A true fashionista loves a chance to strut her stuff, and unfortunately most of us can’t do it at actual fashion events. That is to say, fashion shows are fairly exclusive, and you don’t get an invite to New York’s Met Gala or the Cannes Film Festival just because you have a nice wardrobe. But this is one reason we have so many festivals and other like events! Many of them call for a bit of flashy style, and that makes them perfect for the fashionistas among us.
These are four of the best events in the UK for anyone who falls into this category. Oddly, several of them deal with sporting occasions, but they’re at least partially meant for dressing up anyway!
1. The Cheltenham Festival
The UK has its fair share of horse racing events, but none can quite match the fun and intensity of Cheltenham. Taking place in mid-March every year it consists of four days of celebrations and races, with the activity around the racecourse almost taking centre stage. It’s said that the Cheltenham Festival epitomises the sport, with drama and intrigue in great supply, and to be clear you should absolutely take advantage of this. Even if you’ve never seen a horse race in your life, it’s fun to get caught up in the drama. However, the real fun for a lot of spectators is the fashion element to it all. As with many major horse races, making a statement with your outfit is part of the fun here – particularly on the second day, which is known as “Ladies Day” and invites over-the-top, high-fashion attire. Naturally, the traditional “derby hats” are the highlight.
2. The Chelsea Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show in London is about as delightful as a public event can get. It’s now been going on for a little over 100 years, and is now renowned by horticulturalists as one of the greatest flower shows in the world. Even the Royals sometimes attend! You can basically expect to head to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, dressed in your most fashionable attire, and see all kinds of incredibly assembled floral demonstrations. Many people go during the day, but you can have an even more enjoyable (and more high-class) experience by paying slightly more for the evening show, which features additional displays as well as live music.
As mentioned, a lot of the high fashion annual events in London and around the UK seem to revolve around sport. We’re not even mentioning additional horse races like the Grand National and in particular the Royal Ascot, which is a little stuffy but certainly ideal for anyone looking to dress up. Wimbledon stands out even among fashionable sporting occasions, however, as an excellent chance to show off some of the best your wardrobe has to offer. The world’s most prestigious tennis tournament is famous for its manicured appearance. The grass of the courts is neatly cut, the net posts are almost ornamental, the players are required to wear only white… even the towel tend to be in high demand, to the point that players even steal them! It’s actually not mandatory that fans dress up, and you’ll see plenty in casual attire. But particularly at big matches you can get away with very stylish looks, and you’ll either fit in
or stand out in the best of ways. You may even get a compliment from Anna Wintour, the global fashion icon who’s made it a habit of attending Roger Federer’s live matches.
4. Henley Regatta
Technically this is yet another sporting occasion, though really the Henley Regatta is almost more of a social event at this point. An annual River Thames rowing event that has taken place for well over 150 years, it’s about as distinctly British as an event can get. And it’s become fairly traditional for spectators to dress up a bit, not just to watch the boats go by but to mingle and enjoy some nice summer weather outside. It’s sort of casual in concept but strangely defined in practice.