We think that’s sound advice and not just for Ascot but for any important, formal event really.
The key to dressing for special occasions is to keep it elegant and chic â€“ but that doesn’t have to mean boring or, heaven forbid, frumpy! It’s still possible to turn heads it’s just a question of adapting the basic principles and adding a dash of glamour! Take your cue from those gorgeous but ladylike styles of the 50s for example, when women looked sophisticated and groomed but also very feminine.
To understand the rules of formal dressing look to the Queen, she is quite literally the queen of dressing for events.
Of course we’re not suggesting we all emulate her style but simply the key principles.
Trying too hard is not the same as trying and there’s nothing wrong with planning an outfit meticulously and preferably well ahead.
And we don’t see anything wrong with choosing a colour palette and sticking to it, â€˜matchy matchy’ may be frowned on by some, but it worked for Grace Kelly (and of course the Queen) so we rest our case.
It is after all a mourning colour; the only time the Queen appears all in black is for sombre occasions, so give the fashionista’s favourite look a break.
Dressing glamorously for events doesn’t mean wearing everything including the kitchen sink; it’s about making a statement but in a way that says you know enough to know when to stop.
A statement hat or jewellery contrasted with a simple dress is utterly sophisticated.
This also applies to â€“ as we saw once at Royal Ascot â€“ a full length beaded evening gown!
The dress code for the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot actually provides some Good guidance for most formal occasions, daytime ones at least: No mini skirts, no straps narrower than 1â€³ and at least a â€˜substantial fascinator’ or proper hat.
Real glamour is not about showing it all, it’s more about What you don’t show.
A little cleavage is fine, but not combined with a micro mini.
Wearing a dress or jacket with a bit of a sleeve not only looks elegant, it’s more practical too given the vagaries of the British climate!
We love a pair of shiny lightly tanned pins in the right circumstances but formal daytime events aren’t the right circumstances.
Also unless you have perfect pins gleaming, flawless and smooth they will always look better with some cover.
Not only are they glamorous they also feel amazing and almost as if you’re not wearing anything on your legs at all and they’re really cool for summer wear.
Give us any excuse and we’ll be wearing one.
More and more people are wearing them and that’s a trend we’re totally behind.
A calf length full skirt can look wonderful with a big brimmed hat but it can also shorten you, so unless you are tall and slim, wear this kind of dress with a smaller, taller hat or a large saucer shape worn at a fierce angle on one side of the head to give you extra height.
Be careful of black or very dark hats with a wide brim as they can shade your face in a really unflattering way particularly if you are mature or have the odd wrinkle.
If your head is small don’t bury it in a large hat, if it’s large a small hat can look silly so try to balance the proportions of hat and head.
Small hats and headpieces will give the 50s feel, are more comfortable to wear for long periods, easier for all the mwah, mwah-ing you may have to do and are more English weather friendly â€“ less likely to be blown off and easier to work with an umbrella.
Eye veils are increasingly popular again and very glamorous, good for softening the odd wrinkle too!
Never wear a hat straight on top pf your head or worse pushed to the back.
When wearing a hat, hold your head up high!
Make sure your hair and hat work together.
If your hair is short it’s easier to style it around the hat.
Long hair flowing around your face with a hat on top is not a good look â€“ Kate soon-to-be-Windsor not withstanding, she can get away with anything as she’s young and beautiful and if you are too, lucky you; if you’re more mature tie it up, back, whatever, but do something.
She looked the epitome of sophisticated glamour.
And avoid fabric shoes if your going anywhere near grass they’ll stain or pick up water marks.
If you are going to wear high heels and/or platforms make sure you can walk properly in them.
Far better to wear a heel you can walk in gracefully (even if it is lower) with your head up and shoulders back, looking relaxed and confident, it’s far more attractive.
Necklaces usually look too much with a hat, as do bracelets and bangles.
Your bag completes your look so while it’s tempting to take your favourite suitcase sized carry all, leave it at home and opt for something daintier and altogether more ladylike.
The Kelly bag style works really well for special occasions; even in a petite size it’s boxy enough to carry all your essentials.
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