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"Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future". Coco Chanel
The Epsom Derby Festival, one of the most famous horse races in the World and the most popular flat race in the English racing calendar, is just around the corner! The two-day affair including Ladies Day, attracts royalty, celebrities and horse racing aficionados, alongside the magnificent Epsom Derby hospitality It’s one of the many occasions marked out in the British summer events calendar and offers the opportunity to wear something special. If you have run out of excuses to refill your wardrobe, then this event is certainly one of them!
Unlike Ascot with its stringent dress code guidelines, the Epsom Derby only enforces a few, easy-to-abide-by rules, leaving lots of room for fashion interpretation with no shortage of outrageous outfits on display.
There’s an atmosphere of unbridled excitement, where eye-catching fashion meets the thrill of an afternoon’s racing.
Picnics, parties, people and the prestige of the Epsom Derby hospitality are the flavour of the festival, and there’s a real carnival atmosphere with live entertainment, amusement rides and more.
I don’t always have an opportunity for a day out in London, but watching this on TV can also give you a great insight into the world of elegance, style and high fashion, with some of the best flat world class racing available.
Not only is the Epsom Derby Festival an impressive sporting event, but it is also known for the ‘Style on the Downs’ fashion competition, which epitomises the essence of Ladies Day, when chic summer outfits are showcased to find the most stylish lady on course.
Ladies Day is known for its fashion highs and lows, with many women using the day as a chance to experiment with style and wear daring outfits they couldn’t wear anywhere else.
Of the two days, Ladies Day has a slightly more relaxed dress code, requiring that, in the Queen’s Stand, ladies wear a fascinator or hat, and that gentleman wear a jacket, collar and tie. Jeans, shorts, denim and trainers are all considered unacceptable attire.
COLOUR IS KEY
Pastels are having a serious moment with many sticking to nude and summery colour palates. I would suggest you add polished accessories to prevent your look from being saccharine. If sugary tones aren’t for you, go bold – and break up block colours with softer shades or pops of print. If you need some guidance on how to wear bold or pastels colours you can find it on my posts here and here including all the tricks of the colour wheel!
What to do if colour really isn’t your forte? It goes without saying that timeless and classy black will never go out of fashion.
DON’T HOLD BACK WHEN IT COMES TO ACCESSORIES
Accessorising can look quite fabulous. How about a jewelled brooch on your jacket lapel (how else are you going to set your blazer apart?), pearl jewellery (both the high street and designer labels are brimming with modern manifestations), and even, in the spirit of an event that has been running for hundreds of years, gloves.
AFASCINATOR OR HAT IS A MUST
An over-the-top, chic, or preppy hat is the key to any Epsom ensemble.
OPT FOR MIDI TO LONG HEMLINES AND FLUID SILHOUETTES
There are no guidelines given for dress or skirt length, however for a day spent clambering over benches, rushing to the fence as the horse you bet on wins (or loses) and sipping on a glass of champagne (or five) you’ll be much more comfortable, in a longer hemline.
WEAR COMFORTABLE (BUT FABULOUS) SHOES
It’s a long day with a lot of standing up, walking and dancing. It’s hard to call any heels comfortable after a few hours and you wouldn’t necessarily pair flats with your fabulous outfit. However, a pair of ‘Gel Party’ soles can make all the difference, or a pair of foldable ballet pumps for the way home.
LESS IS MORE
Let your dress or your accessories do the talking, but not both at the same time.
Chi Chi London Tall structured midi dress with lace inserts in black
Ted Baker Pink Luluuu Elegant Textured Dress Coat
Lipsy Nude Net Bow Fascinator
Lipsy Black Diamanté Fascinator
Ted Baker HALLDEN women’s Court Shoes in Pink
Carvela Gallileo Crystal Mules
Swarovski Louison Hoop Pierced Earrings
Are you going to the Epsom Derby? Have you picked your outfit yet? Let me know in the comments below.
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