Grapevine Stories

The essential Little Black Book of what to wear for Cheltenham (both sexes!)

Our styling specialist, Sarah Kate Byrne gives us a seriously helpful guide of where to look for all your clothing needs, for both the ladies and the gents for The Cheltenham Festival while keeping sustainability at the front of our minds.

“I couldn’t be more excited about looking ahead to this year’s Cheltenham Festival. As someone who strives to be as sustainable as possible in my styling work, be it for clients or myself, Cheltenham’s narrative this year of “slow fashion” and awards celebrating vintage and borrowed items, as well as investment pieces that can be passed down through generations is fantastic and a huge step in the right direction for all.

 My own style is driven by a love of heirloom, vintage and investment pieces and a preference to be thrifty & green in my fashion choices. For my clients and myself I try to showcase how to mix and match old with new, luxury with affordable and firm favourites with new, sustainable finds. Each of the looks I have put together over the years and showcased below will, I hope, serve to inspire all to look at family heirlooms with a newfound respect; to invest in wardrobe stalwarts; be creative with old favourites; set up online alerts and keep eyes peeled for vintage gems and most importantly try to be a little more green in your fashion choices be it through rental options, charity shop finds or endeavouring to buy from small, sustainable brands.

 As someone who rarely wears new clothes, when asked where I shop, my answer is hugely unhelpful! I find rubies in the rubble and I am very aware that most people don’t have the time to browse car boot sales, vintage shops, charity shops, antique shops and trawl Instagram for vintage gems. Shopping off the beaten path is time consuming and can be fruitless. So here is a cheat sheet which will hopefully make the treasure hunt a little easier for all –

Menswear & Accessories

Hornets of Kensington – @hornetskensington (store on Kensington Church Walk)

Victory Vintage @victoryvintage (store in Cheshire)

Sam L Hegard – by appointment @s.l.hegard

Crowley Vintage @crowley_vintage

Brothers We Stand

Ebay – set alerts!

Womenswear & Accessories

Doro Newmarket – @d.oro_uk + store in Newmarket

Pret a Vintage @pretavintage

Vintage Angels Aldeburgh – @vintage_angels_aldeburgh + store in Aldeburgh, Suffolk

Emma Caderni – @emmacaderni + by appointment London

London Vintage - @london.vintage

Constantine Rex – @constantinerexltd + store in Tetbury, Gloucestershire

Jennifer Gibson Jewellery

Susan Caplan

Rita’s Treasures @rita_treasures

Ebay – set alerts!

For ample choice and the ability to try things on, look no further than the myriad of vintage fairs where 50+ traders from the length and breadth of Britain come together for these monthly events with clothing and accessories for men, women and children all catered for:

Frock Me @frockmevintagefair

Clerkenwell Vintage Fair @clerkenwellvint

Vintage Fashion Fair Farnham @vintagefashionfairfarnham

The luxury second-hand resale space is booming which I find most heartening and the selection of incredible fashion available has something for every taste and every budget –

HEWI (Hardly Ever Worn it)

Open for Vintage



Vestiaire Collective


I also shop my own and my friend's wardrobes. I swap and lend and borrow and beg and I encourage all to do the same. My grandfather's Gucci cravat, my boyfriend's 1960's tweed 3 piece suit and my grandmother's Hermes scarf have all had starring roles in looks I have put together in the past. A Fairisle set knitted by a friends mother for me draws admiration each time I wear it, styled up or down as does a vintage doctors bag I picked up at a car boot in Dorset for £3.

 Any look can be sharpened up with beautiful, eye-catching and bank account friendly accessories be it jazzy tights from UK Tights who offer an eyewatering and endless choice; vintage jewellery :,; ties & cravats cufflinks investment antique jewellery a beautiful, handcrafted handbag & or a fantastic hat.

On the subject of hats…the question of to wear a hat or not to the races is one I am frequently asked. I see good millinery as falling into the investment and heirloom categories but I understand why others feel differently; high price points, limited re-wear options especially for a more daring piece, and the nightmare of storage do tend to put people off. 

For me, donning a hat for Cheltenham is not only a stylish decision but also a practical one if the weather tends towards chilly!

Places like The Cotswold Hat Club, Lizzie’s Hats - and The Hat Club are a marvel and tick the green and thrifty box. Run by three amazing, stylish women – Rachel in Stow-on-the-Wold, Lizzie in Lambourn and Zoe in Newmarket respectively, these hat rental agencies between them have nigh on 1500 hats available to hire. Each offer styling advice either in person or remotely and the rental process is seamless. The Cotswold Hat Club even offers a membership at £425 / year allowing members unlimited hires for 12 months –especially useful for those with a half a dozen weddings and race days on the horizon. 

For a more functional hat, a natty beret in a jewel tone is always a winner - Giulia Mio’s rainbow offering is delectable. Another option is to re-work a firm favourite heirloom piece either oneself (VV Rouleaux for trimmings) or asking a milliner (India Rolt Millinery @indiaroltmillinery) to help re-imagine an outdated shape into a more modish piece. For the chaps, I do believe investing in a beautifully made classic Fedora or Trilby worth it which will work throughout the year. Lock & Co has been crafting exceptional hats since 1676. 

Of course, rental doesn’t stop at hats these days with a multitude of rental platforms enabling you to rent designer handbags & clothing in a very affordable and green way -

Loan the Look




When it comes to buying new, I favour smaller British and Irish brands with excellent sustainable credentials who make quality pieces that will last and become future heirlooms. Firm favourites are:

 Troy London for wardrobe staples

Waringbrooke for superb British knits

Pip Howeson who makes bespoke mens and womenswear

Eponine London & Laura Green London for one-of-a-kind dresses and coats

Aimee Joyce London for something a little more stand-out-from-the-crowd


For superior quality menswear, be it wardrobe staples or bespoke tailoring –

 Luca Faloni

Carrier Company


Dashing Tweeds


There is so much out there, waiting to be discovered be it in new brands with a great ethos, with garments crafted to last a lifetime or in charity shops where your purchase is a donation to a worthy cause. I hope I have helped to inspire you to up the sustainable style stakes this Cheltenham Festival and beyond.

Sarah Kate Byrne

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