It has been said that fashions fade, but style is eternal. Outfits, months in the planning, and a showcase of the world’s finest millinery, Royal Ascot’s iconic style is as special and unique as it always has been. Few sporting venues can match the rich history and heritage of this event. The racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, with 305 years of pageantry and traditions firmly intact, as well as the fashion. From the wide brimmed hats that inspired My Fair Lady, the androgynous flapper dresses of the Twenties, to the tiny mini skirts of the Sixties, Royal Ascot is as much about the clothes as it is the horse racing.
By the early 20th century, Ascot had become a confirmed fashion fixture, and much of the focus was on how unique women could be. Big hats and even bigger dresses were the ‘in thing’ in the 1900s, with the more adornments of jewellery the better.
Adorn your outfit with the Vintage Chain Bracelet, adding a sophisticated yet eye-catching embellishment to your look.
In 1922 a Times journalist commented that Ascot was “notoriously the best place in England to see beautiful women in beautiful clothes.” This was very true – high fashion and elaborate couture began to feature more and more at Ascot in the 1920s. Strings of pearls, smaller tightly fitted hats and luxurious furs were the go-to accessories for race day. Women had a lot more fun with their outfits than in the previous decade.
Add some fun to your outfit with the Elsa Lion Mane Necklace, providing the perfect modern twist to any classic outfit.
The classic fifties silhouette came to the forefront of race day fashion as it perfectly fitted their dress codes whilst remaining right on trend. Full skirts and cinched waists reigned supreme with polka dot fabrics and straw hats being popular choices. Haute couture in the 1950s provided inspiration for the women’s Ascot wardrobes, adding a more fashionable feel to their outfits.
The Frida Collar can dress up any outfit by adding a touch of glamour. The rose gold beads mimic the fifties polka-dot trend whilst the overall design gives a modern twist.
The style revolution that was the 1960s really influenced race day fashion. Hem lines got shorter whilst shift style dresses and pastel colours dominated the scene, creating fun, youthful ensembles. Styled for a scene set at Ascot in the 1964 film ‘My Fair Lady’, Audrey Hepburn’s chic black and white dress – trimmed with bows and ribbon and set off by an enormous hat and lace parasol – became an instant design classic. Italian film star Sophia Loren also attended the event in the 1960s, just when the Royal Ascot started to become a truly international event. She elegantly demonstrated the dress code in an exquisite and classic white ensemble, adorned with jewels and gloves.
This Chain on Chain Bracelet adds the right amount of sparkle to any outfit, bringing minimalistic chic yet an element of fun, perfect for Ladies Day.
The 80s was a decade of explosive colour and there’s no better place to experiment than at the races. Ladies such as Gertrude Shilling wore flamboyant hats and structured dresses to create sharp silhouettes.
This Lola Cuff in Rainbow channels the colour trend of the eighties perfectly – it’s the fun summer iconic staple that adds colour with a touch of luxury.
The dress codes and traditions of Race Day fashion created a high contrast with the trends of the 1990s. Abstract minimalism and grunge ruled the catwalk, quite against the expectations of race day attire. However, tasteful headwear and statement accessories seemed to feature in most outfits.
Take inspiration from Jerry Hall and Princess Diana, who both wore collar-style necklaces to Ladies Day, and add the Artemis Collar in Rose Gold to your Ascot wardrobe. This show-stopper piece brings a modern twist to the classic pearl chokers, bringing excitement to any outfit.
Ladies Day fashion has been a talking point throughout the years, with modern race day dressing now more accessible than ever. The 21st century has brought with it an eclectic mix of style influences, with luxurious, on-trend styles entering the high street. Haute couture and conceptual art has been spotted across the crowds, influenced by the rise of street-stye spotting throughout the season.
Tones of peach and rose gold are right on trend, as shown by Elizabeth Hurley and HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Channel this trend by adding the Sunna Earrings in rose gold to your outfit, a chic jewellery staple that brings minimalist glamour to your look.