Dubai World Cup fashion: handsome hats and DIY outfits for race-day

'If you are going to be hugging a lot of people, opt for a smaller hat' – and other tips and tricks

The Dubai World Cup returns to Meydan Racecourse on Saturday, March 28. All the race action aside, the event is a veritable fashion showcase, with evermore stylish headgear and dresses appearing each year. Here are some race-day collections and hat tips to take note of.

An outfit to remember

Race-day capsule collections have hit UAE stores, with clothes, bags, shoes and accessories that span the price spectrum, from high-street brands to luxury labels. Over at Mango, for instance, are a range of mid and full-length dresses in classic patterns, from floral and polka dots to animal prints, starting from Dh269.

E-tailor Namshi has a curated selection from brands such as Ted Baker, Cmeo Collective, DKNY and All Things Mochi among others. The edit includes elegant jumpsuits, floaty skirts and chic blouses, priced from Dh600 to Dh1,600.

If it's vivid colours you're after, scope out the Rubeus Milano Races collection, which includes vibrant satin dresses, playful floral patterns flared trousers and jacquard blazers, and is priced from Dh4,300 to Dh20,500.

If you want to splurge on classic bags and shoes, look no further than Swiss brand Bally, known for its fine leather, which has a race-day collection priced from Dh1,500 to Dh4,800.

Scroll through our gallery above to pick and mix an outfit to remember.

Hats for Dubai World Cup 

“You need to feel good in your hat; confidence is key,” says London milliner Ana Pribylova, a regular attendee and judge at the Dubai World Cup. “Start small if you have never worn a hat before or on a regular basis. But if you are brave and want a big hat, just go for it. Remember, though, if you are staying on for the evening celebrations, a big-brimmed hat might get in the way unless you have somewhere to store it.”

Nigerian designer Kingsley of Itam by King's Signature has handy advice for race-goers. "Think about what you're going to be doing at the event. Will you be meeting a lot of people? Are you going to be hugging a lot of people? If so, opt for a small or medium-sized hat," he says. "Fascinators and turbans are [popular], too."

Pribylova adds: “Fit aside, styling a hat requires balancing the face shape, outfit and height. For a shorter lady, I would suggest a piece that elongates her, using trim or feathers that flow up. Taller women may not want to look any taller, so I would suggest a smaller beret type hat.”

Finally, if you’d like the focal point of your outfit to be your dress, it’s perfectly fine to limit your headgear to a simple gold-chain band or wreath of flowers.

DIY DWC: make your own outfit

One option for eco-conscious fashionistas is to make your own outfit. For instance, if you have a lace shift dress hanging in your wardrobe, consider adding feathers or fringing to the skirt, cuffs or neckline.

Or, keep the upper portion of an old dress intact and give it new life with a different skirt piece. Take the dress with you to the fabric stores in Satwa, Dubai, or Abu Dhabi’s Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre and the souq behind Hamdan Centre, and see what combination excites you. Don’t feel pressured to find an exact match, either; ginghams go great with floralswhile textured textiles, such as eyelets, laces and leathers, will make the dress unique. For added drama, buy some tulle to attach beneath the skirt.

If you feel you’ve outgrown the style of one of your dresses, but can’t bear to part with the print, try breaking it up into two pieces. Alternatively, you could have your initial piece made into a simple slip dress, and make an overcoat for it from a lace or cut-out fabric.