Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Debrett's Style Tips: Ascot

Debrett's style experts talk us through the do's and dont's of dressing for the Ascot 20-24 June

What is your partnership with Bicester Village and why does it work so well?
Debrett's and Bicester are both champions of British style; Debrett's as the authority on etiquette, British tradition and formal events, and Bicester through the exceptional partner brands it supports and showcases. For this reason we have collaborated to create the Guide To British Style, exploring all things sartorial with a focus on the comprehensive rules of dressing throughout the Season.

What is the 'Guide To British Style'?
It is a beautiful pocket guide to style and the Season, deciphering dress codes and exploring the surprising origins of some Britain's most cherished and iconic items of clothing. It reveals everything that remains central to the British notion of style, from its heritage to both its craft and creativity – qualities that Debrett's has championed throughout its nearly 250-year history.

Why would you advise Lady readers to visit Bicester Village when looking for an outfit for Ascot?
Bicester Village plays host to more than 130 boutiques, which makes dressing for a special occasion such as Royal Ascot both convenient and affordable. Less than an hour from London, a visit to Bicester means you can find your dress, shoes, hat and accessories all in one place – and with up to 60% off.

What kind of statement should an Ascot visitor seek to make? Is this a time for being sophisticated, glamorous or quirky?
Royal Ascot has long been associated with the very best in stylish dressing, so it's certainly an opportunity to dress up and make an effort with your outfit. Hats can be unusual and striking, with a witty touch, but garish or novelty outfits or headwear – or anything resembling fancy dress – are not appropriate.

How best to combine fashion forwardness with fashion etiquette when selecting an outfit for Ascot?
Fashion forwardness is encouraged at Royal Ascot, especially on Ladies' Day when the most striking outfits are often seen. Just ensure that you have checked the dress code for the enclosure you will be visiting: the event website has a detailed explanation of what is acceptable for each area.

What should ladies wear when attending Ascot?
The dress code varies according to the enclosure. In the Royal Enclosure, formal daywear is required, and dresses or skirts should fall to just above the knee or longer, with straps an inch or more wide. As an alternative to dresses, trouser suits and full-length jumpsuits are also acceptable. Hats, or headpieces with a solid base of four inches or more in diameter, are required. Elsewhere, formal dress is encouraged, and hats, headpieces or fascinators are required in the Queen Anne and Village Enclosures.

In the Royal Enclosure

What should gentlemen wear when attending Ascot?
Again the dress code varies according to the enclosure, but in the Royal Enclosure men should wear morning dress – meaning a morning suit with a waistcoat, shirt and tie, and a top hat. In the other enclosures, men are required to wear a suit and tie.

Do you advise that ladies wear hats or fascinators?
Women are required to wear hats, or headpieces with a base of more than 4 inches, in the Royal Enclosure. In the Queen Anne and Village Enclosures, fascinators may be worn instead of hats or headpieces.

What jewellery is appropriate for the occasion?
A formal daytime dress code usually requires jewellery that is elegant but not too dramatic. Pearls would be more suitable than very striking diamonds, for example.

See more on Bicester Village & Debrett's 'Guide To British Style'


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