The winners’ enclosures

Floral dress at Robinson's of Bawtry.
Floral dress at Robinson's of Bawtry.
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The racing fashion season starts this week with the first heat in the huntfor best-dressed female race-goer of the year. Stephanie Smith has tips for winning form.

There is seldom a racing certainty as far as the fashion is concerned. The going might be good to firm for the horses, but the grass can play havoc with the heels. As for the wind and the rain... well, it’s a wonder that anyone ever came up with the idea of creating competitions for the best dressed women at Ladies’ Day meets.

But come up with it they did – and the women race-goers of Yorkshire rise to the challenge every year.

The search for this year’s Go Racing Best Dressed Yorkshire Lady Racegoer begins at the Wetherby race meet this Thursday, May 30, so make sure you pull out all the style stops if you want to be considered. There tends to be a wide variety of outfit in the line-up for the grand finale at the end of the season, from the elegant to the avant-garde, but statement and one-off looks are a dead cert. If you want to take part, this is probably not one of those occasions when less is more.

Hats are expected, no matter how windy the conditions, although you might get away with a sturdy fascinator. This season, look out for Twenties’ style cloche hats and large flower motif sequin fascinators, as the love affair with Gatsby trends continues, but your outfit will need to be in keeping, so try Deco and flapper styles. Sixties’ style shift dresses will also work well, so try whites and metallics. Steer clear of spiky heels (this ought to be a given) and instead try chunky platform sandals and wedges, to keep you from sinking into the grass.

Stripes are also ideal for the races, whether you go for stick-of-rock candy or bold black and white, while floral dresses are simply perfect, especially if you look out for huge, luscious, tropical blooms. Men can choose a floral pocket square or tie to keep the theme going – perfect matching is not necessary.

There will be more chances to shine in the preliminary heats taking place throughout the county over the summer, including at Ripon (June 20); Redcar, (June 22); Pontefract (August 7); Beverley (August 14); Catterick (August 16); York (August 22); Thirsk (September 7); Doncaster (September 12).

The grand finale will take place in Doncaster on October 26.

Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