These two outfits are styled for an instagram follower who has a Buckingham Palace garden party to dress for this summer. As an ex-BP employee I have been on duty for numerous garden party days and have attended as a guest too so it’s something I am very familiar with. For the first look I have pictured the supremely elegant Hana dress by Beulah London. I love the subtle pleating in this dress, they call it a “hero” garment and hero it is in my book! I’ve matched it with a beautiful rose pink percher hat by Juliette Botterill, pink pearl earrings, an ivory clutch with pearl detail from Coast and ivory floral heels from Office. Now I’ve already advised her to wear comfortable shoes as there is a bit of queuing at the gates involved on garden party days and you’ll be on your feet on grass all afternoon…but I wouldn’t always listen to my advice! With shoes like this in the world it would be a shame not to wear them! Honestly though if you do opt for high heels I’d always advise to wear tights and use a shoe cushion insert to support your foot. Boots and M&S sell good value ones, otherwise you’ll get blisters and be hobbling home! Alice Bow insoles are a more luxury brand and are apparently used by the Duchess of Cambridge. M&S also have really low denier cooling tights that are good in summer and feel like you’re barely wearing anything – they’re practically 0 denier – they’re hardly there at all.
The Lady’s Maid offers her advice on how to dress like a Royal at Royal Ascot this year.
In a fashion age where anything goes, the Lady’s Maid is relieved that there are still some occasions where one has to follow certain rules before getting dressed. Thankfully, Royal Ascot still adheres to strict dress codes for racegoers, at least within the Royal Enclosure. But from frequenting this most sartorial of race meetings herself, the Lady’s Maid has noticed how many young women do not know how to “dress up” for a day event. Often the dresses on display would be more suitable for a nightclub than broad daylight. There is a time and a place for body-con satin and open-toe stilettos, and it isn’t amongst horses.
The dress code for the Royal Enclosure is basically “formal daywear”, which is defined as:
Skirt/dress to be knee-length or longer
Straps on dresses should be at least one inch
Trouser suits are allowed, but they should be of matching colour and material
Hats should be worn. Head pieces are acceptable as long as the base is 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter
What NOT to wear:
Dresses of the strapless, spaghetti strap, halterneck, or off-the-shoulder variety
The strictest code is for the Royal Enclosure, which is relaxed a little for the other enclosures; e.g. strappy dresses and fascinators are permitted elsewhere.
So, with this dress code in mind, the Lady’s Maid offers some tips and looks on what to wear for Ascot this year.
Top Tips for formal daywear dressing.
Stick to two colours – one for the outfit and hat and one for accessories.
Neutral accessories are great for formal dressing – nude/tan/black will go with many colour choices.
Avoid bright colours unless you accessorise neutrally – there is a reason the Royals are mainly seen in all shades of neutral – it may seem boring, but it is hard not to look elegant in oyster or champagne.
Avoid flimsy fascinators – The Lady’s Maid would rather see a hatless head than a few feathers stuck on to an Alice band – they add nothing to the style of an outfit.
If you have chosen a statement/flamboyant hat let the hat speak for itself and stick to a simple/unfussy dress and accessories.