The thing I love most about a day out at the races is that everyone gets dressed up to the nines, and there’s a real party atmosphere. And the good thing is that you can go several times a year – unlike weddings, where you are lucky to go once a year.
I love to dress up and if the sun is shining, the Pimms and champagne are flowing, it is just a fabulous all-round day out. And since York Races often combine a race day with a fantastic concert at the end of the day, it is just a perfect occasion to spend time with your partner or friends.
But what to wear? The problem in this country is that the weather is so unpredictable. The summer kicked off this year with rain, but then it brightened up and we had glorious weather for a couple of weeks, and now we’re back to rain again!
Who wants to be burdened with a rain mac when you’ve got on your gladrags??? And even worse, what happens to your gorgeously frivolous fascinator if it chucks it down?
If you’re lucky enough to go to Royal Ascot, there is a very distinct dress code – including the size of your hat or fascinator – and this varies between enclosures, so make sure you know what to expect. There’s no point forking out all that money if you’re then barred from your posh enclosure! The Royal Ascot website is very helpful, however, so make sure you have a look here before you visit.
The Queen often has one of those large Perspex umbrellas which cover her hat, but means you can still see her face – though I guess she has someone carry the pesky thing around for her!
Pashminas are always a great idea to take with you, since they double up as a shrug or scarf if it turns chilly – and Simply Devine has a large collection of silk and cashmere mix pashminas to help keep you snug.
Flat shoes are usually a safer option than four inch heels – unless you spend all day in the bar (not a good idea), otherwise your heels will get stuck in the grass, and worse still if they’re the silk or canvas kind, they will stain, and only be good enough for the bin (as our models above found out!).
Then of course there’s your hat, hatinator or fascinator. Most will not survive in the rain, but Simply Devine Hats does have a selection of lovely small shimmering crin fascinators which have a better chance of staying in one piece. These are slightly more hardy than the natural sinemay style (it looks a bit like woven straw and is made from the banana palm). Crin is man-made in polyester and is less likely to crush or stain if you’re caught in the wet. Plus we have some fabulous colours to choose from – and they come in all shapes, sizes and prices.
But hey, we’re used to the climate in this country so we ‘ll just get one with it, come rain or shine. Fingers crossed the weather will stay fine for you!