Bits & Bytes: Royal Ascot Gets Tough, Mad Men Premiere & That LL Bean Bootmobile

Hello-Hello, today we have loads of little bits and bytes we hope you find moderately entertaining, beginning with a change in the dress code for Royal Ascot. From The Guardian:

Nick Smith, a spokesman for Ascot, said: “It is stretching a point to say standards have collapsed but there is no doubt that our customers would like to get back to a situation where it is universally acknowledged that this is a formal occasion and not an occasion where you might dress as you would at a nightclub.

“It is probably fair to say that the dress code hasn’t necessarily been enforced quite as rigorously as we might have liked.”

It turns out that relaxing the rules in an effort to appeal to a broader section of possible attendees hasn’t gone as well as hoped, at least not when it came to how those attendees were dressed.  If confused, one need look no further than the Royal Ascot website, where the new rules are laid out:

  • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer;

Methinks most of the ladies seen in this photo from last year would not pass muster under that new hemline rule.


Back to the more stringent standards:

  •  Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater;
  •  Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code;
  • Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and colour;

Something of a visual style guide was released along with the new rules, this next photo seems to reinforce the ‘trouser suit’ information. (FYI, ‘trouser suit’ as opposed to ‘pants suit,’ because on the far side of the pond ‘pants’ generally refers to a ladies’ unmentionables, a cultural distinction your fearless scribe only discovered last summer.) We’ll make this our Pretty in Pink for the day as well, it is a lovely look.

Royal Ascot via The Guardian

However, those are not the only new rules, back to Royal Ascot:

Ladies are kindly asked to note the following:

  • Midriffs must be covered;
  • Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted;

Again, ensembles (we use the term loosely here) worn last year to Royal Ascot that do not appear up to snuff vis-à-vis the updated standards.

Getty Images

With the possible exception of the pink floral frock in the center, that seems like a good thing.

  •  Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches / 10cm).

Another ‘approved’ look via The Guardian:

Via The Guardian

For those who plan on attending with your MOTH (Man Of The House), one final photo, this one showing acceptable styles for both the Lord and Lady at your palace.

Via The Guardian


Our other primary item of interest involves Mad Men, Season 5 premieres with a special 2-hour episode March 25.  Below, the poster promoting the new season.


Sure to be a collector’s item, this year’s poster takes mid-century minimalism to a new level. We can only hope things are looking up for Don and Betty, I fear he has pickled his liver by now.

amc-tv via

An interesting sidebar involves Newsweek, word is the magazine is doing a special issue in conjunction with the new season launch. More from Advertising Age:

Newsweek is planning an issue marking the return of “Mad Men” this March by adopting the magazine’s 1960s design throughout — all the way, it hopes, to the ads.

The “Mad Men”-themed issue, which will be dated March 19, will include a cover story on the series and a feature on the role of advertising in U.S. culture.

It seems that virtual wall keeping editorial content and advertising separated isn’t in place at Newsweek.  Below, two Newsweek covers from the Mad Men era, the cover on the far left is January 1964 and on the right, December 1965.

Newsweek via Ad Age


We leave you with two lighthearted items, the first involving these delightful images: what happens when an illustrator creates a few fashion pooh-bahs in the manner of the Simpsons?

aleXsandro Palombo via British Vogue

Above, Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld, below Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington, all created by illustrator Alexsandro Palombo.

aleXsandro Palombo via Vogue UK

Mr. Palombo is known for, among other things, creating the blog Humor Chic. He also created Vanity Karl, seen below.

aleXsandro Palombo/Humor Chic

We like the illustrator’s sly eye and sense of humor.


Our other lighthearted tidbit today involves a much loved product.


Meet the new LL Bean Bootmobile.

Via LL Bean

It was created as part of Bean’s 100th Anniversary this year (more about that in a future post, as well as a special giveaway), and it must be just something to see on the road.

Here is how it looked as it headed to Times Square today.

Zerina Phillip/LL Bean Facebook Page

The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile may have been bumped to second place in our hearts and minds. You can read more about the Bootmobile travel plans (yes, it will be on the move) and other Anniversary events on Bean’s first official blog.

Until next time, keep smiling and keep warm!


Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

12 responses to “Bits & Bytes: Royal Ascot Gets Tough, Mad Men Premiere & That LL Bean Bootmobile

  1. Very happy to see restrictions are in place, and expectations are set to a respectful status. Love it.

  2. Agree that it’s great to have some Ascot restrictions in place. It was beginning to look so trashy. Chavs with tans are not a good thing.

  3. I want to see the bean mobile!!!

  4. That bootmobile is a riot. I am all for the stringent dress code for Ascot…wish it could be mandated for the entire world ( our own beloved country being one of the worst offenders) Last time I was at the airport..I realized just how bad its gotten, of epic proportions in fact…never has the dress “code” looked so bad. Nothing wrong with looking your best, we all know when you look good you feel good:)

  5. Could we please institute the Ascot rules, um, everywhere? Thank you very much, in advance.

  6. I agree with Amid Privilege

    Just so you can easily remember when Mad Men starts….it’s on my birthday :O) And you will easily remember my birthday because it’s the same day Mad Men starts :O)

  7. 1) You should mention that it appears that the MOTH would wear “Morning Dress.” Didn’t read the article, but that’s what it looks like you have pictured there.

    2) Dat Bootmobile.

  8. Oh mon dieu PP! The world would be a nicer place if people did really get a more of a sartorial grip – if you can’t make an effort for Ascot, when can you? There was a BRAWL last year at for goodness sake, it’s embarrassing. How tight will the rules have to get though – bras underneath dresses? No ‘fake bake’? Real hair? Make up of under 1 inch? Dresses must not be ‘vulgar’? I am getting the Mad Men boxed set tomorrow – to retreat into a more reassuring era hehe.

  9. I just finished Mad Men Season 3!! Almost caught up….
    I work in Times Square and spotted the Bootmobile from a conference room window during a break. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to get outside and see it before it was gone!

  10. Amy

    Mad Men!!!! We [the bf & I] are gripping the edges of our seats waiting for the premiere, we are so excited!! 🙂 I will have to snatch up our office copy of Newsweek when that comes out, that looks like such a great idea!

  11. A friend has been invited (as a spouse) to Royal Ascot Ladies Day, Royal Enclosure. She should be excited but lacks confidence and is a bit of a recluse. She hates her legs always wears trousers. She also hates shopping.
    In an effort to retain some dignity (unlike some of the ladies photographed), she is hoping to buy or hire an elegant tailored trouser suit that complies with the rules but doesn’t make her look like she’s off to a business meeting.
    She has scoured the internet and found nothing. She is desperately trying to avoid a trip to London … any other suggestions?

  12. Anonymous

    Event Hostess: Check out Dolce & Gabbana, especially their “Masculine attraction” slide show. If you go to slide #3, there’s lovely suit with a long jacket that would be very forgiving and easy to buy/replicate with a tailor in any color, and adding an elegant, feminine blouse with a brooch and a hat would look lovely. Best of luck to your friend!

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