Thursday, June 21, 2012

Over The Top Hats, Colorful Ensembles, Kooky it's not RuPaul's Drag Race, it's Royal Ascot!

Team England: A Royal Ascot guest showing how much she loves sports, Royal Ascot, Ascot England

Every June, for five days, Great Britain celebrates Royal Ascot. Dating back to (wait for it) 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne, the Royal Ascot is one of Europe's most famous race meetings. it has become a national institution all these years, THE centerpiece of the British social calendar. What people wear to the Royal Ascot has become almost more important than the races themselves. First, it's all about the HATS. Then the ensembles; the more colorful, the better. This is not the place to be a "wallflower", it about getting noticed and standing out.  Let's take a look...

British Music and "Hollywood" Royalty: (Left to right) Dame Shirley Bassey decided to don a coral-orange hat with left-and-right over-sized organza flowers. I wished her outfit was just a teeny bit more COUTURE though (to match the over-the-top hat!)--a short-sleeved macrame sweater/cardigan over a dress? Not so much. But...Miss Helen Mirren looked AMAZING in this dark blue and white ensemble and blue wide-brimmed hat. Très Elegant!

The Royals:
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Queen Elizabeth II LOVES her pastels, we know that. Take a look at this coat and dress ensemble in a pale pink color with matching hat she wore on Day Two of Royal Ascot. It looks "Queen"-appropriate enough--in terms of its non-fashion dowdiness. However, take a look at that sleeve--it's a sign of whimsy and yes, Elizabeth might still have some Fashionista in her!

Princess Anne and Princess Beatrice: On Day Three, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and her niece Princess Beatrice, arrives via Royal Carriage (naturally). Both looked great in their contrasting color flower-printed ensembles. Beatrice has become quite a Royal Fashion Icon of sorts (lest we forget that infamous Philip Treacy hat and Valentino ensemble she wore at Kate and William's Wedding.

Red and Gray: (Left to right) Carole Middleton, mother of Catherine Duchess of Cambridge in a red suit and matching colored hat and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward's wife) who chose a slate gray coat-dress and yes--a matching wide brimmed hat, of course.

Top Hat Chic: (Left to right) Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall arriving on Day One looking like the Picture Perfect Royal Ascot couple. Prince Charles made GQ's Best Dressed Men List for 2012 recently and he is living up to that title in his impeccable Morning Dress suit and black top hat. Camilla looks quite elegant in her vanilla coat-and-dress ensemble and hat. Recently hospitalized Prince Phillip--the Queen's husband of course--also could take "Best Dressed Man at Royal Ascot 2012" in his black Morning Dress suit with a grey top hat and waistcoat. Traditionally, the waistcoat is supposed to be matching the Morning Coat, but here, Prince Phillip dares to be a "Dandy" by bucking tradition and wearing a contrasting colored yellow-creme waistcoat.

The Hats:

Pearls and Lips: Royal Ascot racegoer shoes off her colorful over-the-top hat

Like I said in the beginning of the post, Royal Ascot is ALL about the HATS--here are some of the Standouts--in Themes:


Breakfast and Tea & Crumpets: I absolutely LOVE the racegoer with her "Breakfast is Served" hat consisting of a fried egg, sausages, beans...she definitely should get the "gays LOVES Brunch" prize! The ladies above went with the "Tea and Crumpets" food theme. very, very British.

A Blueberry Custard Pie: I also love this hat--why? Because I wanna EAT it. She gets a "YUMMY" Prize for sure!

UK Love:

Of course, it would not be Royal Ascot without some hats featuring a LOVE for Great Britain. Here are two good ones: A King's Crown with feathers and yes, the "Union Jack" flag over-sized bow-on-a-headband headdress. These should be the hats the British Airways Flight Attendants should wear--well--if I designed their next uniforms!

Ornithology Hat Chic:

Flamingo and Swan Ladies: I really hope none of these hats are "dropping" eggs! Here are two Royal Ascot racegoers giving you some "Bird Hat Style", Ascot England

At Royal Ascot, the dress code is strictly enforced. For women, only a day dress with a hat is acceptable, with rules applying to the length and style of the dress. In addition: strapless, off the shoulder, halter-style, spaghetti straps and dresses with straps that are less than 1" are NOT permitted in the Royal Ascot. There are even "Dress Code Assistants" walking around making sure that your ensemble is a "Royal Ascot Yes"; in other words, within their rules.

What do you guys think of these Royal Ascot looks: Yeay or Nay???

And here is a definite Royal Ascot DON'T:

UK Hoochie: Ladies, if you are planning to attend next year's Royal Ascot, look above for the ensembles you should NOT be wearing! These tacky, hoochie iridescent blue jumpsuits are courtesy of the Tantric Blue Strip Club Girls. Needless to say, they were NOT allowed into the Royal Ascot since well, they did not really meet the "Dress Requirements" so they remained outside the grounds and handed out promotional material for the club. Bless their Hearts. Their parents should be so proud. This is a definite Royal Ascot Fashion DON'T.


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