When is Cheltenham Festival Ladies’ Day 2023 and how did it start?

Each year on Cheltenham Festival Ladies’ Day, contestants flock to the racecourse in their most colorful dresses and elaborate hats for a fashion extravaganza.

The style spectacle falls on the second day of the festival, which this year begins on Tuesday (March 14). Ladies Day falls on Wednesday March 15th.

While there’s no obligation to dress smartly on Ladies’ Day, the long-standing tradition offers racegoers – particularly women – the opportunity to see and be seen in their best clothes and heels.

Members of the Royal Family are also fans of the day as the Princess Royal’s daughter Zara Tindall makes regular appearances at the festival alongside her husband Mike Tindall, as well as Queen Consort Camilla and Princess Anne.

Other celebrities who can be expected include model and TV presenter Rosie Tapner and ex-Love Island contestant Frankie Foster, both of whom have been named this year’s festival style ambassadors.

Last year fashion designer Jade Holland Cooper and her husband Julian Dunkerton, founder of Superdry, were spotted at the racetrack in stylish suits. TV host Carol Vorderman and reality stars Georgia Toffolo and Olivia Bentley are also frequent visitors.

Here’s everything you need to know about Cheltenham Festival Ladies’ Day:

How did Ladies’ Day start?

The origins of Ladies’ Days at racing can be traced back to Royal Ascot. But when racing began in the early 1700s, there was a dress code for men only, who were expected to wear black coats, white ties, and trousers to the races.

June 1922: Major and Mrs Hedges walk purposefully in their finery at Ascot

(Getty Images)

According to Ascot Racecourse, hats only became a must-have accessory on the racecourse in the 1830s when Queen Victoria wore a head covering (called a porter bonnet) to protect her face from onlookers.

Later it became a kind of community catwalk to present new trends and fashions. It wasn’t until 2012 that organizers decided that a formal style guide was needed for race-goers, which included rules for women’s clothing, such as hemlines that must be just above the knee or below, and straps on tops or dresses that are at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide have to be . Hats became a mandatory accessory, with strict rules as to what size they could be.

A couple sip champagne during Ladies Day on day three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse June 17, 2004


What is the dress code for Cheltenham Festival Ladies’ Day?

Unlike Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival is more relaxed and has no official dress code. It’s just official guidance on what to wear to “feel dressed to feel comfortable”.

Ladies Day fashion at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 11, 2020 in Cheltenham

(Getty Images)

However, it does contain some recommendations. The course advises to be prepared for the weather, which could change at any moment. Umbrellas and layers are highly recommended in changeable weather.

Fancy attire is recommended as it “adds color and fun to our race days”, but the course adds: “Please avoid inappropriate or offensive outfits as anything deemed vulgar or derogatory may be refused entry”.

According to Cheltenham Guides, jeans are not allowed on the racecourse and hats “are required”. However, there doesn’t seem to be any rules as to how big the hat needs to be.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/cheltenham-ladies-day-2023-when-b2300379.html When is Cheltenham Festival Ladies’ Day 2023 and how did it start?


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