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Ascot’s Royal Rules

BY LIZZIE, WOMENSWEAR EDITOR ON 14 JUN 2012 12:57 WOMEN'S FASHIONCOMMENTS

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Royal Ascot begins next week, running from Tues 19th to Saturday 23rd June and, this year, we’re taking our hats off to the newly imposed style rules…

Yes, after years of what the organisers of Ascot have (unofficially) dubbed ‘slipping standards’, new guidelines have been drawn up to assist attendees in dressing to suit the occasion.

A focal point in the summer events calendar, Royal Ascot is said to be one of the Queen’s favourite racing events – with the Duchess of Cambridge often spotted in the Royal Box alongside her.

This year, the new guidelines state that no fascinators will be permitted in the Royal Enclosure so Kate, known to favour the fascinator, will no doubt be on the hunt for a new hat.  With all those aides on hand to help the royals, we’re sure Kate will have no problem finding a hat that fits. As your official Debenhams’ style guide, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up a few fabulous styles here for you to take your hat off to – which one is your favourite? Or do you prefer a fascinator?

(Above image left to right: Orange hat at J by Jasper Conran, Black and white bow hat from Hatbox

(Above image left to right: Saucer hat by Hatbox, Cream bow at Debut)

If the answer is yes, don’t worry – in the Grandstand (the place for ‘commoners’, i.e – us) fascinators are still acceptable attire. The thing is though, here at Debenhams we actually quite like the formality of dressing up to befit the royals. Fascinators are excellent for weddings, summer garden parties and the like, but just this once, why not make a style statement? After all, anything the royals can do, surely we can do too…

(Above image left to right: Criss-cross hat and White swirl creation both from J by Jasper Conran)

If we’re really going all out and helping to put the ‘Royal’ into Royal Ascot, we can’t just stop at the hat. For your information, here are a few other Royal Enclosure style rules for the upcoming occasion:

    • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length – just above knee or longer.
    • Straps on dresses or tops should be more than one inch.
    • Hats must be worn – headpieces are allowed provided they boast a base of 4 inches or more.
    • Strapless, spaghetti straps, halter necks  and straps of less than one inch are not permitted.

Charles Barnett, Ascot’s chief executive, says the new guidelines are not in place to promote elitism, but merely a way of ensuring that Ascot attracts modern and stylish dress.

Here at Debenhams, that sounds pretty good to us. After all with our gorgeous, eye-catching hats and stylish occasionwear, including stunning ranges from our Designers at Debenhams, we already have in mind exactly what we’ll wear.

In fact, we have so many outfits in mind, we’re feeling a little pampered and spoilt for choice – just like a princess.

Shop occasionwear 

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