Racing presenter, Jess Stafford, will be be broadcasting at Royal Ascot for all five days which means 5 different outfits and hats!
We caught up with Jess last week and she was kind enough to share with us her top tips for creating that winning Ascot look… as well as how to avoid breaking any dress code rules!
Thanks for joining us Jess, can you tell our readers a little about yourself and your love of racing?
Hi! I’m Jess and I am a Racing Presenter based in London but spend most of my time travelling around the country going from course to course! I work for the UK based network Racing TV as well as the American Network, TVG. I have been lucky enough to be involved in horse racing all my life through my parents’ business, Thurloe Thoroughbreds, and ever since I was little I have been hooked. There is not much more I enjoy than going racing and talking to everyone I can about it.
We’d love to know where you look for inspiration for your outfits for Royal Ascot?
Royal Ascot is the week I try and be the most daring and confident I can. Although there are rules, it feels like your opportunity to stand out and really embrace the glamour of it all!
I think The Duchess of Cambridge has been looking fantastic over the last year – her polka dot look at Prince Philip’s memorial has definitely been inspiration for one of my outfits this year! I have got very into Spanish brands and one designer/ fashionista over there that I adore is Maria de La Orden – her style is exquisite.
No-one wants to get it wrong so can you remind us of the dress code for Royal Ascot please?! – What are the rules around hats for the different enclosures…. Do you choose larger hats or prefer smaller headpieces? What else should our readers need to be aware of?
Hats are obviously a must but the dress code in itself has become very detailed.
👑 Dresses or skirts must be of ‘modest length’ so should fall just above the knee and longer (longer is safer as they will give you a petticoat if you fall short of standards!). Trouser/jumpsuits are allowed but must be matching.
There are stringent rules for each enclosure:
👑 ROYAL ENCLOSURE – Hats should be worn; however, a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Fascinators are not permitted.
👑 QUEEN ANNE ENCLOSURE/VILLAGE ENCLOSURE – A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
👑 WINDSOR ENCLOSURE – No formal dress code but a hat/fascinator is encouraged.
The full dress code can be found here – Royal Ascot Dress Code
What are your top tips for wearing jewellery with different shapes of hat? How do you choose what earrings to wear with a hat?
Keep the earrings more low key if you have a big, wide brimmed hat as you want the attention to be drawn to the hat as opposed to anything else.
If you have a smaller hat, you can be more creative and don’t be afraid to bring out the colours of your hat/outfit in your jewellery!
Do you build your outfit round your accessories or the other way round?
Outfit first, accessories later. I normally keep my jewellery quite simple to compliment my outfit.
How do you cope with heels when you’re working all day? Any top tips for shoes that work with your racing outfits?
I like to wear heels that have been well broken in. I do my best to avoid new shoes as they will just end up giving me blisters! I find open toe heels are normally more comfortable than closed off ones and even the heels I wore last year were extremely high they served me very well.
Are there any celebs whose Ascot Style usually catches your eye?
The Queen, of course! Sabrina Percy also looked fabulous last year, I adored this look:If you could give one piece of Flutterby Jewellery to a friend who was coming with you to Royal Ascot what would it be?
These gorgeous Pearl huggie earrings – a timeless piece!
Thank you so much Jess for sharing those top tips with us. We have no doubt you’ll look totally fabulous at Royal Ascot this year!
Whatever summer occasion you’re outfit planning for this year, you’ll find jewellery inspiration in our latest collection and wherever you’re off to we hope you have fun!
Lou and Sal xx