What Are You Wearing To Epsom?

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There’s no such thing as ‘too dressed up’ for Ladies Day at Epsom - it's a quintessentially British affair after all. 

In the Queens stand on Ladies Day, Friday 3rd June, you’re expected to dress as if you were having tea (or perhaps champagne) with Her Majesty. So, bring out your finery. 

The official dress code dictates: "Jeans, sports shoes, denim or fancy dress are not acceptable" – in other words, Epsom is the occasion to get your gladrags on. 

From scene-stealing hats to track-to-dancefloor shoes, follow our style cheat sheet to wow the crowds - and shop everything you need to impress at our dedicated Epsom store… 

For The Ladies…

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Start From The Top

When the dress code states: "Ladies are asked to wear a fascinator or hat", it’s not a request. Wearing a headpiece is your sartorial duty to Queen and country.
 
DJ and presenter Vogue Williams, who is judging the prestigious Investec Derby Festival Style Award 2016 prize, says: “A statement headpiece that reflects the style of the person wearing it can lift any outfit from standard, to stand out.”
 
Try a Kate Middleton-style pill box hat (she knows a thing or two about impressing the Queen) or show off your style credentials with a bespoke design

Outfit sorted: Pick up a designer hat or fascinator at a snip

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Dress Up

You don’t need to go head-to-toe in labels to make the right impression.

Mix and match high street brands like the ever-reliable Zara and luxe-on-a-budget Whistles with designer pieces from French powerhouse Chanel and always chic Victoria Beckham for chic on a shoestring. 

Spring’s floral prints and pastel trends are perfect for the races. Opt for luxe fabrics with embroidery or a metallic sheen to raise your style game, and think demure – the highest hemline at Epsom should fall just above the knee. 

While dresses are an easy win, teaming a full skirt with a silk top in a clashing print will ensure no-one turns up wearing the same outfit. 

Outfit sorted: Check out our collection of royal enclosure-worthy dresses  

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Choose The Right Shoes

“Stick with what looks great on you, and above all be comfortable,” advises Vogue. So unless you’re a seasoned wearer of the classic stiletto, and going out simply isn’t going out without it, consider flat shoes

Pointed ballet pumps with an embellished toe or a gladiator sandal hit the smart note without leaving you blistered. Hobbling is only for lame horses after all.  

Outfit sorted: Find your perfect pair of race-going shoes

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Go Hands-Free

As you’re likely to be juggling a drink, food, betting slips and your phone (without Instagram, how will everyone know you’re having an amazing time?), go hands free.

Now, just because looping a bag over your shoulder makes it easy to carry, don’t be tempted to go big.

A crossbody bag should be absolutely no bigger than an iPad – it’s the perfect size to pack your phone, money, ticket, keys, sunglasses and make-up. And it won’t dominate your outfit, especially if you choose a bag with a chain-link strap that complements your jewellery.

Outfit sorted: Complete your look with a head-turning handbag
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Don't Forget The Finishing Touches

If the forecast is gloomy, you need a sleek top layer as winds can whip around the racecourse. 

The elegant answer is a flattering-for-all-shapes opera coat – a loose-fitting cloak of luxurious fabric like satin, brocade or velvet. Match its length to your hemline, and experiment with oversize or slim-fitting styles to find what suits you best.  

Outfit sorted: Shop our selection of head-turning formal coats

For Gentlemen…

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Suit Yourself

On Ladies Day, the dress code specifies that men must wear a jacket, collar and tie.
 
Style stipulates adding a waistcoat too – and keeping it the same colour as the rest of your suit. Charcoal, drainpipe or any other 50 shades of grey are a good bet. 

Rules get strict in the Queens Stand: “Either black or grey morning dress, service dress or full national costume is obligatory.” And no, “full national costume” is not carte blanche to bust out a Beefeater outfit, because then you swerve into fancy dress territory, which is forbidden. Morning suit it is then. 

Outfit sorted: Place your bets on our selection of race day ready suits
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Add A Hat

In the Queen's Stand, a classic top hat is part of the official dress code.

Look to Prince William for inspiration – he’s an experienced wearer of top hats, and not just since his hair started thinning. For the novice, the brim of your hat should be horizontal to the ground and sit about half an inch above the ear – think high rather than low on your head.
 
Elsewhere on the track, hats aren’t essential wear. But if you want to embrace the occasion from head to toe, consider a wide brim fedora or classic trilby with an indented crown, worn low over the eyebrows.

Outfit sorted: Check out our selection of box-fresh top hats
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Don’t Put A Foot Wrong

Smart black shoes are considered more formal than brown, so they are essential for the Queen's stand.

‘Dress shoes’ have become an umbrella term for black shoes, but not all of them are sufficiently smart to meet the Queen – search for black Oxfords and you’re winning. 

The dress code is more relaxed in other areas, so you may prefer brown shoes – a nice touch which adds a bit of country chic to your outfit. Oxfords are appropriate again here, though brogues will work equally well.

Outfit sorted: Put your best foot forward with our pick of the best formal shoes
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Accessorise For Success

Assuming you’re going to win big (of course you are), you need a proper wallet.

The last thing you want to do is stuff wads of £20s into your pockets and fall victim to a stiff wind. 

So, a stylish leather wallet is a must. Before you buy, check it’s small enough to slip into your pocket with dislocating a finger or ruining the line of your suit. 

Outfit sorted: Shop the best accessories for a winning race day ensemble
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Looking For More Race Day Inspiration?

Whether you're off to Goodwood or soaking up the atmosphere at Ascot, we've got you covered. Visit  eBay's Day at the Races store for all those race-day fashion essentials.

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