Ascot style lessons from Imelda May, Laura Whitmore and Kate Middleton
Many of the racing fashion statements will work for any summer occasion
Irish TV presenter Laura Whitmore and singer Imelda May at Royal Ascot. Phgotograph: Dave Benett/Getty Images
Irish women singer Imelda May and TV presenter Laura Whitmore made a stylish pair at Royal Ascot this week. May dressed sharply in a tailored black tuxedo and matching fedora, while Whitmore went with a colourful polka dot dress .
Dressing for any day at the races can be a minefield but getted kitted out for Royal Ascot with its obdurate dress codes is serious style business. As one of the most prestigious race meets in the British racing calendar, attended by the British royal family, the formal dress code can be difficult to navigate.
Current rules dictate hems must modest, shoulder straps should be at least one inch wide; and fascinators and hairbands are out when it comes to headgear. But even with the strict dress code, it brings some of the best racing fashion. Kate Middleton’s powder blue Elie Saab gown was one runaway winner and there was no shortage of event dressing inspiration for all summer occasions.
Here are six style lessons we learned from the royal family and celecbrity racegoers:
With unpredictable summer weather, tailoring is a chic and practical option. A neutral-hued light fabric will work for a warm’s summer day but will keep your legs and arms covered if the chill sets in. Imelda May stood out in a sea of frocks with her black Joshua Kane tux.
Pay attention to shoes
Not ditching their courts to navigate the lawns, the royals have perfected a subtle lean that stops grass sinking. A much more smarter option is a shoe with a stacked or block heel as seen on Laura Whitmore.
The unofficial theme this year was blue
The first day of the five-day festival saw Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Zara Tindall all attend in co-ordinated blue ensembles, with Kate Middleton opting for a elaborate mesh and lace powder blue dress by Elie Saab.
Neutrals are perennially chic and demure
Softer shades will always look more chic and expensive even if it’s from the high-street. Satisfy your colour cravings with pops of bright hues through your accessories instead.
White is alright
There was a marked presence of minimal all-white outfits. While white is a no-no for wedding guest style, the races is a chance to don the light and bright hue.
Quick route to avoiding hat crashing? Look at the numerous photos of race-goers and you should come to the same conclusion – your hat should always observe the right tilt.
Matchy Matchy is a no no
Keep your handbag small, compact and ensure it will complement your outfit, But there’s no need to match it to your shoes, unless you’re a royal, that is.