IT’s the day when a sea of tanned limbs, perfectly tamed tresses and neatly manicured talons turns Musselburgh’s prestigious racecourse into the Lothians’ most glamorous catwalk.
And then there are the clothes. The endless array of colourful cocktail dresses vying for attention, the statement heels on their first outing on the grass, the ostentatious fascinators and fabulous clutches.
Yes, Musselburgh Ladies Day 2013 is nearly here. Now in its ninth year, the iconic racing event is once again set to attract a crowd of around 9000 racegoers on Friday, June 14.
But, as any fashion-conscious female knows, this throws up a number of style conundrums.
For while the annual sell-out event may be about the racing action and small fortunes being won and lost, on Ladies Day one of the major races is to come first in the style stakes. Especially when there’s a Queen of Style award up for grabs for the best-dressed female – and a £3000 cash prize.
So what should you wear this year and, more importantly, how do you stand out from the competition?
“A day at the races should be top of everyone’s list come summer,” says Edinburgh stylist Amy Noelle.
“The atmosphere is electric, the sun should shine and it’s a chance to really dress up and have fun with friends.
“Focus on looking elegant with well-fitting clothes – smart casual just won’t cut it. Try either a statement dress or sharp suit and have fun with textures and colour.
“Coloured lace is a key trend this summer, with an array of different shapes and styles on the high street.”
She adds: “No matter what shape you are, there’s a dress for you. The same goes for a classic trouser suit. Avoid anything that looks like it could be worn to work and you are on the right lines.
“Team a sharp pair of ankle- grazing slim cut trousers with a neat jacket and add a pop of colour with a statement top and accessories to stand out in the crowds.”
As the fashion badge of summer femininity, pay tribute to floral with embroidery and embellishment detail as seen on the runways at Erdem, Dolce & Gabbana and Moschino.
For a high street alternative, look to Topshop, Warehouse, Oasis, French Connection and House of Fraser.
Bold, block colour always turns head at Ladies Day. From strong corals and fuchsias to electric blues and sunshine yellows, let the colour dominate and keep the silhouette understated.
Shift or simple sun dresses work best; keep it simple and elegant.
The maxi and the humble jumpsuit continues to dominate on the high street and has become a firm summer staple. Choose silk versions from Ted Baker and Zara. Personalise your maxi with stacked bangles and a statement necklace, teamed with cropped jacket or shawl.
And then there is monochrome, which offers an elegant and classic look, as seen in Zara, French Connection, River Island, Warehouse and Mango. Inject some colour via brightly coloured heels or a clutch. Or keep it slick and simple with nude accessories.
Amy adds: “The races are a great time to have fun with hats and fascinators. Avoid anything too garish like excessive fluorescent feathers and stick to something that tones with your outfit and suits the shape of your head and shoulders.
“Petites should stay clear of oversized, wide-brimmed hats and try simple fascinators or hairclips.
“The lucky lot who are tall – try the wide-brimmed, oversized look. Have fun with it but make sure you are well groomed, tonal and that your outfit fits properly.”
• Styling: Amy Noelle www.amynoelle.co.uk. Model: Face of the Stobo Castle Ladies Day winner 2013 Catherine Brown.