The most fashionable sporting events in the UK

...and how to queer that style.

chudson / Pixabay
chudson / Pixabay

Many of us shy away from the sporting world because of awkward memories of school cloakrooms and getting picked last for the team. Some sports have also had a bad rep due to their perceived lack of inclusivity in the stadiums or on the grounds. But more sporting stars than ever are coming out, and groups like Pride Sports are helping promote a safer environment for LGBT athletes and fans.

But now we’re feeling more confident we’re on the guestlist (as it were), we can turn our eyes to more frivolous matters – such as what to wear! Shallow though it might be, being present and visible in the stalls is part of the battle for making sport more inclusive, and claiming traditional styles and making them fit for queers is a major step in smashing gender stereotypes. So, without further ado…

Where to go and when

The Telegraph recently published the UK’s most highly attended sporting events. There’s loads going on all around the country, though some events are more prescriptive, style-wise, than others. We’re going in for the most traditional with a few tips to mix it up and make it your own – in the hope that you can really own that environment and stand out while fitting in. So crack open that wardrobe and up the fashion stakes!

Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festival is always a stylish affair. Tweed, hats and fascinators abound over the four-day festival. Vada Magazine has even published a gender-neutral style guide to help you dress the part!

The key points are: patterns, layers, textures, headgear. To be honest, all of the above makes for some spectacular opportunities for dressing up.


Wimbledon tops the list of the UK’s most well attended sporting events. Get your tennis shoes out and your strawberry frock on, but feel free to get colourful.

Summertime is the order of the day, with breezy materials, bold prints and primary colours. Going with strawberries and cream as a motif, you could have some really exciting outfits with reds, white, dashes of gold and floaty cream silks. Or you could go for tennis balls and fresh lawns if you prefer citrusy tones, with flashes of yellow and white.

The Grand National

The Grand National 2017 is just around the corner! Another really popular sporting event, this one is always firmly in our calendar. The Crabbie’s Grand National Festival at Aintree, Liverpool, has upped the fashion stakes by issuing a style decree – for the last two years, women have been invited to follow the Chanel-inspired dresscode.

Well, you might chafe at the idea, but if you remember that Coco Chanel was bisexual and had a thing for androgynous style, you can actually push things into whole new worlds of fabulous. Pink suits can work for all genders.

Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, and has been a veritable style haven ever since. Expect to see royals and big hats.

But there’s more than one Queen on this island (and plenty of kings too), so why not unleash your inner drag and wheel out your top pageant look? Swap hats for wigs and headpieces and you’ll be sure to steal all the attention.

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