With the outfits finally sorted for Royal Ascot week (just about – I’m still awaiting a delayed delivery on Monday… ) I thought I’d do a post on some of the more boring but equally essential wardrobe preparations for Royal Ascot. Some of you have been messaging on Instagram stressing about umbrellas, and I’m a bit stressed about it too! It’s not an accessory I wanted to incorporate into my Ascot outfits. But with a couple of days to go and showers in the forecast I think it’s best to take one – rain and millinery are not good friends. I featured some transparent birdcage umbrellas in my Insta stories yesterday by Fulton – the brand used by HM The Queen who matches the trim of her brolly to her outfit. Not only does the birdcage style enable the public to see her clearly – it also enables her to have a good view of them and the horses of course! They’re so identifiable to HM, so I would be reluctant to carry one myself! The high birdcage style would be good for shielding showstopper hats though.
I’m opting for a classic walking umbrella by Fulton – this one has a rose lining which will add a bit of cheer to the sombre weather.
If you want to be a really fancy Nancy you could get one of these umbrellas from James Smith & Sons. I love that this kind of shop has survived – founded in 1830 and still housed in the original Victorian building. It’s worth a visit to marvel at a little slice of history.
The other main concern is a soggy ground threatening your expensive suede shoes. Make sure you use a suede or leather protector spray on your footwear to protect it from the elements. Liquiproof was recommended to me by an Instagram follower who swears by it.
The weather is warming up and I know many people prefer to go tightless these days, but I will be wearing hosiery – If you’re wearing high heels all day the chances of your feet rubbing and causing blisters are much higher without them – and if you’re attending Ascot more than one day you’ll want to preserve your tootsies! These are my favourite summer tights – 5 denier cooling tights from M&S – they’re the lowest denier so barely there and have a natural sun tanned look to them. If you’re prone to your foot slipping out of your shoe you could get tights with a grip on the sole like these ones.
Rachel Hawkins of The Cotswold Hat Club is a regular at the races and she recommends ibuprofen spray to protect your feet from swelling in your high heeled shoes – the things we do to look stylish ladies!
Gel insoles placed inside the shoe will also offer some comfort by cushioning your foot – The Duchess of Cambridge reportedly uses these ones from Alice Bow. I sometimes use Party Feet – small invisible gel inserts that protect the ball of your foot and are particularly good if you’re wearing sandals.
One of my clutch bags is teeny tiny so I’m taking an equally teeny tiny portable charger for my phone – no cable is needed and it’s about the size of a lipstick.
Some followers have planned summery outfits and are worried about being cold – adding a jacket to floaty dresses will spoil the outline of the dress so I would recommend wearing a vest underneath if you feel cold and brave the bare arms!
I think that’s all the Ascot accessories prep I can think of – I’m off to steam my dresses for next week and pray for sunshine!