Whether you’re one for the longshot, pick a horse by name, or simply enjoy the thud of hooves as they hurtle across the turf at forty miles per hour, there is an allure to horse racing that keeps us coming back for more. Having grown up spending my formative years on the doorstep, there is one racecourse that stands head and shoulders above them all in terms of occasion and grandeur: Royal Ascot.
Assuming you haven’t scooped a golden ticket to the Royal or Queen Anne Enclosure, there are a million ways to tackle what to wear to the races. The key is to avoid looking like a boardroom date, a wedding guest or, perhaps most crucially, a gentleman who has no idea how to style up a suit. Here are my three tips on what to wear to Royal Ascot…
Suit Up, Break Down
When is a suit not a suit? When it’s a broken suit. Ninety percent of Ascot attendees will dig deep into their wardrobe and pick out the first homogenously coloured suit that they find. (One small caveat: if you are in either the Royal Enclosure or Queen Anne Enclosure, a full suit is a must, so check out the dress code here). Avoid the corporate cliché colours such as navy and opt for something a little lighter instead. If you really want to dress it up, opt for a mix and match style. You can still get that hint of blue in the outfit, but switch it up with a lighter shade such as a grey or oatmeal to nail those summer shades.
Time to Shine
As with any suiting, it is the smaller details that really shine and allow you to customise your look. Add the finishing touch with a lapel pin; the Ascot Sterling Silver Crown Lapel Pinfrom Links of Londonis the perfect option, inspired by the iconic British sporting event with a Royal Ascot crown design. On your wrists, why not give a nod to the occasion; the Ascot Sterling Silver Racehorse and Jockey Cufflinks, also from Links of London, have a decent weight to them and fuse novelty and style. Whether it is silver or gold, the full collection has plenty to offer and will really add that touch of class.
Three Pieces and a Tie
Finally, you always need to wear a tie. It is part of the dress code for a reason and, for a lot of us, Ascot is one of the few days of the year when you get to dress up your neck. Again, look to avoid the corporate staple of a red tie and look for different shades. Kravattes are also a no-go; keep things simple for that finishing touch. As for the number of pieces in a suit, Ascot is a great excuse to wear three. A waistcoat not only looks smart, it also allows you to remove your jacket, should you be able to do so, keeping your shirt underneath looking smooth and smart.