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There is no set dress code for The Festival™ but we ask customers to dress for the weather, take some inspiration from our Style Guide below.

Fancy dress is permitted as long as the outfit is not offensive and we reserve the right to decline entry should the need arise. Please note, fancy dress is not permitted in the Club enclosure.

Please note: Two-thirds of our car parks are on grass, including most public car parks, so please do bear this in mind and wear suitable footwear for the conditions.

Your guide to Festival fashion with The Festival™ Style Ambassador Rosie Tapner


Cheltenham Racecourse is the Home of Jump Racing and The Festival™ is home to some of the finest racing in the world. And with the finest racing comes the finest fashion. We caught up with model and TV presenter Rosie Tapner, this year’s Style Ambassador, to talk all things Festival fashion. From what’s in and what’s out, Festival must haves and first timer tips. So whether you’re a Cheltenham veteran or a race day rookie, we’ve got you covered.


Raceday Style

When it comes to Festival trends. There’s a lot to think about. The perfect hat, the right shoes, the list goes on. But Rosie says it’s all down to you. ‘My favourite thing about the Cheltenham Festival style is that it’s very much up to the individual and how they like to dress. And it’s timeless. So if you’ve been before, you’ve probably got the perfect outfit tucked away in your wardrobe.’


With so much to see and do at The Festival, lots of walking is inevitable. That’s why Rosie says ‘comfort comes before anything.’ And while style is personal, there are some safer options for race day. ‘No stilettos or super-high heeled shoes. I’d opt for a long boot, either flat or with a small heel. With hats, the fedora is the perfect choice. It’s classic, warm and far less likely to blow away than a big fancy hat!’

There are endless outfit choices for The Festival. There’s the bright and bold, the simple but sophisticated and the comfy countryside glam. ‘For me it’s all about the tweed, a splash of colour and layers. Paired with a comfy pair of boots and a nice hat. I’m a country girl at heart so Cheltenham is perfect for my style! It’s all about country wear and combining style with comfort.’

Planning your outfit for Cheltenham is all part of the experience. But it can be overwhelming with so much to choose from. Especially for first-timers. Thankfully, there’s space for everyone’s fashion flair at The Festival. ‘It’s unlike any other festival. It’s extremely inclusive when it comes to style so you never have to worry about if you’ve got the dress code right. You’ll most likely have the perfect outfit in your wardrobe already without having to break the bank to find something new.’ And in case you’re still hunting for ideas. Here’s what Rosie says will make you a festival hit. ‘A smart pair of trousers, some long boots, a nice jumper - I always go for a roll neck jumper - a tweed jacket and finally top it off with a hat. But most of all, dress for the weather! It can be cold at Cheltenham and there’s nothing worse than having to sit inside all day because you didn’t layer up.’

If you really want to nail festival fashion then there’s some things you just can’t go without. We asked Rosie what her top three must haves are. ‘Gosh, only three?! For me, number one is a warm, heavy coat and layers. The Festival is so much fun but you need that coat in the Cheltenham cold.’


Along with fighting off the chilliness of Cheltenham, there’s also a sure way to keep your feet happy during race day. ‘The right shoes. Sturdy, comfy, all weather boots for me. You don’t want to be with your friends complaining about your feet hurting all day!’


Last but not least, Rosie’s top three is finished off with the perfect accessory. ‘A good bag! This is actually quite underrated. But a good bag that’s not too big to carry your essentials like your phone, your race card - any money that you might win! - and some extra layers. I always have a scarf and some blister plasters just in case.’

While it’s true, The Festival is inclusive of everyone’s style. There are some things to steer clear of to get the best out of your time in Cheltenham. ‘This is quite an obvious one but I’m going to say it anyway: Stilettos.’ Comfortable shoes are in Rosie’s must-haves after all. And with all that walking in one day, it’s the best way to avoid sore feet.


‘Another one, light and airy dresses. It’s the middle of March and though it can be warm at Cheltenham it’s probably going to be a few degrees colder than everywhere else. So no light and airy dresses that might float up! And I’d always have tights on because my other fashion no-go is bare legs. Tights, trousers, you can wear a skirt but nothing too short. You want to be classy at Cheltenham. Plus, if it’s windy there’s nothing worse to be wearing than a short skirt.

You don’t get very far without spotting a glamorous hat at Cheltenham. It’s festival fashion epitomised. But how do you choose the right one? ‘For me, it’s something smart and understated. And something very country! You don’t need anything particularly fancy at Cheltenham at all. I love a simple fedora with some feathers.’


But it doesn’t have to be just hats. ‘This year, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more headbands. They’re super easy to wear, keep your hair out of your face and are less likely to blow away if it’s windy so I’m all for the headband! And you can get really lovely ones with feathers and all sorts which end up looking like a beautiful hat but much easier to wear.’

There are a number of fabulous brands where you can get everything you need for a day at the races. Here are some brands for those who aren’t sure where to start or what to wear. ‘I’d recommend these brands! I will always include John Lewis as it’s the place to go to get the full outfit – top to toe!’

  • Boodles
  • Fairfax & Favor
  • The Deck
  • Hicks & Brown
  • Holland Cooper
  • Dubarry
  • John Lewis


People are as unique as their fashion. And Cheltenham welcomes that. That’s why we get the best of everything and everyone in one place. From the wacky and wonderful to the bold and beautiful. Fashion means something different to everyone.


And for Rosie, ‘‘It means classy, warm, comfortable and most of all being yourself. One thing about the Cheltenham Festival is that it’s for everyone. You don’t have to fall into a dress code and be the same as everyone else, you can very much make it your own. So turn up, be comfy, be yourself, be warm and enjoy yourself!’

We’ve got Four Extraordinary days of racing from Tuesday 15th to Friday 18th March 2022. And now you’ve got all the fashion insider tips to look extraordinary, too. We can’t wait to welcome you. See you there.

The traditional Style Award will not be taking place this year, with instead £5000 being donated to WellChild, the Official Charity Partner of The Festival 2022.

The Festival™ 2023

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Tuesday 14 - Friday 17 March 2023

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