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What to Wear to the Races 2024

23 February 2024

Whether you're heading to Cheltenham, Aintree, or Ascot, with the race season right around the corner, your thoughts may have turned to what you're going to wear.

Attending the races is not just about the thrill of the horses thundering around the racecourse —it's also a chance to shake up your usual styling and try something different.

The races are all about the glamour, and there's simply no better occasion to push your styling further through bold colours , patterns, prints and statement accessories .

So whether you're a seasoned race-goer or a first-timer, it’s time to get race day ready with Bonmarché!

Dash Print Shirred Waist Chiffon Dress

What is the Dress Code for the Races?

Race day dress codes vary across the different meetings, but the general guideline is sophistication and elegance. Many events, such as Royal Ascot, enforce a formal dress code in particular enclosures, where ladies don elegant hats or fascinators and opt for dresses or skirts of modest length.

We recommend checking the specific dress code for the event you're attending, as some racecourses offer a more relaxed atmosphere in certain areas, allowing for a smart-casual style.

Regardless of the dress code, racegoers nearly always seize the opportunity to express their creativity, making race days a fabulous blend of sporting excitement and impeccable style.

We have an entire section dedicated to outfits for the races , so we're sure you'll find something you love. And better still, when the race season is over, you can re-wear any of the pieces for other occasions , from weddings to summer soirees and everything in between.

Blue Dress

A mid-tone blue is an ideal colour for the races. It's bold and confidence-boosting, enabling you to make a statement without feeling your look is too 'out there’. If this sounds up your street, we recommend this stunning chiffon floral print dress featuring tasteful details such as button placket detail and a shirred waist that accentuates your figure beautifully.

Pair it with comfortable low heels and a clutch bag. You could choose a neutral clutch in the classic shades of black or nude or a complementary blue hue, but if you're feeling bold, why not shake things up with a contrasting coloured clutch bag in a punchy shade of pink?

Chiffon Floral Print Shirred Waist Dress
Pressed Flower Print Drawstring Waist Shirt Dress

Colourful Dress

If you usually wear plainer clothes, why not shake things up and experiment with patterns and prints for the races? You might be taking a sharp intake of breath right now, but trust us, prints and patterns don't always have to be loud and over the top.

If you want to experiment with a more subtly patterned dress for the races, we think you’ll love our gorgeous pressed flower print dress. With the button front design and drawstring waist to create a flattering silhouette and long sleeves make this a great choice this season.

Classic Tea Dress

We absolutely love this stylish and sophisticated floral print tea dress . A figure-flattering tea dress style; it features delightful large floral design, V neck and short sleeves perfect for the warmer weather. Pair it with comfy heels or flats and a plain bag to really let the dress do the talking.

Large Floral Print Woven Tea Dress

You don't have to wear a dress to the races...

Why not go for a printed blouse and a smart trouser combo? As the big race meetings usually occur in the early spring and summer, a floral print is ideal for leaning into the season.

Short Sleeve Watercolour Floral Bubble Hem Blouse

Printed Blouse

Why not go for a printed blouse and a smart trouser combo? As the big race meetings usually occur in the early spring and summer, a floral print is ideal for leaning into the season. We love this watercolour floral blouse featuring a V-neck, short sleeves and a bubble hem for a classic touch, this gorgeous blouse is perfect for a feminine yet stylish and smart race day look.

Tapered Leg Plain Ponte Elasticated Trousers

Smart Trousers

Not only are a pair of smart trousers a wardrobe essential but also great for all day comfort with their elasticated waistband. These tapered trousers from Bonmarché come in sizes 10-28, four leg lengths and two colours black and grey to suit your needs. Complete your look with a blazer jacket and accessories.

And not forgetting a jacket....

When you're spending much of the day outside, for some of the earlier race meetings, such as Aintree races, which usually takes place in early April, you may need a jacket to put over your shoulders to take the edge off.

3/4 Sleeve Textured Smart Jacket

Textured Smart Jacket

Stay comfortable and stylish with this collarless edge to edge jacket from Bonmarché. Boasting 3/4 sleeves and is fully lined, this versatile jacket is available in multiple shades, effortlessly complementing any race day outfit. We know this will become a staple coat in your wardrobe for years to come.

Faux Leather Collarless Jacket

Faux Leather Jacket

This smart faux leather jacket, as seen on Lorraine Kelly , is an excellent choice for cooler race days, keeping you warm and cosy, while not adding any extra bulk to your outfit. It’s also light enough to carry on your arm when you’re not wearing it. This jacket comes in four colours to easily match with any outfit, stone (pictured above), black, navy and grey.

Finishing your Race Day Look

Whether you're completing your race day outfit with a statement hat, hatinator or a fascinator, don't forget about your accessories and jewellery !

5 Pack Oval Coloured Stud Earrings


These oval coloured stud earrings come in multiple shades in each 5 pack colourway to harmonise or contrast with your outfit depending on the look you’re going for.

Multi Ring Charm Bracelet


We also love the star cluster necklaces with earings to match from Bonmarché and this multi charm bracelet (shown above) for a bit of sparkle, without breaking the bank.

Get ready to feel fabulous while placing those winning bets. The races are, after all, all about feeling confident and having fun whilst having a little flutter on the horses!

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