How to dress for Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar each and every year, with it being one of the most popular horse racing events in the world.


Some of the world’s finest horse racing action takes place at Cheltenham Festival over the course of four days, with fans aplenty all flocking to Gloucestershire’s finest racecourse for a week of high quality action.


One of the highlights for many about a day at the races is the chance to get dressed up and that is no different at the Cheltenham Festival. The highlight of this portion of the Cheltenham Festival is Ladies Day, which takes place on the Wednesday of the festival every year.


There is no official dress code, though visitors throughout the week are advised to dress smartly for the occasion. The Jockey Club says: “Although there is no official dress code for The Festival, smart is preferable and is often adopted. As we race largely during the winter months, the weather can be unpredictable, so we would advise you to dress accordingly.


“Many ladies wear hats, but we recommend you have the weather as well as fashion in mind. Gentlemen usually wear a suit or similar, in all enclosures and our restaurants and hospitality facilities.”


It may come as a surprise to some, but fancy dress is not off the cards for those who are planning on going to Cheltenham. Visitors are allowed to turn up in fancy dress so long that the costume that they wear is appropriate and not offensive, with organisers reserving the right to turn away any visitor whose costume contradicts these rules.


Taking place in March, weather conditions aren’t ever expected to be ideal at the Cheltenham Festival and organisers also advise their visitors to keep that in mind when planning their outfit, particularly when it comes to their footwear.


Overall, it’s certainly better to be safe than sorry when it comes to planning your Cheltenham Festival outfit, especially if your tickets are purchased within the Club Enclosure or Hospitality, where you will be expected to dress accordingly. So, give your shoes a good polish and tuck your shirts in to make sure you look the part at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival!

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