Dressed to thrill at Royal Ascot 2012By Becky Barnes
June 21, 2012
Royal Ascot attendees were forewarned to adhere to this year’s stricter dress code, which meant 60 ‘fashion police’ were on hand at the gates to hand out suitable spares.
The purple-suited staff – ‘dress code assistants’ in Royal Ascot terminology – carried baskets packed with fascinators and pashminas, stopping anyone with bare shoulders or bare heads before they entered the grandstand.
All eyes will be on the racecourse today as women from across the country will be dressed to impressed at Ladies' Day.
Ascot head of communications Nick Smith said: “We are delighted with the standard of dress we are seeing in both the Royal Enclosure and the Grandstand. The new dress code has clearly had a positive impact.”
Royal Ascot organisers declined to comment on how many racegoers were handed extra gear.
Mr Smith said: “We always said that we would adopt the new rules sensitively; using common sense and discretion, especially in the first year of its implementation, and that is what we are doing.
“The most important thing is that people visiting Royal Ascot have an enjoyable time.”
It seemed that most people had followed the dress code and revellers commenting on the new rules gave them the thumbs up.
Freya Oliver, from Southampton said: “I think it is great for tightening things up.
“I know there was certainly a lot of hassle last year and seeing some of the people, I can understand in the Royal Enclosure there is a little bit more decorum needed when you are going to be in that kind of area.
“I would say some people do need to tone in down just a little bit.”
A woman whose grandfather built the stand at Ascot before the present one, also approved.
Nel Buckler, from Cirencester, granddaughter of Sir Godfrey Mitchell, said: “It was becoming more of a glamour show and all about stretch limos and in fact we are here for the racing. You can be very elegant, very fashionable but you don’t have to go to extremes – keep it classy.”
Fiona Myers, of Sunningdale, and Kate Butler, from Windlesham, have come to Royal Ascot every Tuesday with a big group of friends for seven years.
Of the dress code Fiona said: “I like it – it needs to have it to keep everyone in check.”
One milliner who travelled from Cardiff adapted her models’ hats so they were just big enough to get into the Royal Enclosure.
Robyn Coles, a milliner from Cardiff, was wearing a hat made of 368 individual paper roses that she had dyed into a Union Flag and then hand stitched to the base.
She said: “I love hats and dresses and I am also a big fan of horses so this is an accumulation of my favourite things.”