What to Wear at Ascot | My Men's Style Recommendations

Marc Darcy Suits x Carl Thompson.jpg

With Ascot upon us (June 18th - June 22nd) now’s the time to start thinking whether you're appropriately dressed. Don't leave it until the last minute to see if those ill-fitting dark blue chinos with the spaghetti sauce stain will be eligible for entree at the Queen Anne's Enclosure. (They're not by the way). 

So you know there are certain restrictions if you've purchased tickets for the enclosures and they can be found on the Royal Ascot website.  

One thing that is forbidden in all enclosures is the allowance of fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing. 

What SHOULD I wear to Ascot? I hear you cry. 

The thing with Ascot, is that you'll feel immediately under dressed if you don't make something of an effort. It's quite different to feeling under dressed at a black tie event. Under dressing for black tie is disrespectful. Under dressing for Ascot just shows lack of imagination. 

My advice? Retire your old race day suit, or relegate to the christening suit. No one cares about christenings or what people chose to wear to them. 

NEW SHIRT TIME

I'm going to offer up the Hawkins & Shepherd Blue Soyella Duecento Shirt. It's from my latest Luxury Collection and is hand crafted using the finest cotton fabric in the world. 

The Slim Fit shirt is our best fitting shirt, for that more tailored touch.  The fit is typically slimmer through the chest, waist and hip. The collar lining is medium-soft, so you won't feel like you're on your way to a board meeting. Although you'll look impeccable and nothing can truly beat the feel of a new shirt. 

The shirt is handmade using the finest Alumo Swiss fabrics, replete with mother of pearl buttons and finished with a double button mitred cuff. If you're a shirt enthusiast then I also offer a subscription service that will entitle you to a discount.  

NEW SUIT TIME

As regular readers of my blog know I'm a huge lover of Reiss. I'd love to have my shirts in the same conversations as some of their suits and here are some of the ones I imagine would work well with the Hawkins & Shepherd Blue Soyella Duecento Shirt. 

The Reiss Grove Single Breasted suit. One of the things I love about this suit is the texture leaps out at you. You can purchase this suit and make both the trousers and the blazer interchangeable with other garments. The slim fit wool-blend suit costs 275 GBP and has a modern feel, short in length, suppressed waist, only with slightly wider lapels than a modern fit would forgive. 

The jacket costs 275 GBP whilst the matching flat front trousers costs 135 GBP. 

WHY DON'T I BUY THE REISS SHIRT ALSO?

Sure, you have the option there for you. As well as purchasing the Leicester monk strap toe caps that Reiss also recommends. However, I'm always in favour of people mixing and matching, rather than simply shopping the mannequin. A bit like when your Aunty buys you the tie and matching pocket square. Never let anyone dictate your wardrobe to you, accept me of course. 

 

What to Wear for a Regatta, Horse Racing or Summer Event | Men's Style Edit

This morning whilst walking down the Kings Road in Chelsea on my way to today's KOBOX class, I passed a couple who looked like they were dressed for the races. Being in men's fashion, I tend to look into what people are wearing more than anyone else and my opinion was that he could have styled things a lot better, so here are my top tips.

I'm a massive fan of double-breasted suits, you'll stand out from everyone else who plays it safe with single-breasted blazers. Remember that a double-breasted blazer is normally tailored slightly shorter than its single-breasted cousin. Always only do up the middle of the 6 buttons and leave the bottom button undone. Navy is a great choice for the colour of your suit, it's easier to accessorise with different colour palettes and less common than a light-grey suit, which I personally think can look a little cheap.

A crisp white shirt is a must. Usually these type of events are summer based, so make sure you pick a shirt with a breathable weave such as a poplin, in a fine yarn count such as a twin-100 cotton. The higher the yarn count, the finer the cotton so therefore a twin-100 shirt is a high quality shirt. Go down to twin-60s and the shirt may seem too heavy or go higher to twin-160s and you'll end up paying a fortune. A great statement shirt would be a pin collar shirt or tab collar shirt, available from London shirt makers Hawkins & Shepherd.

Simplify your accessorises. Basically don't over do the colours, I've seen so many people wear different colour socks, tie and pocket square and it just screams you are trying too hard and in all honesty, it looks cheap and tacky. If you are wearing a multi-coloured tie, keep the socks & pocket square plain and simple. Alternatively draw attention to your pocket square my styling a simple tie. Always wear a watch and shine those shoes.

 

SHOP THE MEN'S STYLE EDIT

HOW TO DRESS FOR THE RACES

During Horse Racing season the tabloid spies are on the look out for any fashion faux-pas. So to avoid you the embarrassment of being in their 'Worst Dressed of Ascot' section with a big red cross next to what you thought was your best attire - I'm going to attempt to help you out.

Here are a few generic pointers to check for prior to choosing your outfit for the day:

  • Check the Dress Code! Each horse racing venue may have different dress-codes. You will even find that at the same venue there may be different dress codes for different events and enclosures that you are in. 
  • Check the weather! Do I even need to add this? We live in the UK and it has been printed into our brain. If in doubt, take a brolly...
  • Is Fancy Dress Allowed? The only time I go to the races is for a stag do, birthday or a football tour. For most of these occasions there is chat about Fancy Dress, because well why not right? You should always check with the venue as some do not allow fancy dress, or they will restrict where you can go when you are inside the venue.

There are a few different looks that you could attempt depending on the dress code at the event, here are my top 3:

Modern Classic.

Tweed

Old-Fashioned

Whatever look you go for remember these simple rules:

  • Shine your shoes. 
  • Wear a shirt & suit that fits. 
  • Tie your tie or bow-tie correctly.
  • Smell good!
  • Remember your umbrella.
  • Remember your sunglasses.