Designer Diaries – Gentlemen in the Ascot Royal Enclosure

Ascot Style Guide, Royal Enclosure

Gentlemen are kindly reminded that it is a requirement to wear either black or grey morning dress, which must include:

  • A waistcoat and tie (no cravats).
  • A black or grey top hat.
  • Black shoes.

A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club, or that facility’s terrace, balcony, or garden. Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden. The customisation of top hats (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.

Those are some fairly strict guidelines, yet the men still manage to individualize their looks. Let’s look at some of these well-dressed gents and their tailoring from recent years.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles re-wears his suits and coats for years, and in many cases for decades. He originally bought this morning dress in 1984, from his usual tailor Anderson & Sheppard. This suit has shown up at many high-profile summer events, including Ascot and Prince Harry’s wedding in 2018.

“In the case of that particular morning coat, as long as I can go on getting into it, I only wear it a few times a year, in the summer, so obviously you want to keep those sorts of things going,” the Prince of Wales said. “But if I can’t fit into them, then I just have to have something new made. But I’m not sure quite how radically different they can be at my age.”

Prince Charles British Vogue

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Prince Philip

The late Duke of Edinburgh was a conservative but very well-dressed gentleman. His long-time tailor, John Kent, of the small firm Kent Haste and Lachter, said the Duke prioritized good fit and durability over anything else. He was not one for “unusual linings” or extreme patterns. Still, the Duke cut quite a fine figure. His clothes fit and moved with him. It helped that his waist only changed from 31 to 34 inches in 60 years.

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Prince Harry

Gieves & Hawkes is Prince Harry’s go-to tailor. The firm has dressed the men of his family for generations. Harry, although continuing the tradition, favors a more modern fit. He also, for many years, favored that yellow waistcoat.

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Prince William

More conservative than his father, brother, or grandfather, William nevertheless continues the royal tradition of frequenting Savile Row. His tailor of choice is Thom Sweeney. Sweeney bills himself as classic, but “tailor fit” for the modern dapper gentleman.

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Prince Edward

The sartorial “sleeper” of the family, doing good work in the background for many years. This appearance is from 2019, but we’ve seen that tie many times. He is known to use the same tailor as his brother Charles.

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Mike Tindall, Peter Phillips, and Timothy Taylor

The next three gentlemen are all sartorial favorites of mine, edging each other out for my number one position depending on the occasion. For recent Ascot appearances, I find Mike Tindall to be the best. I mean, look at that beautiful tie. Tim Taylor has been my long-term crush, and Lady Helen is ok with it I know ; ).

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Peter from today, showing the zazz I like. No, I do not know if this was his date. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Prince Michael

Well-known for his sartorial style, Prince Michael uses finishing flourishes to make a big impact. He loves a sizeable banana knot in his ties and a collar that makes a statement. He is always proper and classic, but the small touches (and that signature beard) make his look distinctive.

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Show us your favorite men from Ascot – in this case we’ll expand the field to non-royals. We need to give the men their long-overlooked due on this blog.

What is your waistcoat preference?