The 2012 Kentucky Derby has now passed us by and graced us with a very sophisticated swagger, but all fashionable eyes in the horse racing fraternity are now getting ready for the most British of occasions at Royal Ascot 2012.
For those not familiar with this event, Royal Ascot is the fashion showcase of the UK horse racing calendar, in particular with respect to ladies hats.
With the standards of dress at Royal Ascot being perceived by some as having lowered in tone during recent years, new rules have been brought into place in order to protect those in the Royal Enclosure from seeing ladies in skirts too short, tops too low & hats being, well, not very hat-like. For those lucky enough to be heading to Ascot this year & are joining in celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, then the following should be noted:
Ladies are kindly reminded that formal day wear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:
– Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.
– 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.
– Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.
Ladies are also kindly asked to note the following:
– Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted.
– Midriffs must be covered.
– 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).
Rules about headwear do vary if joining the masses in the Grandstand (hats or fascinators must be worn at all times) and are more relaxed in the Silver Ring enclosure (no formal dress code applies, although bare chests are not permitted at any time!!).
There has always been a myriad of hat styles on display at Royal Ascot, ranging from the stylish and sophisticated pieces through to the overly flamboyant extravaganzas (as well as those seemingly created by commercial companies in order to advertise their products). However, with Kate Middleton doing wonders for the millinery business by seemingly never leaving home without wearing a hat or a pill box style fascinator, then it would appear that it is hoped that both glamour and panache will be returning to Royal Ascot this year.
Colours expected to feature very heavily in the hat designs of the movers and fashionistas this year are Navy, Nude, Tangerine Tango, Teal and Coral (plus, with this being jubilee year, Union Jack Red, White and Blue will also undoubtedly be everywhere!!).
The catwalk opens for business on Tuesday 19 June and continues through until Saturday 23 June, so be sure to check out what’s making the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons!!