Words by Flora Macdonald Johnston
wHaT To WeAr To rOYaL AsCoT & hEnLEy
Our fashion & content director reveals her styling tips
In my family, Royal Ascot is the equivalent of Christmas. It’s a family affair, we spend all year looking forward to it, and we always, always, ensure we are dressed to the nines. I would like to say we are there for the horses, but really, we’re only there for the fashion. Is that not the best bit after all?
However, Ascot – and Royal Ascot in particular – comes with its own unique set of challenges. There’s dress length to consider (all dresses must be knee-length or one inch above), strap width is regulated (no spaghetti straps are allowed within feet of the Royal enclosure, and if you have them be sure to wear a blazer, there are stewards who have rulers!), and of course, the pièce de résistance, your hat (please note here that fascinators are not allowed, and in my eyes should never be worn – ever).
"I WoULd LIkE To SaY We ArE ThERE For ThE HOrSEs, BuT ReAllY, We'rE oNlY ThERe FoR ThE FAsHIoN."
Henley, arguably the Formula 1 of the rowing world with its old world gild and glamour, has a slightly more laissez-faire approach to its dress code. There’s not so much scrutiny on dress length, but the trick here is to choose a really fabulous blazer – you might not have a Cambridge rowing team blazer, but you can make your own rowing tribe!
This feature cannot, however, be finished without one more piece of advice. Be sure to bring a spare pair of flats or chunky tread waterproof shoes for bad weather. Nothing is more distressing than beautiful silk or satin heels ruined by mud or rain, and while we might roam in England’s green and pleasant land, it can be awfully soggy too.
So, here are a few outfit ideas composed of my favourite items on site – from dresses and matching sets to crystal-adorned heels – to get you started. Fingers crossed for sunny skies!
Be brave and bold with statement shapes
Megawatt floral print is always a failsafe for summer
sLEeK & ChIC
Start with one wow factor item and complement it
Keep it on or throw it off, the choice is yours
ThE MaTChING SeT
Maximum impact, minimum fuss
Keeping your options open is never a bad thing