be saved the indignity of clinging to a soaring a brim.
With its subtle equine theme the RM Williams Florietine Tote is perfect for race day.
This elegant shoulder will fit gloves and other essentials but is light and portable for all day use.