A History of Dresses at the Races

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For more than a hundred years the races have given women the opportunity to show off their most beautiful dresses and impressive hats and fascinators. Trends have changed but many of the traditions remain the same, especially within the most famous and formal racing arenas like the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. But where did these traditions come from and why is dressing your best such an important part of a day at the races?

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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing The Right Headpiece For The Races

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Hats and fascinators are undoubtedly a huge part of dressing for a day at the races, but have you ever wondered why they are such a big deal? “Racing was called the sport of kings and for good reason,” as Australian milliner Richard Nylon explains. “It is an expensive sport, so people who could afford to stable, look after horses and pay for people to ride them had a lot of money. With money goes prestige, with prestige goes fashion and, back then, with fashion went hats. It became a way for a lady to display her status and fashionability.”

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