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I’m a fashion expert – what NOT to wear to the races and the major wardrobe disasters spotted at Cheltenham

HORSE RACING returns to its pre-pandemic glory, with thousands of bettors descending on the Cheltenham Festival this week.

With VIPs like that Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and US rocker Courtney Love travel there is no surprise Racegoers dress up for the occasion.

Reality star Georgia Toffolo went OTT in a tweed mini dress with a rah rah skirt, pointed shoulders and voluminous cuffs

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Reality star Georgia Toffolo went OTT in a tweed mini dress with a rah rah skirt, pointed shoulders and voluminous cuffs
Penny Lancaster took to the circuit in camel suede trousers and a matching plaid jacket, coordinated with husband Rod Stewart

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Penny Lancaster took to the circuit in camel suede trousers and a matching plaid jacket, coordinated with husband Rod StewartCredit: INSTAGRAM/SIR RODNEY
A nod to riding style is fine, but you'll often see people dressed head-to-toe in tweed or wearing Peaky Blinders-style flat caps

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A nod to riding style is fine, but you’ll often see people dressed head-to-toe in tweed or wearing Peaky Blinders-style flat capsPhoto credit: BackGrid

But many fall at the first fence.

If it’s not nude fishnet dresses with embellishments that would give the Strictly dancers a run for their money, then it’s tartan leggings or disastrous headgear.

Even celebs like it Penny Lancaster Got it wrong. She took to the track in camel suede breeches and a matching plaid jacket, coordinated with husband Rod Stewart.

While reality star Georgia Toffolo went OTT in a tweed mini dress with a rah rah skirt, pointed shoulders and voluminous cuffs.

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Years ago, gentlemen wore top hats and tails to compete in the races, while ladies wore long dresses with hats large enough to be seen from space.

But now our idea of ​​dressing up for the occasion has changed a bit.

And the result on race day is one of two trends – Toffy Tweed or Night on the Town.

The morning starts well with a blow-dry, gin in a can on the train, giggles with the girls. We could even put on a fascinator.

But somewhere along the way, things often go horribly wrong. Don’t forget it’s March.

We brave the British elements – in the middle of a field – and are often propelled by sparkling water.

A quick look at the herd present Cheltenham this week and you will see bare legs, boobs and dresses grazing butt.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed many happy days at racetracks – and I’m not saying you shouldn’t dress up.

We need every excuse we can find to put on a fancy dress after the past few years.

But most of the time I wear a knee-length dress with long sleeves, a midi coat in case the sky is open, and pumps with a small heel.

Oh, and I always take a sturdy umbrella. It’s a foolproof formula. And it has led to the fact that at the end of the day I’ve never stood in battered flip-flops, in a dress soaked in rain and prosecco, and with false eyelashes halfway down my cheeks.

It should go without saying that dresses need to cover your butt – ideally knee length or longer.

Coats should be tailored as a nod to the grandeur and elegance of the day.

And shoes should stay on your feet. All day. So make sure it’s comfortable.

Another rule of thumb is to never wear white. Keep in mind that you’ll be crammed in with hundreds of people and need to eat and drink — that means ample opportunity for spillage.

I’ll never forget the pictures of a 2019 client spilling red wine all over her white jumpsuit.

Her friends got creative and decided to drench the entire PrettyLittleThing outfit with the remains of the bottle to create a tie-dye look.

Zara Tindall always gets it right, like this year's black pumps and slim-fit trousers

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Zara Tindall always gets it right, like this year’s black pumps and slim-fit trousersCredit: Paul Edwards The Sun
A quick look at the herd attending Cheltenham this week and you'll see bare legs, open breasts and dresses grazing butts

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One quick look at the herd attending Cheltenham this week and you’ll see bare legs, open breasts and dresses grazing buttsPhoto credit: Rex

Instead, just think of your coat – not only because of the unpredictable weather, but should you squirt ketchup on the front from a hamburger, you can tuck yourself in too.

When it comes to shoes, sandals are an absolute no-go. They’re great for dizzying glamour, but not for being outdoors all day. Try a wedge heel or closed-toe pumps with a small, chunky heel for extra support and comfort under the balls of your feet.

Zara Tindall always gets it right, like this year’s black pumps and slim-fit trousers.

COUNTRY BUMPKIN TRY-HARD

Don’t be one of those country bumpkins either.

A nod to riding style is fine, but you’ll often see people dressed head-to-toe in tweed or wearing Peaky Blinders-style flat caps.

Typical cases this year – TV presenter Richard Hammond in a tweed suit and a singer ronan keatings Mrs. Storm with cap. Ladies, leave that look to the boys and wear a sophisticated hat for the day.

The rules are simple: if you have a broad face, look for fascinators or hats with height.

For a narrow or long face, try a wide hat for balance.

Sophie Wessex always manages to get her headwear perfect and she keeps the tweed subdued. The poshest of the posh, like royals, opt for floral prints or statement checks instead.

Last but not least, the best-dressed ascots always pay attention to their breasts.

I understand. If you have them, flaunt them. But not too much.

Tastefully show off the crease of a cleavage and leave everything else to the imagination. Showing off your full bust is something that should be reserved for the comfort of your home or a night on the train.

While it’s too late for this year’s Cheltenham revelers, there’s still plenty of time to get it right for the remainder of the racing year.

Many may scoff at Royal Ascot’s strict dress code, but it means those equine couture howlers are avoided.

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My advice, whether in the royal enclosure or in the stands, celebrate dressing up.

But remember – keep your heels low and your standards high, you fine fillies.

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/17975106/cheltenham-festival-fashion-what-not-to-wear/ I’m a fashion expert – what NOT to wear to the races and the major wardrobe disasters spotted at Cheltenham

Dais Johnston

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