My Introduction To Horse Racing Fashion
As someone who’s long been intrigued by the sheer spectacle of British horse racing for years, I can’t wait to keep track of this week’s Grand National! Held at the Aintree Racecourse (just outside of Liverpool), this is one of the most prestigious events in worldwide horse racing—but it’s also a constant celebration for the fans and spectators involved.
For a lot of people, the whole process of enjoying the Grand National starts weeks in advance, with the flurry of betting activity that precedes a race like this. Betfair’s news and analysis on the races began weeks, if not months ago, and scrolling through some of the betting tips and offerings can actually prove helpful for multiple reasons. Yes, you can place a small bet or two (and you may wind up feeling more closely connected to the races just by doing so), but you can also gain an education on the competitors running at this year’s event. Seeing which horses are favoured by the odds, and what the expert tipsters have to say about their chances, is just a fun way to prepare, particularly if you’re tuning in from abroad.
Others might prepare for the event simply by looking into the area for additional attractions, as lingering outside at a racecourse for three straight days can grow a little bit tiresome! It seems golfing is a popular side activity for racegoers at the Grand National, though that’s not exactly an escape from the outdoors, and it takes up a great deal of time. If I ever attend the races, I would think the more interesting nearby attractions are in Liverpool, where I would fully intend on visiting The Beatles Story attraction, as well as some of the other museums around town.
But really, the busiest and most enjoyable part of preparing for the Grand National for a lot of spectators seems to be choosing outfits. If you’re unfamiliar with major horse racing, fashion among racegoers—particularly women, although men certainly dress well also—is one of the components that makes the events so much fun. In researching race day style tips, I found that the Grand National is a bit more playful and whimsical than some of its counterparts. So just for fun, I wanted to share some of the awesome elements of Grand National fashion that I’ve come across in anticipation of this year’s events.
Here are a few that stood out the most!
Race Day Hats
Horse racing hats are some of the most enjoyable fashion accessories at any occasion. Unfortunately, they’re a little difficult to make use of unless you’re actually at a race…. But I still can’t resist the array of styles and inspirations present in race day hats. Most are crazily oversized and festively adorned with ribbons, lace, flowers, or whatever else works. There’s a zillion examples out there, but Pinterest shows a nice variety for inspiration.
One thing I noticed looking through photos of fashionable ladies at past horse racing events is that a lot of them get creative with footwear. Wearing stylish shoes to outdoor events can be a tricky balancing act, largely because heels are often inconvenient for such occasions. So I’ve been interested to see that platform options and in some cases even boots are used pretty frequently to complement race day outfits. I’ve even stumbled across some women wearing wellingtons with short dresses, which I probably never would have thought of!
This is more relevant for the UK’s early season races than, say, the U.S. Triple Crown events, but it’s still interesting to note as an element of horse racing fashion. Temperatures at Aintree this week appear to be reasonable (just under 20 degrees, according to a quick Google search), but it can get quite chilly, I’m told, and racegoers use the conditions as inspiration for some wonderful outerwear. I was particularly drawn to some of the layering approaches outlined at Equestrian Vogue with regard to England’s Cheltenham Festival (which takes place in mid-March).
Really, horse racing fashion is such a unique concept that I could go on and on, and I’ll probably have even more to say about it once the looks of this year’s Grand National are showcased! But these are some of the ideas that stand out most to me as I get ready to track this year’s activity.