To tweed or not to tweed, that is the question. And if you look at the racegoers at Cheltenham, it would seem the majority goes with the former option. The crowd is a veritable sea of tweed - it's like the world's biggest mountain and moorland showing championship, where most of the competitors forgot to bring their ponies.
Tweed fever is here, and it's going nowhere. It's like some unofficial memo went round the horse world declaring tweed to be the fashion du jour. But that's okay. It's smart, it's practical, it's usually warm (tweed miniskirts aside). And if a racecourse should ever happen to be taken under siege, the tweed could act as one giant means of camouflage, protecting its wearers from harm. Perhaps.
I am no fashion expert - fashion disaster, yes, but expert, certainly not - but I do have two rules for going racing in winter. One, dress for warmth and comfort first and style second, and two, don't wear stilletto heels. I broke my own rules yesterday and wore boots with the smallest of kitten heels, and kept sinking into the grass. The going at Cheltenham is certainly good, good to soft - I verified that by taking home two souvenirs of my day's racing in the form of two clods of turf stuck to my heels.
But there is something about the word 'racing' that brings out the Royal Ascot in some racegoers. Note to newcomers - elaborate hats and flimsy dresses are designed for wearing for drinking Pimms on warm sunny days, watching gleaming Flat racehorses. The theme at Cheltenham is a little more 'rustic', shall we say. It can't be fun standing trackside all day with the wind whistling down Cleeve Hill while you shiver away in a little dress and massive high heels.
Having said that, an electric blue minidress and matching fascinator will help you to stand out against all that tweed, as long as you don't mind a bit of hypothermia in the process.
Winter coats and warm layers are the way forward, and sensible footwear if you're going to be standing among the crowds all day (not so much of a problem if you're in hospitality). If you're looking for fashion inspiration, check out Zara Phillips' Cheltenham outfits - the former World Champion eventer always seems to get it right.
Anyway, for me the Festival is more about horses than high heels and hats, and tomorrow we've got another thriller ahead of us with Big Buck's aiming to win his fourth World Hurdle. And it's not long to wait until Friday and the Gold Cup clash between Long Run and Kauto Star.
Tomorrow I'll be watching Big Buck's and co from the comfort of my sofa, probably wearing decidedly unfashionable jodhpurs, just as I did today. But on Friday I'll be back in the thick of it at Prestbury Park, watching from the rails, so I've got 36 hours to choose some winners and select a comfortable-but-stylish outfit to wear.
Now where did I put my tweed jacket...