Last year Image Consultant and Coach, Kate Evans shared her race wear tips with us.  The article was such a success that we've asked her to provide the low-down on latest fashion and in season colours for The Festival 2020.  Keep reading if you wish to look effortlessly fabulous while placing your bets at Cheltenham Racecourse this year...

So what do you wear to the races if you aren’t into tweed and fur? These staple styles are a much-loved uniform of racegoers to Cheltenham as they are practical and timeless. However, for some people they want a different look; possibly one that gives more of a nod to fashion and current trends as well items that can be worn in other situations apart from to cheer on the horses.

Before you start making your wish list of what to buy there are definitely some major practical elements you have to take into consideration if you are going to enjoy your day at the races...

  1. Cheltenham Racecourse is usually about 10 degrees colder than other areas of the country. The racecourse is located at the bottom of the hill and is exposed- so be prepared to wear thermals and warm clothes!
  2. You will be on your feet a lot – either walking to/from the course from Cheltenham town centre and around the racecourse areas itself.
  3. People make an effort with their outfits - in all their different styles. So go prepared to err on the smarter side of fashion.

With these practical considerations in mind I feel my outfit comes down to few key elements...


Essential so you don’t have to go dressed in a massive puffa jacket in order to keep the cold out. They are easy to get hold of at all the usual places- M&S, John Lewis, Amazon,

A stunning coat

This is what people are going to see most of.  Unless you are going into the hospitality areas- you are unlikely to take it off the entire day. So you need to make it a good one.  Here are a few of my favourte brands I show to clients when coat shopping:

Christie collarless coat

Christie Collarless Coat


An amazing colour for those of you with dark, warm colouring…mustard is a colour to wear to show confidence. Seeing as it's collarless it lends itself to being able to wear a fabulous scarf or fur collar with it to keep out the chill. It would look amazing both at the races, out for lunch or worn casually with jeans so you know you could get your monies worth out if it.


I love the simplicity of this coat and it's definitely a style that doesn’t scream “races” so it would be great if you want to be able to wear it for lots of different occasions. It’s a boxy style so would be good for those of you who are bottom heavy as it will make your top half look bigger.

Jigsaw jacket

Double Face Kimono Jacket:

Miranda Dunn

Miranda is an independent designer who makes THE most amazing fur coats. They are SO warm - it is like you are wrapped in a fur rug! They are stunning and so well made so will last for years. I would wear mine with some skinny leather trousers and cropped ankle boots to finish off the look, but it would work equally well over a silk tea dress as it is so warm.

Miranda Dunn coat

Long Leopard Coat


*Currently running a pop up shop at John Lewis Cheltenham.

I love the style of these coats as they are cut beautifully and offer a real timeless elegance. The range comes in a classic tweed check but they also cut in fabrics too – so for those of you who want the cut but without the traditional tweed check- these are a wear options are much broader as the look is more versatile. I just love this navy version:

Tweed trench coat

Tweed Trench Coat

Great accessories

I’m thinking big rings, a great hat and a statement bag…all of these items will dress up a classic outfit and make it feel more current.

Cotton and Gems 

This brand have a fabulous range of different jewellery brands to chose from.  I love these styles...

Coloured lobster earrings

Coloured Lobster Earings

Neptune ring

Black and Sigi Neptune Ring

The rest of your outfit could be really simple so that you let the earrings or your ring do all the talking.

A good hat is a must and these ones from Miler and Drake offer a real splash of colour with a pom-pom or two!


Fedora: £85

Statement bag

A statement bag is also another style option to help you feel fully dressed. Meg and Bee let you chose your bag and strap - meaning you can make as much or as little statement as you want.

Meg and Bee statement bag

Meg and Bee

Anthropology bag

Or you could go more delicate and neutral if the rest of your outfit is doing the talking. This one is from Anthropology.


Footwear is really down to preference - heals or flats, tall or short, warm or drafty!

I love anything from Keith Scarrott - they make the BEST knee-high boots for slim or fuller calves and their ankle boots pack a serious amount of personality.

Prozzolo boots

How fabulous are these Prozzolo Boots – currently in the sale…so grab them quick!

Tuscan chelsea

Tuscan Chelsea boot

Classic but updated with the snakeskin texture, so useful and also in the sale!



And if you wish to be brave and not wear boots, these shoes were made to make a statement….a stunning colour and such a flattering style due to the pointed toe - which always helps to make your legs look longer!

Final words - What to wear for the races... 

I hope I have given you some inspiration of colours that are great for the season as well as ideas for race-outfit purchases that can be worn to many different occasions, therefore, giving more value for money.

A little more info about Kate...

Kate has been an Image Consultant and Coach for the past 15 years - working in London, the Cotswolds and for international clients. Her expertise lies in knowing how to help people feel good about themselves; in how they dress, feel and live their lives. She works with private individuals as well as within companies and for fashion brands and she now has a private membership group where you can receive her help and support through styling videos, blogs and live Q&A sessions - all for a fraction of the cost of a private consultation. For more information please see her website:

For more race wear inspiration check out...

Top 5 tips for ladies race wear style

Top 5 tips for men's race wear style

Hats perfect for the races for hire at John Lewis Cheltenham


The Cheltenham Festival
Horse Racing
The Cheltenham Festival. 16 - 19 March 2021

Cheltenham Racecourse presents the jump racing event of the year - The Cheltenham Festival 15 - 18 March 2022

Cheltenham Racecourse
Venue Provider
Cheltenham Racecourse

The venue for 16 race meetings, featuring The Festival in March and The November Meeting, plus conference, events, Sunday market & music festivals.

'Hot to Trot' Beauty Mornings at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham
'Hot to Trot' Beauty Mornings at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham

2020 RACE-READY BEAUTY HALL Open from 8am, your favourite beauty brands are all set to bring the glam this Race Week with the ultimate beauty looks, taking you effortlessly from the course to cocktails.

Hats for hire for the races at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham
Free Event
Hats for hire for the races at John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham

John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham welcomes Cotswold milliner Jessica Anstey Designs to its new ground floor pop-up space.



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