As most race fans will tell you, there is nothing quite like Cheltenham. It's one of racing’s most outstanding events and often referred to as the jewel in jump racing’s crown.
Nestled in the breathtaking Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire, the Festival’s setting is idyllic. And it’s been held there since 1911. Whether you’ve been numerous times, or you’re a complete novice, you truly are in for a treat. The Festival is as renowned for style as it is for racing, so it’s a great opportunity to get dressed up. It’s also the perfect event for people watching, and spotting celebrities and royals is near guaranteed!
What to wear
While the dress code is not as formal as Royal Ascot, ‘smart’ is expected and Cheltenham is a major player in the fashion stakes. So elegant outfits are the way to go, balanced with practical pieces to combat the unpredictable March weather. Think classic tall boots, sophisticated knitwear and warm, covetable coats. And hats are very, very much encouraged!
At Hicks & Brown, we design all of our hats to be unique and versatile, so whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong. But with four days of racing excellence ahead, here are our tips and favourites to see you through Cheltenham in style.
The Festival opens with Champion Day and as our Baker Boy caps and the Oxley Fedora combine style with practicality both styles will get you off to a good start.
Our Baker Boy caps lend an edge to any look, and the English tweed Felsham is a winning racetrack look for men. In charcoal, green or russet, it's a distinctive, cool and an easy way to upgrade an outfit. The best way to wear it is to choose a shade that contrasts with the rest of your look. Alternatively, the Hengrave Baker Boy is a modern, sporty style that’s a saviour on rainy days. In olive or navy, this sleek cap ticks form and function and goes with just about everything.
But if you’re planning on making an entrance, the Oxley fedora is a great choice. This striking wide-brimmed style is impactful and an effortless finishing touch to any look. It can even shield you from the early afternoon sun or a light shower - you never know what you’re going to get at this time of year!
Welcome to Ladies Day when it's time to take your style, and your hat, up a level with eye-catching details and bright colours. As formal hats are a mainstay on Ladies Day, the Beaumont perfectly meets the occasion with its flourish of feathers and antique brass pin.
It’s easy to wear, just sweep your hair into a neat style with a touch of product that adds shine. Then place the Beaumont on the top of your head using the discreet piece of elastic to keep it securely in place. The Beaumont pairs perfectly with a cocktail dresses, trousers suits or classic coats. Choose from Fuschia or Teal and get ready for compliments!
Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day when Irish race fans (and Guinness) are out in force. So it’s the perfect day to sport one of our green hats. For men, the Hengrave Baker Boy in Olive is the obvious choice. For women we’d suggest our show-stopping Chelsworth fedora. In Olive Green with a velvet green trim and distinctive cluster of coque and pheasant feathers, this resplendent hat adds poise to any outfit. Pair it with the green Chelsworth clutch and you’re ready to go!
It’s the last day of the festival, so go out in style in a formal hat. The Wissington is a pill-box design that nods to retro elegance and makes any outfit dressy - if you have Club Enclosure tickets it’s the perfect choice! The netting can be worn just over the hat. For a “chic entrance” (and any photos) wear it down in front of your eyes. It’s comfortable and comes in three sophisticated shades; camel, navy or cranberry. And as net veils were a talking point at the Spring/Summer ’22 shows, this is a style that’s in demand for spring.
The Hicks & Brown team will be exhibiting throughout the Festival and we’d love to see you! We’re on stand 53, in the Shopping Village, so come and say hello. The team will be on hand to help you try on hats and to offer tips. We can also point you in the direction of other wonderful independent brands at the show.