It was a whirlwind weekend for social events here in the north-west and whether you attended The Grand National at Aintree, or just placed a cheeky bet at your local William Hill, the chances are you will have seen the hundreds of photographs that have graced every newspaper and gossip site since it all began last Thursday. Unfortunately I was unable to go this year and I’m disappointed to miss out on the preparation frenzy.
Earlier in the week my husband and I were invited to a black tie event to celebrate St Georges Day at his workplace, the dress code is an age-old tradition for any formal event in the forces and strictly adhered to. To top off a week of dressing up we have my sister’s wedding on Saturday, so this morning I am happily slobbing out in joggers and hoody while I write, at least until I have to go out in public later on. I absolutely love dressing up but when I’m in the comfort of my home, dress code’s are null and void much to my husbands dismay.
With so many occasions happening in a short space of time, the main topic of conversation among my friends has been dressing up. The majority are all for it and go all out to complete their look, nails, hair, eyelashes etc. My friends who chose the more casual look are able to effortlessly rock jeans and a top to any occasion, something I have never perfected. Since broaching the subject many different opinions have surfaced focusing on whether a dress code is suggested or enforced. For The Grand National meeting at Aintree the dress code is as follows;
Although there is no official dress code, smart is preferable and is often adopted. Aintree is a spectacle of colour for all three days of the race meeting, with many using their trip as an opportunity to showcase their favourite race day outfits. Hats are optional too, but are frequently worn. Sports clothes and fancy dress are not permitted for the John Smith’s Grand National meeting.
Merely a suggestion and there have been many race goers who have pushed this to the limit, i.e.girls in bikini’s, heels and fascinators. With regards to the formal events at my husbands work, there is no way it would ever be acceptable to ignore the rules of traditional dress. Whilst I doubt that a woman would be asked to leave should her cocktail dress be an inch above the knee, it would certainly be noted and possibly have an impact on future social invitations. To make steps toward rolling with the times, the forces also organise a huge amount of informal events which are equally if not more popular. Lets face it, when you can spend more money on alcohol and less on hiring a tux it’s a no-brainer for most young guys.
But is at all about money? Do you have to spend a lot of money to be able to attend these events? That’s a difficult question to answer than I thought because people have their own opinion on money and what is ‘expensive’. The last time I was at the races (2010) my outfit cost a total of £130 and I spent around £50 getting my hair and make-up done. I think I did okay? Now that I have two kids and more financial restrictions but so many practical outfit options from cheaper stores, I think I could easily create a perfectly acceptable look for around £40. Honestly, have you seen the shift dresses at Florence & Fred, Tesco?
Thanks to some lovely friends I have showcased some races outfits that haven’t broken the bank, including some tailor-made garments and I think they look very glam indeed. Just a small note following all the nasty remarks by the haters in the newspapers and online .. I’ll bet that all of those women looked in the mirror on Friday morning rocking their carefully chosen outfits with their hair coiffed and nails done and said ‘I look fab and I’m going to have a great time’ ….So don’t hate because you weren’t there.
The Ladies Day snidefest really pisses me off. They’re dressed up, having fun. Bore off with your ‘slags in hats’ remarks.