Tag Archives: Royal Ascot dress code

Royal Ascot Decides to Stay Strict & That Great Lakes Prep

Hello-Hello, happy new week to everyone.

Today we briefly revisit a topic we have nattered on about relentlessly chatted about occasionally.

Via Royal Ascot Facebook

Via Royal Ascot Facebook

We’re talking about that week of fun and fashion across the pond known as Royal Ascot.  Some may recall that certain issues of propriety and style had arisen over the years and a stricter dress code was instituted. From the Daily Mail:

The new dress code was announced in January 2012, and organisers sent out reminders with badges and tickets. The decision to tighten and clarify the dress code at the annual summer event and comes amid criticism of sartorial standards which have been more loosely enforced in recent years.

In 2012 the summer racing meet unveiled a new list of sartorial rules which included banning fascinators within the Royal Enclosure and forbidding anyone from wearing strapless dresses anywhere in the park.
First, a spot of background on the Royal Enclosure:
The Royal Enclosure is at the heart of Royal Ascot, with exclusive viewing areas and some of the best facilities on the course. The Royal Enclosure includes access to the viewing area by the Winning Post and the Royal Enclosure Garden, perfect for relaxing with friends and guests.
Now there is a Style Guide at the Ascot website (although I’d swear there was one last year as well), sharing tips and specifics on the rules about what is acceptable, and what is not. There are a variety of different viewing areas at Ascot; no one will be surprised the area with the most restrictive dress code is the Royal Enclosure.
Via Royal Ascot

Via Royal Ascot

From the Style Guide for this area:

  • Overseas Visitors & Serving Military Personnel are welcome to wear their formal National Dress or Service Dress.
  • Girls (aged 10-16) should dress for a formal occasion in a smart summer dress.  A hat, headpiece or fascinator may be worn.
  • Boys (aged 10-16) should follow the gentlemen’s dress code, or wear a dark-coloured lounge suit with shirt and tie (no hat required).

A ‘lounge suit’ for men in Britain is akin to a man’s business suit in the US.

The following looks are showcased as examples of what qualifies as appropriate ensembles for the Royal Enclosure.



The dress on the far left is by Emilia Wickstead (a label your faithful scribe adores), the black and white frock is by Osman, the suit on the far right comes from Mulberry.

These are the rules for chapeaux in the Enclosure:

Hats should be worn.

A headpiece with a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.

Please note that fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure.

Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot

Two more looks for attendees who plan to mingle with Royals.

Via the Daily Mail

Via the Daily Mail

Those with tickets for areas not quite as rarefied as the Royal Enclosure are still reminded of the following:

Although no formal dress code applies in the Silver Ring Enclosure, racegoers are encouraged to wear smart clothes.

Please note that fancy dress, novelty, and branded or promotional clothing is not allowed, and bare chests are not permitted at any time.

To ensure everyone gets the word Ascot has even launched an advertising and public relations campaign.

Ascot Facebook Page

And to think we have friends who have actually gone to Royal Ascot, oh my! (We’re talking about you Miss Pretty, and you too Meg!)


Also today, a quick mention about a pal many of you may already know, Nick of Great Lakes Prep fame. We got to chatting about this year’s Midwest Prep Brand brackets. (A number of favorites have made it to the Sweet Sixteen, including our friends at KJP, Brooks Brothers, Lilly Pulitzer and Southern Tide.)

Great Lakes Prep

Great Lakes Prep

Nick let me know about a project he has launched, a modest fundraising campaign on Indieagogo, a crowdfunding site. He has long celebrated Midwest preps and he plans to offer artwork allowing others to do the same. He hopes to raise $2000 to create and market a line of letterpress posters celebrating the land of the Midwest prep. Below we show an example, the Ohio design.

Great Lakes Prep via Indieagogo

Great Lakes Prep via Indieagogo

Ultimately  Nick plans a broader range of products. The line would include these these tee shirts, they proclaim “Midwest, The Land I Love The Best”.

Flyover Press

Flyover Press

Hopefully Nick will be able to get this off the ground, I’m sure there is a sizable audience of preps in the Midweast eager for products celebrating their region.


Filed under preppy

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.

Via BuzzSugar.com

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 Film.com

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