Horse racing, once purely the reserve of the well-to-do, is nowadays an activity open to all. Racing days are regarded far and wide as excellent days out, where race-goers can drink, bet, and experience the excitement of horseracing, all whilst being dressed to the nines in all manner of flashy, sartorial garments. With tickets for next year’s racing’s premier meeting, Royal Ascot 2015, now on sale, what should ticketholders strive for, or strive to avoid, when it comes to picking out the perfect race day regalia?
Let’s start with the dress code requirements. Being the premier racing event, the organisers of Royal Ascot are understandably very stringent when it comes to the dress of their clientele. For both genders, smart casual attire is required; suits, jackets and smart shoes are among what is expected by gentlemen, but when it comes to ladies, the rules are rather stringent indeed! Halter or spaghetti-strap dresses are completely banned, as are staples dresses, cavernous midriffs and dresses that fall perilously north of the knee! If in the Royal Enclosure or Grandstand, hats are required; fascinators are forbidden and hats must have a base greater than 4 inches in diameter. Quite the list of requirements, I’m sure you’ll agree, but such rules retain the image and feel of exclusivity and exceptionality that surrounds such a momentous event.
Race days are truly summertime affair; swanning around the stands, drink in hand, sun beating down on one’s head. As a result, picking light, bright vestments is a must when it comes to donning for the races. Pencil and Maxi dresses are thus excellent choices for the astute race goer, and these cooling styles will really make the difference when you’re experiencing the fourth hour of unrelenting sunlight.
The importance of hats cannot be overstated at Ascot. As we mentioned, there are dress-code requirements related to hats, but they serve an immensely practical purpose as well for lady lovers of betting. Imagine you’re stood in the stands, G&T in hand, smartphone in the other, trying to check the odds of your favourite horses on www.bookies.com. With no hat not only will you have an uncomfortable sun-addled coif, but the glare of the sun will be such that viewing those odds will be a hard-pressed endeavour! Take heed!
When it comes to the colour of your Ascot garments, bright is most definitely best! Light, floral designs can offer a soft solution to your race day outfit; alternatively, if you want to be the centre of attention, bold, bright shades (contrasted with blocks of darker tones) will definitely turn heads! Burgundy-cum-pink, lime green, and pastels set upon white linen can all work a dream, even in the winner’s paddock!