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Race Day Dress Decorum

Fusing the most important hat competition in the world, Pimms by the bucket load and gambling bigger than Vegas, if you’re heading to Ascot for King George’s weekend, you’ll need to pack your ticket and if you’re thinking of placing bets, plenty of pennies. The odds are you’ll also need to read our top tips for getting through the gates as a result of the strictly honoured dress code and required on-course etiquette.

British horse racing is a timely tradition, dating back to the 1600s with Ascot in particular originating in 1711 under the reign of Queen Anne. Flash forward to 2015 and the glitz and glamour of the event is still somewhat representative of this sartorial style of dress. With the Royal Family in annual presence, each attendee should be aware that their ticket isn’t the only thing required to get in but a strong outfit combination and adherence to style rules are to be followed so as not to fall at the first hurdle. It’s a tradition that we’re willing to accept if it means we can spend days admiring the best-of course-side fashion. And well, if you’re not heading to a summer wedding, it’s the perfect opportunity to channel refined elegance and ultimate sophistication. Dust-off your favourite silk tie and follow Jules B’s steps to Race Day Dress Decorum. It’s time to preen and polish.

1. British summer isn’t always rosy so ensure you dress for all-weathers. Gents, this includes the simple addition of a blazer to complement your ensemble, and ladies, pack a Pashmina to avoid catching the goose-pimples.

2. Feet-friendly footwear is a must. Ascot is all about the atmosphere so you’ll need a pair of stylish yet sensible shoes to ensure you can stroll around all day and look sharp without having to take a seat too often and can follow all the action. Shop our collection of race-worthy men’s and women’s pairs here.

3. Hats on! Hosting the biggest ladies head-wear competition in history, you’ll need to wisely select a hat to complement the rest of your ensemble, fascinate with a fascinator (but be careful, view-blocking styles have been banished!) or go bold with a wide-brim, just ensure it’s pinned perfectly in place to avoid any mishaps with the breeze. Gents can relax a little with this rule (fascinators won’t suit you) although a panama hat is an above-brow option for men wanting to adhere to the hat agenda.

4. Last and by no means least, shield your shoulders. It might come as a surprise in the 21st Century but showing too much skin is the biggest fashion-faux pas at Ascot. Think, would my parents approve when choosing a dress, and keep the hemline below the knee. Again, this one is easy for the opposite sex, just make sure your shirt matches your relatively sensible tie and is sharp enough to keep you looking on point all day long.

If you like the above looks you can shop Vivienne Westwood, Isabel de Pedro and Hugo Boss Black new collections online now.

We hope after this quick round-up you’re ready to enter the betting ring with as much faith in your outfit as your horse. But before you gallop off into the fields, no refined ensemble is finished off without the spirit and decorum to go with it. Now you look the part, some good old British manners come into play, accept any losses with equanimity, and try not to spend all of your winnings at the bar! You will also be expected to queue a lot, to place bets, for a good viewpoint, and even to buy a drink so be patient and use to time to admire your surroundings. For more information on how to behave head over to the Huffington Post  for 5 big Ascot tips…

Enjoy Race Day!