Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2021 – Like Nowhere Else

This year was the first time I’ve ever been to Royal Ascot, so I thought I’d write a blog post telling you all about it.

Back in 2019 the wonderful Jane Fryers contacted me & asked if I’d like to join her at Royal Ascot, as her guest in the Royal Enclosure. Obviously I jumped at the chance & we booked our tickets for June 2020.  Then Covid hit.

Obviously Royal Ascot was cancelled, but we had the chance to roll our tickets over to 2021, & so we did. Things were still uncertain as to whether we would be able to attend until 3 weeks prior to the event. Having had nearly 2 years to think about it, I suddenly had 3 weeks to put together my outfit! Of course I’d not thought about it prior to that, that would have been too easy!

This year’s focus from Royal Ascot was sustainability & so I decided to wear a dress that I have had for some time. This is the mustard Grable dress from House of Foxy; I have worn this to christenings, weddings, meals out & lots of various occasions. It really works well for so many places & I thought it would be perfect to adhere to the strict dress rules for the Royal Enclosure. Please note, it’s definitely worth buying a size up with this dress, especially if you have a larger bust.

I team the outfit with my Astrid shoes & matching clutch bag from Rainbow Club.  I had these dyed hot pink a few years ago & thought they would look great with this dress.

It’s fair to say these are quite bold colour combinations & I appreciate this palette isn’t for everyone; but for me, I am more confident in strong, bright colours. I actually feel strangely uncomfortable in neutral colours. I don’t notice how bold my clothes are until I get comments about it! Please wear whatever you feel comfortable in!

When you first arrive at the racecourse you are faced with a big grassy car park, where lots of people are enjoying picnics prior to entering. This year of course was very different; as an NHS test event we had to provide evidence of various covid tests we had completed with negative results & once through security we were greeted with a lovely view. The sun was shining, Pimms was flowing, photographers were taking pictures & I couldn’t get over the vast array of hats on display.

We bumped into Elly Stemerdenk from The Hat Magazine & then we headed to the infamous flower wall to ensure we got photos in front of the stand. You can’t go to Royal Ascot & not take pics at the flower wall!

Due to the current pandemic we had to wear facemasks when inside too. I got this fabulous mask from Millhouse Millinery.

Once we had found a spot to sit were decided to take a look at the program. I picked out 1 horse per race to put a small bet on. I’m not into betting nor do I know anything at all about horse racing; so I was pretty flummoxed when I won a big win early in the day!

It was shortly after this that I bought a large jugs of Pimms!

In between each race, you have the chance to go & view the horses that are prepping for the next race. Or you can stay put & drink your Pimms!

I went outside in the beautiful sunshine to watch some of the races, but I am actually frightened of horses!  Yep, there I have said it. These incredibly beautiful animals run at very high speeds, in excess of 40 mph. The thunder of them as they charge past, whilst exhilarating for some, added to my fear of them. So I chose to watch a little further back, rather than right at the front barrier.

The day went by in no time. I could have stayed for several more hours. One thing that is worth noting to any one who is new to Ascot, there is lots of walking. Luckily the shoes I wore are incredibly comfortable, even though high. Do make sure you consider this when working out what you will wear.

Something that I found so delightful was everyone complimenting each other. Women were happily approaching each other just to say “you look fabulous”, “your hat is wonderful”. There was no end of compliments passed between strangers or nods & smiles of approval. It was incredibly refreshing to see. And whilst the horse racing is of course the essence of Royal Ascot….it simple is “like nowhere else”, the fashion makes the event.

And once the day was over I noticed this huge falcon statue! I have no idea why it was there, I was too Pimmsed by this point to take a lot of notice of the plaque, but I know that the falcon is one of my Dad’s favourite birds, so I had to get a photo didn’t I? My selfie didn’t work out though. Luckily Jane snapped me taking my selfie! Ha!

I made my hat using freeform sinamay techniques I learnt on a course with Tracy Chaplin. And trimmed it using golden floating quills that I learnt from Rebecca Share from Hatatelier.

So that concludes my first ever trip to Royal Ascot. I apologise for the overload of photos of moi…but I had the very best day & thought you would like to see my outfit.

And course, thank you so very much to Jane Fryers & her partner Trix Worrell for inviting me & being simply the most perfect hosts at Royal Ascot along with Jane’s family.

K

xx

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