Ladies Day kicks off at Chester Races

Hats off to them! Punters put on a VERY glamorous display as Ladies Day kicks off at Chester Races – but who will win in the style stakes?

  • Ladies Day at Chester Racecourse  is often referred to as the ‘pinnacle of Chester’s social calendar’
  • Glamorous  racegoers put their best fashion foot forward for the second day of the famous races
  • Many chose to bend the rules of the style guide which asks women to opt for ‘modest’ hemlines  

Punters at Chester Races were sure to revel in the sunshine as Ladies Day kicked off on Thursday on the second day of the famous event.

The fashion stakes were raised on today with organisers describing Ladies Day as the ‘pinnacle of Chester’s social calendar’.

Racegoers were certainly dressed to impress with many opting for daring hemlines and bold prints to ensure that all eyes were on them, ignoring style guidelines asking for ‘modest hemlines’.

Strike a pose: A group of fashionable friends were more than happy to stop for photos after painstakingly piecing their outfits together  

Hats were the order of the day with women stepping out in a myriad of millinery creations from the humble fascinator to the showstopping wide brim.

This year saw organisers implement a strict dress code for both the male and female attendees at the Boodles May Festival. 

The style guide is filled with advice for men and women on how to dress appropriately for one of the biggest equestrian events of the year.

Famously less strict than its high-fashion counterparts like Royal Ascot, women competing for the title of Best Dressed at Chester are not required to wear a hat and are permitted to bare their shoulders.

Winning in the style stakes! Racegoers put their best fashion foot forward as they arrived at Chester Racecourse for Ladies Day on Thursday 


Daring dresses! Dressed to the nines style savvy punters put on a glamorous display in bold prints and thigh skimming dresses 

Topping it off! Hats were the order of the day with this elegant racegoer stealing the show in a bright red fascinator with a burst of feather plumes and an oversize bow

Hats off to them! These elegant women had perfectly coordinated their head gear with their flattering ensembles 


Ahead of the trend: While women are not required to wear a hat on the day many choose to with outlandish headgear spotted across the board 

Lady in red: This sophisticated lady chose to stick to one colourway with silver accessories adding an elegant touch

However, female racegoers are also advised to opt for ‘modest’ hemlines – just above the knee or longer – and encouraged to experiment with ‘power dressing’ and smart trouser suits.

For cooler days, the ladies of Chester can pair their ensemble with a small tailored jacket or pashmina to protect against the elements.

The dress code is stricter in the Winning Post Enclosure and County Long Room, while in the Dee Stand & Open Course they can even wear jeans and flip-flops. 

And they’re off! Arrivals could barely contain their excitement as they made their way into the enclosure on Thursday 

Boho beauties! Pastels and lace were among the popular choices this afternoon, with one young woman opting to power-dress in a lilac suit 


Bending the rules! While attendees are encouraged to dress ‘modestly’ with hemlines just above the knee or lower many chose to ignore the style guide

Three cheers for Chester! This excitable group couldn’t wait for today’s races to kick off 

Stunning display: From monochrome dressing to acid brights each woman was sure to showcase their individual style 

Meanwhile, men are encouraged to ‘be daring and combine great tailoring with pops of colour to inject personality into your look’.

Each year the historic racecourse plays host to the Boodles May Festival, a three-day annual race meeting which attracts equestrian enthusiasts from all over the country. 

The Boodles May Festival runs from Wednesday 9 to Friday 11 May this year, kicking off on Wednesday with City Day with the Lily Agnes Stakes and the Chester Vase.

The event culminates on Friday with the highest profile race, the Chester Cup – which brings in huge crowds and the highest cash prize.

Chester Racecourse have teamed up with designer outlet McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks to present this season’s Style Guide and bring to life Chester’s dress-code guidelines.  

Chic and casual: Stepping away from the frills and lace of her fellow attendees this woman opted for a less formal vest-top

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