Royal Ascot is upon us once again, which means it's time to start thinking about the all important outfit. But not to worry, we are sharing with you our top tips and tricks that will ensure your day at Ascot runs as smoothly as possible.
Our overall message is, as always, BE YOURSELF. Choose colours that flatter your skin tone, your body shape and are in harmony with your structure. These rules should apply to ALL of your clothes. For example, If you are not a “floaty” sort of person, do not try to be. It will not work. If you need structure in your clothes, wear something tailored. If you are a “romantic” sexy type, then you can certainly invest in some frills and flounces. Your clothes should reflect your personality.
When it comes to Ascot, be very careful with footwear. At the races, you will be on your feet all day, and you will be doing quite a lot of walking - through paddocks and to the tote and the bar. Do not make the mistake of wearing high heels. You’ll be miserable, not to mention embarrassed as your heels get stuck in the turf! Comfort is key, so try and find the flattest, most comfy shoes you can buy – that don’t look "frumps-ville." There are so many fabulous flats around this summer that this shouldn’t be hard. Just take a look at any fashion magazine. Get researching people.
There are, of course, the Royal Ascot rules. It is worth looking at their website to find out exactly what is ok and what is not. You WILL be turned away at the entrance if you are not appropriately dressed. So be sure to go prepared. If you look below, we have individually detailed each area and what their requirements are.
Hats are absolutely mandatory, and this means no fascinators or headpieces - the crown of the head must be covered. We recommend going to a great store where you can try a lot of different shapes, like Fenwick (great hat department). When it comes to clothing, no spaghetti straps or bare shoulders are allowed, and length of skirt is an issue - no shorter than just above the knee. Trouser suits are now ok - but they must be full length and the jacket and trousers must be the same fabric. Keep it strictly "un-officey" - a beautiful silk crepe in a gorgeous colour would work, with more fluid trousers. Jumpsuits can also now be worn in the Royal Enclosure, but the same rules apply to them as to dresses - so no one shoulder jobs please! In the Royal Enclosure, your man will be in morning dress - either all grey or all black. No exceptions.
In other enclosures
The dress code is slightly less stringent - you can wear a fascinator instead of a hat. However, dresses still need to be a decent length, and it is advisable to avoid showing too much flesh. In fact, Red Leopard strongly suggests against showing too much flesh at any formal summer daytime event! Elegant, yet classy is the key to success. Not sure what we mean? Here are some of our personal favourites from Ascot 2017. The elegance speaks for itself.
Our favourite shops for Royal Ascot dressing are: Claudia Sebire, Fulham Road (great dresses and coats), Carolina Herrera (fabulous lace and taffeta dresses), Paule Ka for beautiful dresses and jackets in bright colours, DelPozo for stunning and original dresses, Fenwick for hats, and Laura B’s discreet shop in Knightsbridge - she has been dressing people for Ascot for three decades.