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And they're off! Grab your diaries, The summer social kicks off at Newbury Racecourse's brand new Ladies Day. Make sure you're race-day ready – and there's not a fascinator in sight.

Ladies Day flooral arch and parkway garden deckchairs Newbury racecourse 2018

Love a Ladies Day? A fab excuse to get your gal pals together, have a few drinkies and a cheeky little flutter. Newbury Races isn’t doing anything by halves this year, Ladies Day (traditionally in August) has moved to Al Shaqab Lockinge Day on Sat 18 May. It’ll be kicking off a summer of social fun – first out of the fashion blocks, with Epsom Derby, Royal Ascot and Henley following, for the first time ever.

What can you expect? It’s gonna be huuuuuge! There’s cool garden party vibe with Sophie Ellie Bextor and her hubby Richard Jones providing the after party floor fillers. Ooooh, fancy. Waft about the Rhododendron Garden, rest among the bloomsknock back a couple of cocktails (I’ve got my eye on the Chase Rhubarb & Bramley Apple Gin) – there’s more pop-up bars and seating to soak up the sun and work on that tan.

Don’t worry about turning into a hot mess, the Photo Finish Marquee glam squad will be on hand to perk up tired feet, make up and hair. You’re going to want to look your fabulous best – there’s a floral wall with your name on it and a Style Award up for grabs (the winner bags a luxury holiday to Qatar). Hello! 

DJ Duo Sophie Ellis Bextor and The Feeling's Richard Jones

With so much at stake, trotting into the parade ring needs a bit of consideration Dress up and wear a hat, if you fancy it, but remember this is a day event that requires polish – you’re not tottering out for a night at the Ritzy or a Royal Wedding. My advice, keep the fake tan light, the hemlines long and have fun. In need of inspiration? Giddy up, we aim to get all our Muddy readers into the winners’s enclosure.



What’s not to love about a midi dress? A less liberal application of fake tan required, multitude of sins hidden and this Whistles number is universally flattering. If you like wearing hats, how about a head band? Not just for five year olds and the twinset brigade, oh no. Choose one that’s tonal, add a cool pair of retro sunnies and you’ll stand out from the crowd (in a good way).



Essentiel Antwerp zebra dress, £159.95, Fifi & Moose; B The Lifestyle Shop earrings, £30; Mango orange sandals, £29.99; Mango straw hat, £19.99.

Some trends last a season, but animal print looks like it’s going to last a lifetime. If you’re on the prowl for zebra stripes or leopard print, go wild and wear prancing zebras instead. This lush shirt dress is by brand-of-the-moment Essentiel Antwerp (we wrote about them here back in 2017!) But add a pop of colour with your shoes or a bag, a funky hat and you’ll be first past the post in the style stakes.



Hubba bubba! Bubblegum pink is a statement, for sure, but wearing head-to-toe colour is a clever way to go bold. You can avoid it feeling too sickly sweet with grown-up neutral sandals and I’m loving the idea of effortlessly tying hair back a silky scarf.



When it comes to events, our first instinct is to wear a dress. Guilty as charged, m’lud. But a skirt and top can be a much more versatile investment. This fruity little number is a Fabienne Chapot hi-low skirt covered in peaches. Add a simple camisole, throw on an oversized blazer and, ta-dah, job’s a goodun. If you don’t love the idea of wearing a hat, a statement hair clip looks hot.



Alaternative headwear for ladies day at the race headband star boater floral band and decorative hair clips

Millie Pink satin head band, £6.50; Gibson boater, £128, Not On The High Street; Anthropologie hair clips, £26; Rock ‘N’ Rose floral crown, £36, Not On The High Street.

This is not Ascot, so you don’t have to put anything on your head at any of Newbury’s race days, but why mess with tradition? If hats aren’t your bag, keep your style flirty and fun with decorative hair clips, floral crowns and head bands or scarves (Avoid the dreaded F word like the plague). Now go and win all the prizes…

Ladies Day at Al Shaqab Lockinge Day is on Sat 18 Mayclick here to buy your tickets from £23.20.

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