How to Dress for The Races During Cold Weather

Woman wearing a black fur coat with a dress for cold weather

When the invite comes to attend the horse racing during the cold weather months, immediately plan to wear your longest, thickest winter coat.

All you need is some simple planning and preparation when choosing the most elegant pieces to wear.

However, keep the weather in mind to ensure that you will be dressed warm enough to stay comfortable all day long.

We don’t all get to attend the horse racing in beautiful sunshine with blues skies overhead.

But, sometimes a horse racing event or occasion will arise during the cold weather.

Because the horse racing is often an occasion appropriate for an elegant dress, there are several hints and tips to layer your look.

This will keep you as warm as possible when standing outdoors for the duration of the event in cold weather.

Choosing thicker fabrics in dresses, such as wool or tweed adds warmth without extra layers.

Or if you want to opt for a summer-inspired frock, layer up your look with an on-trend cape or better yet, a faux fur wrap.

Keeping your toes covered in pointed pumps, rather than strappy shoes will ease any numbness.

But, don’t be afraid to style your dress with cute booties.

Just choose overtly feminine styles with extra detailing or lace.

Simple styling techniques like this will ensure that you don’t have to choose between etiquette or warmth

Here, we take a look at some of the best ways to plan ahead and style yourself perfectly for a fall or winters day out at the horse racing course.

What Fabrics Keep You Warmer?

Woman wearing a black fur coat with a dress for cold weather

Keeping warm at an all-day outdoors event can be made possible by simply choosing the right fabrics for your outfit.

Thicker, more tailored fabrics are the best choice for winter horse racing events.

They can keep you warm while still maintaining an elegant finish to your overall look.

While knits might be considered a little too casual for the races, opting for a heavier-weight wool or blend can be the perfect solution.

This is a feminine, yet thicker fabric to keep you warm.

Wool or Wool Blends

A wool or wool-blend fabric is the perfect choice for a cold weather day at the races.

Limiting your need to layer, a wool dress is heavier than most other fabrics, locking in a little extra warmth.

This will allow you to stay comfortable outdoors, so you don’t miss a beat.

Many wool dress options have long sleeves, which will again limit your need to add a jacket and giving you fewer things to remember on the big day.


Inspire yourself with images of 1930’s Chanel and opt for tweed, a feminine and on-trend alternative to a solid wool.

A tweed dress or 2-piece doesn’t have to mean traditional browns and equestrian-inspired hues.

Today, soft vintage pinks or gracefully elegant creams with a metallic thread running through are hit looks for a day at the winter races.

All tweeds vary, but this woolen fabric is famed for its warmth, giving you a great option for a unique race day look.

Faux Fur

Whilst a faux fur outfit head to toe is likely to be considered a no-no for most, faux fur accents and trims within your look are certain to keep you warm when at an outside event all day.

Whether it’s a faux fur trim on your dress or lapel on your coat or jacket or even an added accessory, such as a shawl or muff, faux fur keeps the cold air out.

This will help you warm for longer to enjoy the horse racing, even with a chill.

Swap Your Dress for A Jumpsuit

Always remember, a dress isn’t your only choice when it comes to dressing for the races.

By swapping out a formal dress for an elegant jumpsuit, you’ll find a plethora of new options with long-sleeves and warmer fabrics.

The full-length jumpsuit is formal and chic and trouser styles tend to keep you just that little bit warmer than even a sweeping maxi dress during the colder months.

Choose the Perfect Winter Color

Woman wearing a fur coat with a dress for cold weather

A winter occasion often leaves us helplessly veering towards the black and super dark sections of our favorite stores.

However, this needn’t be the case.

Think winter hues that rival jewels, such as deep sapphire blue, regal emerald green, and romantically rich raspberry.

It’s also worth remembering that just because it’s colder, you certainly don’t need to avoid brighter pops of color.

If you love to wear coral or your favorite palette just so happens to be baby pink, you’ll feel most comfortable in a color you love.

However, ensure your style and shape of the dress is fitting for the season.

How to Layer Appropriately

Woman wearing a white jumper with a beige patterned scarf around her


Layering your look for a winter-based races day doesn’t have to be complicated.

With just a few simple tips, you can easily add extra warmth to your look, keeping your overall ensemble elegant and appropriate.

Which Jacket Is Best?

From a classic, longline wool coat to a chic and sharp blazer, layering a jacket over your races dress is a perfectly acceptable choice.

Ensure this isn’t an after-thought.

