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What to wear to royal ascot

What to wear to Royal Ascot

For many years Ascot has become an opportunity for women to dress in their best formal clothes and wear a hat and in particular Ladies Day has become very competitive, particularly in the hat department.   Every year produces more and more exotic and outrageous designs. 

 The first race to be held at Ascot was in 1711 and was not nearly the grand affair it is today.  Royal Ascot is seeped in tradition and there is a definite dress code that must be adhered to if you expect to enter the Royal Enclosure.

 Gentlemen are required to wear a morning suit, a uniform or national dress.  At one time men would be barred from entry if they didn’t wear a hat worn.  Brown shoes are a definite “no no”.

 There are also some very clear rules for Ladies wishing to enter the Royal Enclosure.  Hats must be worn, legs must not be bare, and dresses must not be above the knee. Exposed cleavage should be kept to the minimum and even sleeveless dresses can be considered inappropriate if the straps are too narrow.  Off the shoulder and halter neck designs could also prevent entry. 

 If you are planning to go to Ascot this year the following suggestions may help;

 Hats: should be large enough to cover the crown of your head but not overwhelming large.  Remember you need to wear it all day, so it must be comfortable.  Black is considered inappropriate.  If a hat is something you rarely wear, consider hiring one.  It is more cost effective and means you can have a different style every year.

 Shoes: again comfort is important but most formal dresses are enhanced with heels.  Practice walking in them before the day, it is not acceptable to kick of your shoes and go barefoot later in the day!

 Dress:  knee length or longer and worn with tights or stockings is essential and necklines should be modest.  A pashmina scarf or jacket can be worn to make a dress more acceptable by Ascot terms.

Bag:  your bag can compliment your outfit and should be in proportion to your size.

If it rains, a strong possibility in England, make sure you have an umbrella that compliments your outfit and flatters your colouring.  It would be a pity to spoil the over all effect with something as simple as an umbrella.

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