8 Things We Learnt At Royal Ascot 2014: Chatting To Stephen Jones & More

20 June 2014 by

Grazia Daily headed to Royal Ascot yesterday to place a few bets, check out all the amazing hats, guzzle some champers and strut around looking totally glam, obvs. The event runs from June 17 to June 21 and is a go-to for royalty and fashionable folk - as well as horse racing fans. We certainly had a splendid time watching the races from our box in the royal enclosure alongside acclaimed milliners like Stephen Jones, Noel Stewart and William Chambers (no close encounters with The Queen though, sob!). 

Here's 7 things we learnt about dressing for Ascot while we were at the event.. 

1. Keep things practical 

'It can be warm, it can be cold as well. People often think 'oh, I'll wear a little strapless dress' but it might be 15 degrees,' says milliner Stephen Jones. 'If you're going to wear a high heel it's good to pick one that's got a slightly thicker heel because you might be walking through grass.'

2. It's all about the colour this year

'It's funny because racing clothes are sometimes very different to fashion clothes but this year you can see there's lots of colour, lots of print,'  Stephen adds. 'All those things we've seen on Erdem and Christopher Kane's runways. It's great to see because they're really complementing each other.'

3. You can still dress like *you*

'If you're normally more frilly wear something frilly,' says Stephen. 'If you're normally more boyish wear a trouser suit. In fashion terms it's quite liberal.' 

4. Put your hair behind your ears

Stephen says: 'Somehow your ears are like the horizon for your face. If we can't see you your ears you tend to disappear behind too much hair and too much hat.'

5. It's tricky for the boys too

'For Ladies Day in particular I always wear straightforward morning dress.. like a fawn waistcoat,' says Stephen. 'Which is not even what my dad wore but what my granddad wore (and I'm wearing my granddad's top hat). It's always sweet when that when wives wear yellow dress the men will wear a yellow tie. It's almost like teenage first date clothes.

6. Big hats are IN

'Everyone's wearing much bigger hats and much more glamorous hats,' says milliner Noel Stewart. 'And I think that's really great, the level has been really picked up. Everyone feels more confident wearing bigger hats.'

7. Rules can be fun

Milliner William Chambers says: 'I love following protocol because it gives you guidelines which you can work with. It makes you a version of the next person but you do it your own way. It's like we're all given a brief and we have to work to it, especially the women.'

8. And the best way to find the perfect hat... 

'The best thing to do is try on as many hats as possible regardless of your face shape,' adds William. 'The more you try on the more comfortable you'll become with wearing hats and you'll find a style that'll suit you.' 

And, of course, what did Grazia Daily wear?

We went mega glam with our jewellery, opting for some seriously chic earrings and a necklace from Kiki McDonough so kept our outfit more low key. A royal blue Cos shift was teamed with comfy nude wedges (so K.Mids!), a sparkling sequin Zara clutch and.. err.. borrowed hat (thanks, Emma Spedding).

See all the most extraordinary hats here... 


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