How to survive ladies’ day
Ladies' day at the races - it's like going to a posh wedding but with more excitement than a bitch fight between the bridesmaids. Here's how to survive Sandown Park's most stylish race day.
If ever there was the perfect excuse to dress up, wear a swanky hat and drink fizz all day – it was ladies’ day at the races. And this year Sandown Park isn’t doing anything by halves on Ladies’ Day – on Fri 5 July.
It’s the first of the two-day Coral Summer Festival – billed as The Event of the Summer – and kicking of a summer of social fun. It’s gonna be HUGE! As well as the Ladies’ Day Style Awards, where the best dressed filly will win a seven-day holiday in beautiful Mauritius, there’s a fab day of racing to be had.
And as the racing draws to a close, the afternoon and evening continues with a live DJ set from Love Island: Aftersun DJs, The Mac Twins.
With that in mind, we give you the inside track on how to survive the hats, the heat and the horses.
1/ Don’t suffer for fashion
Wear an outfit that you can stand, sit and walk in all day and possibly into the evening. Comfort is key, but so is your dignity so don’t go too tight, too short or too low-cut. If can wear your outfit to a nightclub, it’s probably best to save it for Saturday night. And in windy weather, avoid flowing skirts – you don’t want to scare the horses, or the punters!
2/ Put your best foot forward
Choose your footwear carefully. You don’t want to shoehorn your feet into shoes that will leave your feet as pained as the inevitable post-Ladies’ Day hangover – no matter how pretty they look. Shoes with a block heel are a good idea for traversing the grassy areas, or use heel guards. It’s also wise to pack a pair of flip flops or fold-up ballet pumps for the walk home or to your transport. Your feet will thank you and you’ll still look dignified, even if you don’t feel it.
2/ Eating is not cheating
So start your day as you mean to go one – by eating breakfast or brunch. There’s no harm in starting your day with a glass of fizz, but try to resist having too much with your breakfast – and definitely don’t soak your fruit salad in it. Go for something good and hearty – a bacon and egg sarnie, ham and cheese croissant or, if you’re feeling virtuous, granola with greek yoghurt.
3/ And pace yourself
It seems obvious, I know, but drink too much too early and you may not see the last race, much less the DJ set. Water is your best friend here, so stay hydrated. It’ll prolong your day, and you’ll feel better for it the next day too.
4/ Have a flutter, but not too much
Put aside a gambling budget and stick to it – you don’t want to wake up to a money hangover on top of a bad head. And if you’re worried you might get carried away, take out as much cash as you’re prepared to lose and leave your cards at home.
5/ Be prepared
Take a brolly, a cardi and suncream and you’ll have most weather possibilities covered. Then tuck away some emergency cash – and, no, one more G&T is not an emergency! You might need it for a cab home.
6/ Keep your belongings close by.
It sounds obvious, but the races can be a busy place so don’t leave your purse or handbag lying around.
7/ BYO survival kit
As well as a mini version of your make-up bag (perfume, bronzer, mascara, concealer, lip gloss and mirror), the smart race-goer will also have assembled painkillers, plasters, safety pins, chewing gum and a portable phone charger.
Ladies’ Day at Sandown Park Racecourse is on Fri 5 July. Gates open at noon, first race at 1.20pm, last race at 5.15pm, live DJ set in the Grandstand shortly after the last race.
Sandown Park Racecourse, Portsmouth Road Esher Surrey KT10 9AJ