If the coat doesn’t come as a two-piece with the dress, make sure it compliments and adds to the outfit without completely stealing focus from the dress.

A jacket that falls to just below the hemline of the dress is an eternally sophisticated style.

The Pashmina Debate

Are pashmina’s in or are they dated?

Well, it’s all about how you choose to style yours.

The pashmina can add a pop of color or coordinate beautifully with your chosen dress.

It also adds just the right amount of warmth to block out the chill of the wind.

But, forget fixing your pashmina like a winter woof scarf or a tie.

Think a little outside the box and try some alternative ways to rock the accessory more stylishly.

Try tying the ends of your pashmina together into a sweet knot and draping the scarf over your shoulders.

This creates a slouchy cape.

Or wrap the scarf around your shoulders and under your elbows, knotting it softly at the back for an easy, yet warm look.

Add Gloves

Gloves can certainly be an appropriate accessory for a day at the horse racing in winter.

Choose from lady-like, elbow-length gloves with a satin sheen that perfectly coordinate with your outfit to chic or simple suede leather driving gloves.

The trick here is to ensure you choose high-end, formal gloves, rather than super-casual gloves.

This means wool is out.

One of the hottest accessory trends for the colder seasons is Carrie Bradshaw-style satin gloves.

The more embellishment the better and gloves from the wrist to over the elbow are in.

So, don’t be afraid to add an extra layer of fabric to your outfit with a statement, show-stopping glove.

What Type of Footwear to Wear For Cold Weather

Woman wearing black boots for cold weather

Choosing footwear for the races is always one of the most important decisions.

You’ll have to wear these shoes for a long period of time.

So, it’s best not to select anything with a taller heel than you’re used to.

Try not to buy your shoes too close to the event and wear them with socks around the house for as much as you can prior.

This will break them in, making them much more comfortable for you on the day.

Strappy Closed-Toe Shoes

Avoiding seriously strappy shoes is a great idea for a winter race day.

You will already be battling the possibility of sore feet when standing in heels all day.

So, you want to try to avoid adding numb, freezing-cold toes to the list.

Instead, opt for strappy or lace-up shoes with a closed-toe.

Pointed, closed-toe shoes are eternally chic and the closed-toe style also means the ability to add some extra cushion underneath the balls of your feet for a touch of added comfort.


When it comes to wearing booties to the races, there is a careful line you should be sure not to cross.

Leather, weekend booties are not appropriate nor will they complement and enhance the femininity of your dress.

However, elegant lace booties with pointed toes and slender stiletto heels would work perfectly and allow your feet and toes to stay warm all day.

What Headpiece to Wear For Cold Weather

Woman wearing a hat and trench coat

Your headpiece is where you can really get creative.

Whether it’s the hottest day in summer or the coldest of cold weather in winter, you’re free to choose a headpiece, hat or fascinator to elevate and compliment your chosen races outfit.


We’ve long-heard the fashion-related puns of fascinators being less than fascinating.

However, fascinators are still incredibly popular items to add a touch of glam to a races outfit.

When done right, they can be the most fascinating part of your entire outfit.

Breathing a new life of color into a simple ensemble or color coordinating with your head-to-toe look, fascinators come in many forms.

They are created with anything from feathers to stunning crystal detailing.

When it comes to selecting the perfect fascinator for your look, remember to choose a style that not only compliments your dress but also your face and head shape

So, try and get a second opinion if you can before you buy.

You can also mix and match with hues and tones of colors, instead of trying to perfectly match up to the shade of your dress.

If you’re not totally sure, the top things to avoid when choosing which headpiece to wear are hats that are garish or too over-the-top.

These styles can steal focus away from your well-chosen outfit for all the wrong reasons.

Go for Something Warmer

If you want to opt for a hat with a little extra fabric for just a touch more warmth, why not choose a fuller, wide-brim hat, giving your look a classic edge?

Choosing a hat fabric in felt or wool will also create a warmer finish, blocking out the cool breeze and keeping your head cozy all day long.

Take it one step further with an ultra-glamorous faux fur hat for the ultimate in cold weather comfort dressing.


During the cold weather months, dressing for the races doesn’t have to be a monumental task.

Simply opting for a thicker fabric can take you halfway to the right outfit and finishing with some heavier accessories will only add to your warmth during the day.

Choose wisely on the shoes or you’ll have numb toes by lunchtime.

However, the perfect pair will leave you warm and cozy, even in the coolest of months.