Ladies and Gentleman at Royal Ascot 2015
I love this time of year. Ever since I was a young boy, the months of June and July have been my favourite. Exams completed and the start of the Summer holidays. BBQ’s, water fights and Twister ice creams. Even the guaranteed disappointment of the Euros or the World Cup or Wimbledon etc… can’t dampen my spirit.
Last week also saw Britain’s most valuable race meet, attracting many of the world’s finest racehorses to compete for more than £5.5million in prize money. It was of course Royal Ascot.
More than 300 years in the making, it is a meet I always look forward to attending. However whilst everyone around me is watching the races, drinking a glass of outrageously overpriced Pimms or Champagne and screaming at their horse to ‘RUN QUICKER!’ or ‘GO ON MY SON’ (paternity test still pending presumably). I am always facing the completely opposite way.
You see I attend this Royal occasion not to watch these finely tuned beasts, ridden by dwarfs. If I wanted to do that, I’d watch The Hobbit at home, from the comfort of my sofa, in my onesie, eating cheese puffs. No, I attend for one reason alone.
The Fashion at Royal Ascot 2015
You see, Royal Ascot is as well known for it’s fashion as it is horse racing, and it is for this precise reason that I like to attend. Sure there are other meetings at different times of the year and at different race tracks but none live up to the theatre, pagentry and general extravagance of Royal Ascot.
The ladies always look stunning in both a good and sometimes bad way, depending on how successful their attempt to stand out and be unique has been. And although it is always nice to be able to ogle beautiful women in public and to critique their outfit like Gok Wan, it is the way the guys are dressed that I am interested in.
Surprisingly, there are more details for men to consider than women: the choice of top hat, the tie knot, the cufflinks, the waistcoat or the pocket square. It is in these detail’s that can make or break an outfit. It’s what makes Royal Ascot so interesting for me.
The Royal Enclosure and The Grandstands
What a man chooses to wear to Royal Ascot can be determined simply by whether he is going to be in the Royal Enclosure or the Grandstand. The rules for those in the Royal enclosure are indeed much stricter and more extensive than those set out for grandstand.
When given a strict dress code, it can be hard to stand out. This year however saw a vast array of colours in an attempt to inject a touch of individuality and character. Bright blues and Burnt oranges, right through to Canary yellow. There were colourful waistcoats and ties catching the eye, whilst glistening in the sunshine. Actors Simon Baker, Damian Lewis and Scar… sorry I mean Jeremy Irons all looked, as you would expect, rather dapper in the Royal Enclosure.
It is almost impossible not to look classy in a top hat and morning suit… unless of course you are this guy.
In the General Admittance, the dress code is much more relaxed. This allows more scope for individuality and again this year didn’t let us down.
So another successful meet. I can’t wait until next year when it comes around again. Hopefully by then, my hangover will be gone and my depressingly low bank balance replenished.