Friday 22nd of January 2021

Winning the style stakes at Cheltenham

The Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner and, with the rise of the tapes for the Supreme Novices on the first day, arrives the stress of backing a winner on the track but also in backing a winner on the outfit front too. 

We caught up with Sky Sports Racing presenter Vanessa Ryle who gives us the low down on the biggest stories of the week and some style pointers!

“The festival never fails to throw up good stories on the track and this year will be no different” says Vanessa.

“It’s not only the big races that will make the headlines either – for me one of the biggest stories of the week will be duel Grand National hero Tiger Roll in the Cross Country race. He’s looking to win at the Festival for a remarkable 5th time and this race is once again a stepping stone to Aintree where, all being well, he will be aiming for a 3rd Grand National.

What he has achieved already is incredible – but what he is aiming to achieve is unheard of. He was bred to win a Derby on the flat but he is now jump racings crown jewel and he has the power to once again light up Prestbury Park.”

It can be a long 4 days with the English weather if you don’t get the attire right and nothing ruins a day out at the races quite likes being too cold, uncomfortably unable to walk or losing your hat half way through the day due to a violent gust of wind.

“As is the golden rule in any walk of life: you have to feel good in what you have on. There is no point arriving at Cheltenham on the Tuesday of the Festival in something you think you should be wearing but that you don’t feel comfortable in. Nothing will ruin your day more – trust me, I have been there!”

“I’m a fuss free type of person so I want to be wearing an outfit that I can throw on in the morning and wear all day without worrying about– come rain or shine! Due to my job (and my social life) I tend to be outside nearly all day at the races so statement outwear is key.”

“I love this Motcomb coat in Green from Guinea London. It’s a real statement coat and something that could be worn all day with a thin long sleeved thermal top underneath and one of Guinea’s Bella Skinny Rib Roll Neck jumpers as an extra layer if needed. “

“Obviously the green option is just personal preference but would work ideally with the Thursday of the Festival as that is St Patrick’s Day and so a green theme ties in nicely.”

“Team the top half with a smart pair of black leather skinny trousers and a crocodile skin, black ankle book with a block heel (always a block heel to stop you sinking if the going gets heavy!) and that would be a winner.”

“For me that outfit is standout stylish but also has a slight quirky edge. I’d also add in a fashionable but functionable headpiece to match – something that can be a help not a hindrance at the races if you get it right. This Florence Black headband (image 1 below) from Justine Bradley-Hill would be an ideal add on to the overall outfit. It’s practical to wear – keeping your hair off your face, and can be worn with your hair up or down – but it also adds a little extra glamour to the outfit with the flower detail on both sides.  I also love the Gladis headband in mustard and the Betty in navy.”

“A couple more looks that caught my eye when searching for the perfect outfit was this Wilton Wool Coat from Guinea London (below) – it’s the perfect mix for me of classic Cheltenham fashion but also combining a more modern twist and I love the velvet detail buttons, collar and cuffs. Team this coat with a pair of thick black tights (I am thinking at least 50 denier!) and an over the knee suede boot, with a jumper dress that doesn’t fall below the base line of the coat underneath.”

Camilla Rose does some beautiful headpieces too and this bunched velvet band in clack would be another nice add on (can you see a theme developing here – I love a headband!)”

“The Wednesday of Cheltenham is Ladies Day but it could be Ladies week if Rachel Blackmore has anything to do with it! She comes to Cheltenham with a book of really good rides across the board and she is bound to pick up some spares too as the first day approaches. She’s top class and, having ridden two winners at the Festival last year, she knows what it takes to walk into the Cheltenham winners enclosure. Could she be the first female to be the Top Jockey at the festival? That really would be some story.”

“For me, Ladies Day would traditionally be one of the harder days to dress for – upping the glamour while still being practical is tricky. This Tara Cashmere Coat from Guinea London in crème is an absolute beauty (below). The fur collar and cuffs along with the gold buttons makes it one of the nicest winter coats I have seen recently.”

“Team this with tights, a cream pair of block heels, a camel coloured pencil skirt and a white shirt tucked in and that would cover all bases. Ticking the boxes of looking stylish out and about with the coat on, while being able to take it off when inside too. Complete the look with this Camilla Rose Trilby and you’ll have backed a winner before even entering the gates on Ladies day at Cheltenham.” 

Other key pieces we love from Guinea London:

Keep those hands warm with these mink mitts

This Bea Coat Dress is seriously glamorous – taking you from day to night in beautiful velvet

Love the cool, modern twist of the Piccadilly Tweed Coat

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