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Ladies Day Style Awards judge gives her top tips for creating a winning outfit

2 months ago

Ladies Day Style Awards judge gives her top tips for creating a winning outfit
Ladies Day Style Awards 2023 1st place winner Sian Jones - with Gemma Cutting

The Style Awards are always one of the big highlights of the Randox Grand National – a chance to get all glammed up, take gorgeous photos and be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes.

This year’s Ladies Day Style Awards has a fantastic new style partner, River Island, joining House of Cavani, and three top prize packages to be won – two Best Dressed and one Most Sustainable. 

So, if you’re going to Ladies Day and planning to enter, we asked The Guide’s own Gemma Cutting who’s one of this year’s judges for her top tips …

You don’t need to spend big on designer labels

A couple of years ago the winner wore something off Vinted, something from a charity shop and something else she already had in her wardrobe. She was a student and didn’t have a big budget, which shows that the perception of what you need to do or how much you need to spend to win the Style Awards can be completely wrong. My view of the Style Awards is people are there having a great day out with their friends and their family and they enter because it’s fun. If you get through to the finals then that’s a bonus.

The Judges are hard at work to choose Style Awards 2023 winner!
The Judges are hard at work to choose Style Awards 2023 winner!

It’s about how you’ve put a whole outfit together

Anybody can walk into a shop or look at a website and order something off the mannequin or off the model online. It’s all the other little bits that make your outfit original that count – have you added something, what accessories have you chosen? When it comes to the judging all we see are the photos that people have had taken in front of the flower walls, we know nothing about them or where their outfit is from. It’s only about the photo so your outfit has to say everything about you.

You don’t need to be outrageous or bold

Your eye is always going to be drawn to a bright colour, a bold pattern or an amazing elaborate fascinator but equally somebody could walk in and just look super-chic in something very simple, so it really is anyone’s game. If you look at the winners over the years they all look completely different and they’re all different ages. 

Style Awards 2023 judges
Style Awards 2023 judges

Wear something you love

Don’t choose an outfit just because you think it ticks the Style Awards boxes – if you love it you’ll feel comfortable and confident and that will come across even in a photo. If you’re going to wish you hadn’t worn that big peacock feather fascinator, it’s going to show in how you project yourself, even how you walk. Confidence always shines through. One of the things I love about Ladies Day is everyone’s put so much thought and effort into their outfits, they’ve often been planning for months, and it’s lovely to see people feel good in what they’re wearing when they walk through the gates.

Men should be more imaginative 

You are a lot more limited if you’re a man going to the races, as a woman the world is your oyster with outfits, especially for Ladies Day. I think men should try to be a bit different; if you turn up in a well-cut classic grey suit you’re going to look great but you probably won’t catch the judges’ eye. Maybe go for a different texture like velvet, or colour or cut. I think the Oscars are a good place to look because you see some great outfits – there were quite a few open neck shirts and chests on show at this year’s awards so who’s to say you can’t do that at Aintree!? 

Ladies Day Style Awards 2023 Winners
Ladies Day Style Awards 2023 Winners

Don’t forget, it doesn’t need to be brand new

For the first time, there’s a Sustainable Style Award this year so you could go on sites like Vinted, to charity shops, vintage shops, borrow from friends or your mum, or rent an outfit, a hat or fascinator. I’ve rented mine for the last couple of years for Aintree and I love it because you’re being sustainable and also it means you can wear something a bit more expensive that you probably wouldn’t buy. It’s definitely possible to be sustainable, spend not very much money and look absolutely unreal. 

For all the info on this year’s Ladies Day Style Awards click here.

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