Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to be invited to assist the beautiful and highly regarded Marietta Doran judge the ‘Best Dress Lady’ competition at Gowran Park Racecourse. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and we were so lucky with the weather. The style was elegant, chic and classic – we had a tough task at hand. The prize, sponsored by MacDonagh Juntion Shopping Centre & Lyrath Estate Hotel, was phenomenal. This event sparked the idea of doing a ‘Ladies Day Top Tips’ post which I thought might come in handy for those of you planning to attend the likes of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and Galway Races.
A Hat/Fascinator Is A Must!
In my opinion there is nothing more elegant than a well-made hat or fascinator and I would always opt for one. Also, a tip I learned at Gowran on Saturday was that most ladies day judges usually won’t consider you for the competition if you’re not wearing either a hat or fascinator. So, ladies if you want to be in the mix for those fabulous prizes get searching.
A day at the races is a long day. I arrived at Gowran at around 11:30am and didn’t take my heels off until 6pm that evening, that was before a night on the tiles was even considered – which is usually the next port of call after leaving the races.
Research The Event
This is really important especially if you are attending the likes of Royal Ascot. Ascot’s website in the lead up to the famous meeting run excellent videos with attire guidelines, see here. These are great to look at when attending any ladies days, not just Royal Ascot. Also research the event on the racecourse website as some ladies days can be themed. It would be a shame to be looking your best but can’t enter because you didn’t follow the guidelines.
(L-R) Trish O’Brien (winner of Best Dressed), Liz Maher, Moira O’Toole,
Ann Marie Phelan & Laura Harte
Race Appropriate Dress
As I mentioned above the videos Ascot Racecourse run on their website are brilliant! I think nothing too skimpy, something comfortable, but an outfit you can still have fun styling. Keep it fresh, colourful for summer and let it reflect your style.
Gowran Park Ladies Day in my opinion would be the ideal ladies day to attend if you’ve never been to one before. The atmosphere was relaxed, there was a marquee if it rained which also had a make up stand should you need a touch up, and a complimentary glass of bubbly was on offer. Hope these tips help and you find some Ladies Day inspiration. See you at the Derby!