Dressing for any special occasion can be tricky; the races bring a whole new meaning to the word!

What to wear for the races well and truly is a minefield. You have awkward late spring weather and mind-boggling dress codes to contend with — and, of course, you want to look fabulous!

With the Grand National this weekend kicking off horse racing season, here at Moda in Pelle we thought we’d take a closer look at race day fashion. So, whether you’re getting dressed up and heading out to a local Ladies Day or you’re prepping for Royal Ascot, you can ensure you look your best with our top race day fashion tips.

Check the dress code

First things first — check the dress code! Some of the bigger race events, especially in the more prestigious enclosures, have strict dress codes; you definitely don’t want to be turned away for something as silly as wearing the wrong hat!

If you’re attending the Royal Ascot, be especially mindful of the rules. Cropped trousers or tops are a definite no-no, for example, and straps on tops or dresses should be one inch or more across the shoulders. While other events, especially your local races, are likely to have much more relaxed dress codes, it is definitely worth double checking before you commit to your look.

Keep it elegant

Once you’ve identified the dress code, you can move onto the fun part — the clothes! While the races definitely call for a ‘dressy’ look, stay away from what you’d usually wear for an evening out. Race day outfits should be more closely linked to what you would wear to a daytime wedding rather than a big night out — think chic formal dresses in classic shades finished with subtle accessories.

Nudes and pastels are perfect choices for a classic, elegant daytime look. Or, if you’re looking to make more of a statement, prints are your new best friend! Nature inspired prints, such as florals or feathers, are perfect for a sunny day at the races.

Check the weather

Of course, your look will largely depend on the weather. If you’re attending a race in spring, you could be faced with anything from rain to bright sunshine. Keep a firm eye on the weather in the run-up to the event, and be ready to make last minute adjustments in case the forecast changes.

If rain is on the cards, opt for a cover-up jacket, and slightly more ‘sensible’ shoes — stilettos sinking into mud is not a good look! If you’re lucky and the weather is looking on the hotter side, opt for lightweight fabrics, sleeveless dresses, and stand out from the crowd in a pair of killer heels.

Pay attention to detail

Once you have your outfit sorted, you can get started on accessories. A formal, elegant look really is all about the little details — there’s nothing like chipped nails or laddered tights to ruin an otherwise perfect look!

Think about the accessories you want to work with. Hats and fascinators scream ‘race day fashion’, and are a fantastic way to instantly elevate your ensemble. If you’re going for a statement hat, ensure the rest of your outfit is kept simple. Or, if your outfit makes a statement, a subtle, understated headpiece will perfectly complete your look.

With jewellery, keep it simple and sophisticated. A pretty chain necklace or a pair of chic studded earrings are ideal for adding a polished yet fashion-forward edge to your race day look. Finally, opt for a super-stylish clutch bag to complete your elegant ensemble.

Shop clutch bags

  • Ilaribag Nude Suede

Consider Your Footwear

The final thing to consider, and yet one of the most important, is your footwear. Race days can be long events, and you’re going to be on your feet for much of the day. You need footwear that isn’t hugely unpractical — it needs to be comfortable all day long but, naturally, you want it to look good too!

When it comes to footwear you need to once again consider the weather. If rain is predicted, opt for block heels or wedge sandals. These will elevate your look, add an instant touch of style, and won’t sink into any damper grass.

Shop wedges

  • Rivas Nude Patent

Shop block heels

If you’re expecting a drier day, stand out for all the right reasons in a pair of sophisticated stilettos. Nude or pink high heel shoes with gold detailing are absolutely perfect for race day; they are versatile and elegant, and will bring an instantly glam edge to your look.

Shop high heels


Whether you have a day at the races booked in or you’re looking for footwear or accessories for a special occasion, be sure to explore the full Moda in Pelle collection. From shoes and sandals expertly blending fashion and comfort to evening and clutch bags, you’re sure to find the perfect piece to take any look to the next level.

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