The best dresses to wear for a day at the races

Off to the races? Dress for the occasion with our handy list.

best dresses for races uk

by Marina Avraam |

Now that the sun is shining, there's no better way to enjoy the weather than a day out at the races. Whether you're headed to the Royal Ascot, York Racecourse or any of the other prominent horse races taking place this year, it's important to dress for the occasion. To make life easy, we've rounded up some top tips to help you shop the best dress for the races.

In general, dresses of modest length are ideal, and we recommend opting for pastel colours and floral patterns. When choosing your dress, we also suggest considering the weather; a summer race will likely be scorching hot, so opt for a flowy, breathable dress that'll keep you comfortable all day long.

READ MORE: The best wedding guest fascinators for wedding season

Smart dress is the generally accepted dress code at all races, but some events, such as Royal Ascot, request that racegoers adhere to stricter rules. More specifically, Royal Ascot stipulates the following:

  • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length, falling just above the knee or longer

  • Tops and dresses should have straps of one inch or greater

  • Midriffs must be covered

Each race will have different rules, so we recommend checking the event's website before attending. We've searched high and low for the best dresses for the races, that are equal parts stylish and comfortable.

Shop our top picks below.

READ MORE: The best summer dresses for staying cool and comfy


The best race dresses UK

Corset Poplin Puff Sleeve Shirred Midaxi Dress
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It's time to place your bets because this corset dress in a beautiful lilac has stolen our hearts. It features a puff sleeve and corset bodice, and the lightweight material means you won't be sweating all day long.

Vertey Pinafore Dress
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Ted Baker is a fantastic place to shop for affordable designer dresses. This gorgeous floral option in dark navy is embellished with frills with a v-neck detail, making it perfect for race day.

ASOS DESIGN Bare Shoulder Prom Midi Dress
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For something a little different, why not try out this asymmetric dress from ASOS? The dark forest green is simply stunning and would look great paired with gold stilettos and jewellery.

Yellow Floral Shift Midi Dress
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From the floral print to the discrete cut-out back, this River Island dress is ticking all our boxes. All that's missing is a glass of bubbly...

Cescil MIB Printed Midi Dress
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Made from 100 per cent silk, this puff-sleeve dress will see you through race season and beyond. We love the pastel colours for spring and summertime; simply pair with simple heeled sandals and jewellery, and off you go.

Blue Plisse Shift Midi Dress
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Affordable, true to size and oh so flattering, River Island's plisse dress is a safe option for race day. Plus, how gorgeous is this electric blue colour?

Floral Print Midi Dress
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After a statement dress? You've just found it. The Harpia dress by Ted Baker is adorned with bold colours and dramatic puff sleeves that ensure you won't go unnoticed...

Linen Cut Out Maxi Dress
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We fell for the sophisticated waistcoat style of this Karen Millen dress. The soft linen blend is breathable, and the cut-out detail adds that extra something.

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