Friday, January 20, 2012

Royal Ascot Hat Rules

So the big hatty news this week is the change in the dress code rules for Royal Ascot. The changes aren't actually that huge as they were significantly changed last year as I reported in the post race day fashion but it seems they have been modified to be much clearer.  The previous rules stated that only a substantial fascinator would be suitable, the problem being their isn't really any clear definition of what a fascinator is.

In old skool millinery terms a fascinator is actually a fine lace head covering something like a veil or a shawl but nowadays it tends to refer to a small puff of feathers or flowers attached to a hair comb or small base. 

This style became prominent in the 60's when certain events still demanded that women wear hats but the usual hat would ruin their overly back combed, coiffed hairdo's.  The solution, a little bit of veiling or feathers/flowers attached to a comb and tucked in to their elaborate, lacquered hair.

Ascot however has deemed that this is no longer formal enough (Sorry Annie) and has stated that all women within the royal enclosure must wear a hat with a base of more than 10cm (don't worry Aka Tombo fans my smallest hats are 12cm and so are still ok).

This means that not only will Princess Ann and Kate, Queen of the fascinator (and one day England), have to rethink their outfits but so will all the ladies below.

And it's not just the girls that have had the rules tightened. Men have been warned that:

"The customisation of top hats (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure."

Sorry Chaps 

Not only have the top hat rules tightened but the wearing of them is strictly monitored.

"A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden.  Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden."

That puts an end to the David Beckham ridiculousness of carrying his top hat around like a handbag lest it ruin his shiny locks.

And so Ascot will be as it was always meant to be, pretty dresses and big hats.  Yay for good taste!

PS. Are we all excited about Haute Couture fashion week in Paris?  I AM!!!!  Here are some pictures to get you in the mood for the outrageously pretty dresses coming soon!


  1. It would be amazing to get to Ascot. Does Ascot have Fashions on the Field like we do in Australia?