Fashion

LADIES What to wear at Cheltenham Festival

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Ladies, if you're going to Cheltenham Festival in March, you're going to want to prepare what to wear. Fancy frocks and designer clothing are not as much of a focus as they are at other racing events-probably due to the time of year-but that's not to mean you shouldn't dress to impress. Our little guide will help you out, so you'll be certain not make any feared fashion faux pas'.

Wednesday is Ladies Day, and that's the day to get properly dolled up; the press go mad for it! Flaunt your finest, and make an entrance as if you were walking down the red carpet. Going too OTT will make it seem like you've tried too hard though, and whilst hats and fascinators are a must, we'd suggest avoiding insane head gear like Princess Beatrice's Royal Wedding sci-fi hat. You want to look fabulous, not divide opinions.

As for the other days, the weather really dictates what to wear. Let's start off by confirming that tweed is not just for the gents. You can get lovely fitted blazers and jackets in a variety of prints and colours, in which case, a simple blouse with skinny trousers or a pencil skirt would suffice. If you can get hold of a tweed dress then you're onto a winner, though a herringbone pattern could be a bit more feminine and flattering.

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Dead set on a dress? Then ideally you want it to be sophisticated and structured; a fitted number or something with heavy material is the most desirable, and don't go for something too short. Anything floaty is a recipe for disaster; those unpredictable gusts of wind will catch you out. Modest patterns and neutral colours are the most popular-you are in the Cotswolds after all - so save your bold prints and striking colours for Ladies Day.

Unless you're absolutely mad, we're all on the understanding that tights are a given; goose-pimpled bare legs aren't attractive on anyone. And a coat will certainly be needed if you're not going to be wearing a thick tweed jacket. Keep it simple if you have detail or colours elsewhere in your outfit, or if you're predominantly wearing black, go for a bright coat that will jazz things up.

Skyscraper heels might make you feel a million dollars as you strut into the racecourse, but be warned; even if you're the seasoned pro at stilettos, by the end of the day, you're going to be walking like Bambi. Choose a thick heel, stylish flats, or a striking pair of boots that will keep your feet comfortable.

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Headwear is the thing; full on hats, pillbox hats, intricate fascinators, flowers, or elegant hair pins, all have their place at Cheltenham Festival. Feathers are firm favourites on any of the above, particularly from game birds such as pheasants, and something with fur would be equally welcomed. Just make sure that whatever you choose is secure on your head; people are here to watch the horse's race, not you racing after your flyaway hat.

Kit your handbag out with all the essentials-monies, make-up, perfume, plasters-and make sure it's big enough to conceal a little hip flask filled with sloe gin! Get all of this nailed and you'll be hot to trot.

Do you have any questions? Please ask.