Fashion at the Grand National Meeting

Everyone has heard of the Grand National. It’s one of the world’s most famous horse races – and most certainly the world’s best-known steeplechase. But what many people don’t realise is that the race is the pinnacle event of three days’ racing at the famous Aintree racecourse near Liverpool in England.

The Aintree Festival begins on Thursday April 6th this year, and each day of the meeting includes some top races. But what’s most interesting to fashionistas is day two of the meeting. This is “Ladies’ Day” at the Grand National Festival meeting, and it’s the place to see and be seen in your finery.

There’s even a Ladies’ Day Style Award which goes to the smartest ladies’ outfit as selected by judges on the day. The winner comes away with £43,000 worth of prizes this year, so it’s worth seeking out that special outfit.


But a big word of warning here: this isn’t Royal Ascot, which is held at the height of summer and almost always guaranteed to be warm and sunny. In April in the North West of England, the weather can do pretty much anything. Beautiful bright sunny days and snowstorms are both possibilities at this time of year, so dress appropriately once you’ve seen the weather forecast.

So for racing fans, what are the odds for Grand National Ladies Day 2017? Well, there are seven top class races to choose from on the day. If you had to pick one out as the feature race of the day it would probably be the Topham Handicap Chase, for which Seefood and Go Conquer are joint favorites at the moment. This race is run over the world famous Grand National course obstacles, including The Chair, Becher’s Brook and the Canal Turn. This makes it a superb spectacle each Ladies’ Day.

If you’re having a wager, though, don’t necessarily go for the favorite. Last year’s winner Eastlake came in at 22-1 in this handicap race – and it can be more fun to back a long-shot.


As for what to wear on the day, choose your outfit carefully depending on the weather, as we’ve said. There have been plenty of fashion howlers over the years on Ladies’ Day at Aintree – but it’s generally all good-natured fun and much more free and easy than the aforementioned Royal Ascot. The ladies who come to Aintree are certainly dressed to impress – and dressed to have a great time. This is not an out and out serious fashion event, though some ladies certainly take it seriously when they’re looking for that top prize. Most ladies are here to have a good time, a few drinks and a fun day out.

There isn’t any official dress code for Aintree’s Ladies’ Day; the only guidance on the website is that “smart is preferable”. If you’ve dressed down for the day, you’re sure to feel a little out of place.


And if you want to mug up on a little Grand National history before going top Aintree to impress those racing aficionados you’ll probably be surrounded by, take a look at this fun infographic and drop a few facts into your conversation:

With a knock-out dress, a jauntily placed fascinator, a glass of fizz in hand and your bets placed – you’ll be able to impress your friends with the odd snippet like; “did you know only three greys have ever won the Grand National?”

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