Galway Races in the rain: Tips and tricks to beat the sludge
To brolly or to brave it? Her's fashion editor shares the rainy race day style guide.
The Best Dressed competition at the Galway Races will be decided on August 1, which gives those in the running just a month to prep.
That might sound like ages to plan a single outfit but, as Galway veterans know, the serious fashion mavens put months of work into creating their look. If you haven't started yet, don't worry – as Her is sponsoring the Best Dressed Lady competition, I'm here to give you a little guidance on what to wear to Ballybrit to make yourself a contender.
As we all know, Ireland can surprise us with the weather. While Met Éireann and the apps on our phones might tell us it will be sunny all day, mother nature has a different vision and will bombard us with gusty showers – as those who were at Ladies' Day last year found out.
Obviously, this isn't ideal if you're going out in nothing but a dress and hat – but I got you.
It is best to be as prepared as you possibly can, so I've come up with a little list to help you in case you're met with rain and sludge on August 1.
Bring a coat
This may seem so obvious, but how many times have you taken the weather for granted only to be met with rain half-way through the day? I know I have - numerous times.
If you unfortunately are met with a shower during the races, you'll be delighted to have a coat with you. Not only will it keep you warm and dry, I think it can also add a bit of flair to your look.
Not to worry if it stays dry, too - there are cloakrooms on site so you won't have to carry your coat around with you all day.
I picked out three options here in case you don't have anything suitable lying in your wardrobe. The first Theory coat is a pastel blue which is already a huge trend this summer. The classic style is also a big winner with designers this season, so it's a great option all around.
I adore the second option - the Topshop trench - which is a beautiful shade of burnt orange and will certainly stand out from the crowd. It definitely gives off a younger and fresher feel compared to other styles.
The third option is by an Irish designer called Fee G and is one of those pieces you can throw on over anything and it will still look slick and sophisticated.
L-R: Theory classic coat, €345; Topshop belted trench, €98; Fee G textured coat, €234
Another obvious one, but I'm an absolute divil for legging it out of the house and leaving behind my brolly, even when it is pouring down.
No matter what the forecast is like, you should definitely bring an umbrella, but it's up to you whether you want to bring a small or large one. A compact one (see the Totes option below) is perfect for fitting in your bag if you want to be discreet.
However, you could go all out and purchase one from the likes of Fox Umbrellas or James Smith & Son for an added bit of glamour. I once worked in a small boutique in Dublin city centre which sold embellished umbrellas and I always wanted an occasion to buy one - the Galway Races might just be it.
They add to an outfit just as much as a bag or necklace, and they're definitely worth the investment.
L-R: James Smith & Sons, €45; Fox Umbrellas, €220; Arnotts compact Totes umbrella, €16
If you plan on wearing a floor-length dress then I'm sorry to tell you, it will get ruined. If the rains decides to pour, the bottom of your dress will be soaked and destroyed, which is never a good look on anyone.
There really is nothing worse than seeing your new gúna get muddy so if you would prefer something long, I'd suggest you go midi-length or alter your dress to be a few centimetres off the ground.
While looking online and in shops this week, a few dresses caught my eye and I've listed them below. The first is a striking Self Portrait high neck dress. It has just the right amount of sheer detail, yet it will cover and flatter you in all the right places.
Over the past number of weeks I have noticed that polka dots have come back in a big way. I've seen the trend on the catwalk, on Instagram and on Grafton Street so it's definitely something to keep an eye on. This halter-neck dress from Oasis serves the perfect amount of polka dots without being too overpowering.
Last but not least, the third dress that caught my eye was the Whistles belted midi dress. I have a soft spot for dresses with a waterfall hemline and this one does it so subtly and elegantly. While the dress is one block hue, I'd suggest colour blocking to make the outfit pop. Add some bright and playful accessories to it for a young and whimsical look.
L-R: Self Portrait high neck dress, €195; Oasis midi dress, €72; Whistles belted midi, €89