The Punchestown Festival is one of the main racing festivals in the Irish National Hunt Calendar for both the racing and style stakes. This year there is a phenomenal overall prize up for grabs for best dressed lady, sponsored by Bollinger, as well as a prize for everyday. You can view the full prize list here on the Punchestown website. I’m delighted to announce that I will be on Thursday’s judging panel along with RTÉ’s Bláthnaid Treacy, Milliner Derek Montgomery and Paula Geraghty wife of top jockey Barry Geraghty. In today’s blog post I’m giving some tips that I hope will help you when deciding what to wear.
This is something that applies to all areas off fashion, not just racing – dress for the event! Punchestown can be a difficult one because of the time of year it falls, it’s hard to gauge the weather. At this time of year I opt for layering – that way if it is warm or cold you are prepared. It’s also Spring so perhaps start injecting some colour into your style, even if it’s cold you could go with a statement coat or jacket.
Comfort is key at the races. It can be a very long day, especially if you’re walking around. Make sure your entire outfit is comfortable, you’ll enjoy your day a lot more.
Hats & Fascinators
With so many great milliners in Ireland there are plenty of options. I have selected some of my favourites below, which include Alison Roe Millinery, Hats Amore and Ger Hennessy Hats & Fascinators. Just click on the images to be redirected to their respective websites. For Ladies Day if you want to compete a hat/fascinator is a must, from my experience you won’t be a contender without one.
Accessories have many functions and are great to have fun with. If you invest in a simple piece like a black dress accessories are going to help you wear it in many ways. A chunky belt, statement necklace, a fur stole, a brooch – your options are endless. Attention to detail is key and accessories can really catch the eye.
Referencing back to the comfort point, comfortable shoes/boots will help you enjoy your day. Also take into account what areas of the racetrack you will be accessing. Will you be accessing the parade ring which is usually grass? Is it wet? – Mind your suede heels/boots!
Don’t Be Afraid To Get Creative
Ireland is renowned for it’s creativity and designers, with more and more coming through the ranks everyday. If you are interested in the area of design/millinery don’t be afraid to use this opportunity to showcase your talent. You never know what’s waiting around the corner.
This is my last point and like the above these apply to most events not just the races. Confidence is key! Walk tall and carry your outfit, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!
A day at the races is great fun, put on a few bets and get involved in the action. Also try and have your tickets, car parking etc. sorted before the day, it all helps…and finally enjoy! Hope to see you there x