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Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

The horse races are a key event in many people’s social calendars, even those who don’t particularly follow the sport. The Grand National is watched by an estimated 600 million people worldwide, and so it’s not one to ignore.

But you could actually be there. The Grand National and other horse races are society events, not just sporting ones. So, how should a total newbie to the circuit dress and act?


As with any event, it helps to know a little bit about its background in order to fit in. There is no point going to all the effort in the way you dress, unless you are willing to respect what the Grand National is actually all about.

70,000 people attend its home at Liverpool’s Aintree Racecourse and watch as the horses and their jockeys compete. The thrill is in its unpredictability – this is truly anyone’s game. Learn a little about each favourite horse and their chances of success. A beautiful dress is even more of a winner on someone who can actually win!


The key to style at the Grand National is extravagant yet elegant. You need to go the extra mile – this isn’t just any day out. 

Dresses should be classic and classy; dainty and full of decorum. It’s pertinent to pay attention to the latest trends, but you don’t want to be a clone of everyone else. If you can afford to, consider having one made. At the very least, try not to go off the rack. You can look to Spring/Summer look books for inspiration.

Floral, lace and chiffon materials with a feminine cut never go out of fashion, and they’re light enough so that they’re perfect for spring. It’s encouraged to wear a hat to really make an occasion of the whole thing.

Of course, hair and make up is important as well. It’s worth paying extra to opt for a particular style. A full coverage yet natural day look for make up is best, although if it’s particularly hot, less is more. Nobody wants it falling off their face! When it comes to hair, up-dos are stunning. However, if you are opting for a hat, half-up-half-down will work great.

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay


Sometimes in the quest for being best dressed, some people think outside of the box a little too much. Unfortunately, this leaves them open to criticism in the media, who are often out to snap the best (and sadly worst) dressed. It’s best to stick to something which transcends the test of time. 

You should take note of the unofficial dress code of the event as well – you’ll find that although it’s not too prescriptive, it’s important to be smartly dressed. They even refer to a Coco Chanel quote; “dress shabbily and they remember the dress, dress impeccably and they remember the woman”. 

It’s also important not to lose your dignity by drinking too much. We’ve all seen those “before and after” adverts. You’re paying a lot to look amazing on the day – you don’t want to ruin it by indulging too much. The last thing you want is to be photographed for all the wrong reasons. Have a great time by all means, but don’t take it too far. 

All in all, the Grand National has potential to be a fantastic day. Gather your girls, book those hair and make up appointments and have some real fun shopping!

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