When horses and heritage collide, the opulence of dressing for occasion becomes dramatised to levels unmatched, bespoke fashion darting and prancing everywhere. With extravagance running in the name just as in the infamous land foretrodden by legends, Ascot style is approached by a certain co-ordination and significance.
This rulebook aims to outline, settle and socially summarise how to make introduction and impact upon the renowned ‘fashion week’ all of its own. The most valuable race meeting with £6.5 million in prize money, Ascot hosts royal procession and ladies’ day to match, meaning fashion and style are an integral part of the prestige. With strong awareness of fashion-forward progression, each distinctive dress code for set enclosures teaches us dazzling fashion education. With no branded or promotional clothing allowed on site, there is no opportunity to be lazy or predictable with outfit choices here. Enhancing significance to this, just as the trouser suit was introduced to dress code in 1971, the jumpsuit is now welcomed as an acceptable item of clothing for the Royal Enclosure in 2017, welcoming an inspired update.
The three enclosures – Royal, Queen Anne & Village and Windsor are met with a brochure to detail code and conduct of style selections. With the risk of denied entry, presentation is expected as refined, conservative and of high elegance. With chance for the greats to parade again, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel and McQueen are all favourites to spectacle, as well as newcomers Emilia Wickstead and Amanda Wakeley. Legendary to Ascot however, Is the display of pure theatrics and fairy tales in headwear. With hats the symbol of the event, Royal Ascot hosts its own millinery collective to produce an 8-piece collection by the UK’s most exciting designers. In sponsorship with Fenwick of Bond Street, in which the collection will be available, designs include mainstays Phillip Treacy and Steven Jones, as well as Harvey Santos and Lisa Tan. This collective defines focus of designer development by Ascot, showing its trend forecaster to be facing strongly forward.
The Royal Enclosure encompasses ‘formal daywear is required.’ This largely elaborates to outline modest length of skirts and dresses, falling just above the knee or longer, and straps to accompany tops to be one inch or longer. With streamlined exactness, suit trousers should be of matching colour and material, with jumpsuits to the ankle please. For the gentlemen, black or grey morning dress is required, meaning waistcoat and tie are a must and a perfect accompaniment, with black shoes only to finish. Hats are the finishing unifier of smart symbolism, suggesting they should be worn by everyone, with a gentleman only removing his hat within certain seating conditions. Customisation of these towering top hats is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure, imposing order and consistency. Additional principles such as no off the shoulder or halter neck straps are particulars also persuaded. This outline of elegance offers one outstanding opportunity however – go to style hunting.
Camelot Dress Winter White Tweed Long Sleeve
Natasia Gathered Dress
City II Leather Oxford shoes – black
Moving away from Royal receptions, the Queen Anne Enclosure and Village enclosure see ladies encouraged to dress ‘in a manner as benefits a formal occasion.’ Space here allows for slight move from elegance to experimentation, with full length procedure still deployed, hats, headpieces or fascinators should additionally be worn at all times. Strapless or sheer styles are politely declined, midriffs covered, shorts not permitted. Slightly more freedom reduces top hat and tails, with gentlemen required to wear polished suit with shirt and tie. Smart summer dresses are suggested for the girls, and boys 13-16 should wear a suit or jacket with smart tie. For the Windsor Enclosure, smart clothing is pushed as expected, the only other repute being no replica sports shirts are allowed.
Thanks Girls Asymmetrical Dress
Fairyqueen Olina Jumpsuit – Rust
Turnbull & Asser
Broken Waves Brown & Yellow Silk Tie
With procedures and placements of style order, the Ascot style manual can be complex but is above all thrilling from combination pairing to estimated allocation. This year’s Ascot is right around the corner, and it’s time to style up.
Read more about Ascot’s dress code & style guide here.
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