THE INVITE

Summer is upon us. And so are the hottest events to see and be seen in. Whether you’re raring to get to the races, rocking the regatta or passionate about polo – we hope you’ll find the information about the key events, dates and dress codes useful. And we’ve also got some outfits to inspire you for each event. Ladies, your summer occasion catwalk awaits...

RACING RESULT:
TOP TO TOE FABULOUSNESS


We do love a good race. And not just for the handsome jockeys. It’s our chance to get dressed up to the nines.

WHAT TO WEAR

With Her Majesty among the attendees, this is not the time to be testing out that distress-chic look. Every race has it’s own (usually strict) dress code, so reading up in advance is a good idea. If you’re in the Grandstand Enclosure at Royal Ascot don a hat, headpiece or fascinator. It’s all about demure dressing, so less of the strapless look. Perhaps a lovely fitted over-the-knee dress worn with nude pumps and a stylish hat? For the gents, it’s all about jackets and ties, cravats or polo-neck sweaters. (You weren’t thinking trainers, were you?) And for those who only don their glad rags at weddings, some races do take a more relaxed ‘smart casual’ approach. So top tip: read up on the specific dress code.

A long day spent race-watching and merry-making can turn chilly, so remember to carry a smart jacket or a pashmina. The odds are (see what we did there?) it might rain, so layers would be handy. Nothing is as British as a day at the races. So if the heavens open up, just KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.


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  • Lots of fashion points for Pixie Lott's look at Ascot

The Regatta:
Row, row, row your fashion boat


As traditional as tea and as English as the Queen herself, the Regatta has been going every year since 1839. (Except when it was most rudely interrupted by war.) The event has enjoyed royal support since H.R.H Prince Albert became the first Royal Patron in 1851. Now you see why the Royal Regatta is called royal.

WHAT TO WEAR

Ladies, you’re required to wear skirts or dresses as you take in the 200 thrilling races over five action-packed days. According to the skirt police, hemlines should be below or just above the knee. There really is a skirt police. Seriously. They will be watching your hem length with eagle eyes and are not afraid to enforce the very strict dress code. They won’t allow trousers, jeans, culottes or leggings either. May we suggest a maxi dress featuring this season’s floral print trend worn with stand-out accessories? Also this is one event where you can wear hats, in fact you’re positively encouraged to. Gents are expected to wear lounge suits, jackets or blazers – many wear their old school or university blazers with colourful stripes. Too much traditional English gentility for you? The Champagne & Oyster bar or The Luncheon Tent located nearby make great retreats.


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  • Lady Victoria Hervey keeps the skirt police happy at the regatta

A passion for polo:
getting the dress code right


Once upon a time, you needed an HRH attached to your name to be invited to the polo. Or at least be part of the upper echelons of society. Happily, that’s not the case any more. Just get yourself an invitation and the correct dress code and off you go.

WHAT TO WEAR

Things are more casual at the polo than the races. Think flirty, summery dresses and avoid anything flashy or too revealing. (It might help to remember that Katie Price was ‘uninvited’ to the VIP enclosure at the Cartier International Polo Tournament.) How about a dress featuring a bold print with a smart jacket, sunnies and flats to complete the look? Stilettos are a no-no, particularly if you plan to do some divot stomping. (What’s that, you say? It’s where spectators stamp back into place all the turf that’s been kicked up by the ponies. And we call them ponies, never horses.) Thinking of wearing a fancy hat? A word of advice: don’t. Nobody wears a hat at the polo. It’s all about elegantly casual styles and thundering hooves.


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  • Poppy Delevigne in eye-popping red at the polo

Products featured are for your inspiration and may have sold out. But you’ll find many more similar styles on tkmaxx.com

Tennis style: how to be a fashion ace


Ah, summer. The time to eat strawberries and cream. And watch the world’s best tennis players grunt their way to success and glory.

WHAT TO WEAR

Ladies, think smart casuals worn with sensible flats so you can wander around spotting the hottest tennis players. We’d suggest a striped fitted dress teamed with comfy wedges and a matching jacket to take on the elements. Wear with lots of sun cream and a hat (only Centre Court has a roof). All you stylistas, do remember to carry waterproofs and a cardigan. Yes, we know it’s summer. But this is England, which means you sometimes get four seasons in a day.

If you’re heading to Roland-Garros, pack for all eventualities as The French Open started with cooler temperatures last year. Oh and practice shouting ‘Allez!’ to cheer your favourites.

Back to Blighty, the dress code for Wimbledon’s Debenture ticket holders (ie. very expensive tickets) was relaxed last year. Now only 'torn jeans, running vests, dirty trainers and sports shorts’ will get you sent away. Fancy wearing shorts? You can, as long as they’re tailored. Gents, you don’t need to wear a tie any more.

Relaxed rules all round? Not for the players. They have to follow tighter guidelines and can no longer sneak in bright colours. Poor them. For the rest of us, another round of Pimms?


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  • Pippa Middleton at Wimbledon. Game, set & match!

Products featured are for your inspiration and may have sold out. But you’ll find many more similar styles on tkmaxx.com



READY TO ROCK THE BIG EVENT?

Not long now for your big sporting event – whether it’s the races, regatta, polo or tennis. Now that you’ve got the dress code sorted and the outfit figured out, make sure you get your tickets right away. Also, we’ve got lots more style stories coming soon. So watch this space...