Tag Archives: Royal Ascot hats

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

Royals, Ascots, and Royal Ascot


As promised in yesterday’s post, we are taking a more in-depth look at Royal Ascot.

Before delving into Ascot, a reminder the Royal Family does know how to dress; below we see everyone at this weekend’s Trooping the Colour ceremony.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Back to the subject at hand, yesterday was Day One at Ascot, and both the Queen and actress Amanda Holden opted for this season’s “it color”.

Today brought more pink; Princess Anne stood out amid a sea of black (L), and Jackie St. Clair (perhaps best known as Simon Cowell’s former girlfriend, good heavens) is on the right.

Clearly, dining before things get underway is a rigorous exercise.


Lending an entirely different meaning to the word “picnic”.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Back to our topic, the fashion sported by race-goers.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Above, a vertigo-inducing image,  and below, efforts to avoid a chapeau tragedy.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Lest there be any confusion regarding proper apparel for watching the activities from the Royal Enclosure, let us we remind readers there are rules.

“Her Majesty’s Representative wishes to point out that only formal day dress with a hat or substantial fascinator will be acceptable. Off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch and miniskirts are considered unsuitable. Midriffs must be covered and trouser suits must be full length and of matching material and colour.”

Also looking smart yesterday, a cousin of the Queen and 34th in line to the throne, Princess Alexandra (L); on the right, the BBC’s Kate Silverton.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex (perhaps better known stateside as Prince Edward’s wife) was in muted tones both yesterday (L) and today (R).

The dress code is not only applicable to the ladies, back to the Official Rules:

“Gentlemen are required to wear either black or grey morning dress, including a waistcoat, with a top hat. A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden. Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.”

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Most of the gentlemen looked topnotch, including soccer star Michael Owen (injured, thus not enduring the vuvuzelas at the World Cup) on the left, and on the right, jockey Frankie Dettori.

To read the full dress code code for those heading for the Royal Enclosure, click here.

The hat on the left is shared on behalf of the delightful Nautical by Nature, on the right, an elegant ensemble in what we’ll call royal blue. (Clearly the Silly Princess was let out today. Sigh.)

We’re not convinced matching one’s escort is necessary.

Alastair Grant/AP

And we must query our cherished readers about this next image: is it just TP, or do these dresses look like something better worn in the boudoir? (They are prompting Paris Hilton Anti-Prep flashbacks for some reason, envision the involuntary eye twitch, the sudden jerking movement of the head.)

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

As someone who spent 18 years in broadcasting, naturally we read the Media Guide, you would expect no less. Trust us when we say it is full of amazing information, not all of it what we are used to seeing in such publications.

Vehicular Egress! Ladies, the easiest way to exit a vehicle is to take a firm hold on the back hem of the skirt, twist your body with your legs together until your legs are toward the exiting door of the vehicle, and then stand.

Stuart Wilson/Getty

We are wondering if Australian entertainer Holly Valance (above) needed those pointers?

Here is another tip from the Media Guide for the gentlemen:

Zips Gentlemen ensure these are always done up. A simple schoolboy error can spoil even the most distinguished of outfits!”


Here is a bit of insight from the Media Guide on an essential topic:

…And Hats Simply the Ascot accessory! Wear hats straight on the head or tilted mysteriously over one eye. How a hat looks from the neck up is most important.”

Stuart Wilson/Getty

The Guide also addresses the topic of footwear:

Feet! No pain, no gain! High heels look fabulous but don’t neglect your feet girls! The site is a quarter of a mile long so lady visitors may wish to consider their footwear carefully…or just wear the heels, everyone knows they look great!”

Luke MacGregor/Reuters

It seems someone elected to leave the pain and/or gain behind.

Next, this lovely image of The Queen on her way to today’s events, definitely a Pretty in Pink.

Press Agency

And if one were seeking a Pretty in Pink and Green from Ascot, we can supply that image as well.


If wondering whether Princes William and Harry are enjoying the races, that is a ‘no,’ they are in Botswana.

Chris Jackson/Getty

Above we see Prince Harry and Prince William holding an African rock python yesterday, at an Education Centre they support. The final stop for this Royal duo includes watching the England vs Algeria World Cup match in Cape Town.

The young men are not the only royals doing the World Cup; Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe, and Princess Letizia at today’s World Cup match between Spain and Switzerland.

Julie Jacobson/AP

The outcome was an upset, Spain (reigning European champions) did not win the match.

Our final tidbit in what has become “Your Royal Update from the Princess,” a reminder about this Saturday’s big event, the wedding between Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and former fitness instructor Daniel Westling.

Jonas Ekstromer/Scanpix/Reuters

On the left, the Princess at a function last December, and on the right, leaving the Cathedral where the ceremony will be held.

We look forward to seeing the wedding gown the Princess will wear.

Until next time, may your afternoon be sunny and bright!


  • Stuart Wilson/Getty
  • REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
  • REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Getty Images


Filed under preppy