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Ascot dress code: how to get the perfect look


Huntsman creative

Huntsman creative director Campbell Carey on how to choose a great outfit for a day at the races

Preview Campbell Carey
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 8:48pm

People often ask me what the key to dressing well is, and the answer is simple: be sure your garments are well maintained, adequately pressed, and well fitted. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to look good; ensuring your outfit is considered and comfortable is key.  

These same exact rules apply to dressing for Ascot, possibly even more so, as it is all about "peacocking" and asserting your style. Ensuring you have all of the correct components of morning wear is essential.

The perfect Ascot outfit

Of course, there are quite a few obscure styling details when it comes to morning dress. For example, there are white cotton Marcella strips called "dress slips" that fasten underneath the waistcoat, and are only intended to peek through underneath to give the impression of layered waistcoats. The slips frame the outfit, giving an immaculately clean aesthetic.

Cashmere trousers are a traditional and essential element to morning wear, but curiously, cashmere striped trousers aren’t actually made out of cashmere, as many believe.

Obviously, at Ascot a top hat must be worn at all times - apart from when entering a building or marquee.

Morning wear is one of the most traditional forms of tailoring, with very specific components. It is for this reason that the traditional styling is rarely deviated from. Some may wish to update their morning wear by choosing a contrasting coloured waistcoat. Other than that, you will very rarely see anyone in the Royal Enclosure wearing anything too extravagant or far from the classic morning wear silhouette.

At Huntsman, we manage to retain our traditional heritage, yet are moving forward with the times. Having traded for more than three centuries, we are the go-to for classic bespoke tailoring.

From top (hat) to toe

To get the perfect look starting from the top, your hat should fit correctly. I would personally go to Lock and Co and have your top hat measured and fitted using their bespoke service.

The traditional cloth of a morning coat is black feather weave, which gives a very specific aesthetic. 

The trousers should always be cut to be worn with braces. As for stripe size, go for a mid-width stripe with a strong contrast between the black and grey, which elongates the wearer's legs. 

The way in which Ascot-goers can differentiate themselves from the crowds is through their choice of accessories; a paisley tie always looks very smart, especially with a pocket square that incorporates similar hues. 

Follow these simple rules and you will be in perfect shape for the big day.

For more, visit huntsmansavilerow.com

Huntsman creative director Campbell Carey

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