Exclusive One-Off Designer Hats For The Races
Hats for the Grand National, Aintree, Royal Ascot and ladies days
When the ladies day season approaches, it’s time to start looking for those special designer hats for the races.
Having many years’ experience in dressing the royals and celebrities with their hats for Ascot and now with Aintree race day hats, the Nigel Rayment boutiques are able to cover all bases.
In the lead up to the races, Nigel personally creates one-off exclusives for each boutique. So you can be sure, whether you are looking for a hat for Ascot, Aintree or elsewhere, no-one else will be in the same stunning creation. With an extensive array of colours, use of only the highest quality fabrics and trims and an unrivalled use of styles, you can be sure that when wearing a Nigel Rayment hat design at that special event, heads will turn...for the right reasons.
Why not bring your outfit with you when visiting the Nigel Rayment boutique and let our experienced stylists help find the perfect race day hat creation for you. From smaller headpieces to extravagant hats, there is sure to be something for you. And with prices starting from £95 there really is no reason not to WOW the crowds at ladies day this racing season.
What you wear to Royal Ascot is as important as what you win at this world-famous race meet. This key social event in the British sporting calendar is not only a show-ground for some of the most brilliant racehorses in the world but also a fashion parade for race goers.
Royal Ascot demands race dresses whatever type of ticket you may have purchased be warned that dress codes must be strictly adhered to. The racecourse does have a right to refuse entry if people are not suitably attired.
So – what should you wear? As usual, for men, it's easy. A smart suit and tie is the norm but top hat and tails ( black or grey morning dress) is required if you’re in the Royal Enclosure.
For ladies – it's a whole different matter. For guests entering the Royal Enclosure – there’s rules as to how much flesh is exposed. Not a bad thing as the flat landscape of Ascot often allows a chilly wind to whip up across the course.
Bear in mind that dresses that are off-the-shoulder, halter-neck or have spaghetti straps or straps thinner than one inch are not considered suitable. Miniskirts are also frowned on as is exposing your midriff! Shorts are a definite no-no.
The answer is a formal outfit – dress and bolero jacket ideally. It is advisable to go to a special occasion boutique to find such outfits. If you buy from the high street, you run the risk of seeing lots of other women in the same dress as you. Nightmare!
If you're not in the Royal Enclosure, dress codes still apply. Smart day-wear is a must for the Queen Anne Enclosure and the Windosr Enclosure with the advice to "dress in a manner that befits a formal occasion" and don a hat or fascinator at all times. Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal national dress of their country or service dress but fancy dress is not allowed during Royal Ascot week. And finally, don't forget – a big handbag to take home all your winnings!
The Dress do’s
- Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.
- Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater.
- Jackets and pashminas may be worn, but the dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code of having one inch or thicker straps.
- Trouser suits are welcome. They should be full length and of matching material and colour. They must be worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines of not being strapless or sheer.
- Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of four inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.
- A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
- Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Grandstand Admission dress code.
The Dress do nots
- Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.
- In the Grandstand, strapless or sheer strap (i.e.see-through plastic type straps) dresses and tops aren’t permitted.
- Midriffs must be covered.
- Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure; neither are headpieces which don’t have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (four inches / 10cm)
- Shorts aren’t permitted.
The best hats and fascinators for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot
Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, there’s no doubt that Royal Ascot is still one of the highlights of the British Racing Calendar. Every year, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family are in attendance as well as over 300,000 people over the course of the five days. The third day of Ascot has come to be known as “Ladies Day” and is famous not only for its races but also its dress code. It is unclear when this day came to be known as Ladies Day, but many believe that the third day at the races was always the most popular and drew in the largest proportion of females who came for the style and pageantry of the event. As the years went by, Ladies Day came to be known as an unofficial fashion event where men dressed in full morning suits and ladies competed for the finest hats. More recently, the day has seen some outrageous headwear and has even been compared to the “Oscars” for hat-makers.
How to choose the best hat
If you’re attending Ladies Day this year, you’ll want to make sure you stand out from the crowd with the very best headwear. For the Royal Enclosure, hats are expected to be worn but elsewhere, ladies can opt to wear a fascinator. At the Nigel Rayment Boutique, we stock a wide range of hats for the races whether you’re looking for a classic style or something more niche. With Nigel’s creations, you’re bound to turn heads. When choosing a hat, here are some things to keep in mind:
Your face shape
If you have a heart or oval face shape, you’re lucky enough to suit any shaped hat. If you have a round face, a smaller headpiece that has a design with long feathers will add height and elongate your face. Ladies with this face shape should choose something a little angular to give definition and compliment their bone structure.
The brighter, the better is the general rule when it comes to choosing a hat colour for Royal Ascot. If you’re looking to be the centre of attention, choose a bold colour that will stand out against darker tones in your outfit.
Botanical leafy patterns and flower prints have always been popular at the races, but more recently we’ve seen softer designs in blush tones that go well with any pastels and creams in the rest of your outfit.
Don’t go overboard with jewellery and other accessories. After all, you want your hat to be the star of the show, and there are plenty of options to choose from to make sure that you choose something that matches perfectly with your dress.
Maybe the most important thing to keep in mind is to choose a hat or a fascinator that you know will be unique. As the races draw nearer, Nigel produces a variety of one-off exclusives for each boutique in a huge array of colours and only with the highest quality materials so you can enjoy your day knowing that no one else will be wearing the same hat.
|Derby Festival||Epsom||Friday 2nd June||St Leger Meeting||Doncaster||Wednesday 13th September|
|Derby Festival||Epsom||Saturday 3rd June||St Leger Meeting||Doncaster||Thursday 14th September|
|Royal Ascot||Royal Ascot||Tuesday 20th June||St Leger Meeting||Doncaster||Friday 15th September|
|Royal Ascot||Royal Ascot||Wednesday 21st June||St Leger Meeting||Doncaster||Saturday 16th September|
|Royal Ascot||Royal Ascot||Thursday 22nd June||Ayr Gold Cup||Ayr||Saturday 23rd September|
|Royal Ascot||Royal Ascot||Friday 23rd June||Cambridgeshire Meeting||Newmarket||Thursday 28th September|
|Royal Ascot||Royal Ascot||Saturday 24th June||Cambridgeshire Meeting||Newmarket||Friday 29th September|
|Northumberland Plate||Newcastle||Saturday 1st July||Cambridgeshire Meeting||Newmarket||Saturday 30th September|
|Eclipse||Sandown||Saturday 8th July||Future Champions Day||Newmarket||Friday 13th October|
|July Meeting||Newmarket||Thursday 13th July||British Champions Day||Ascot||Saturday 21st October|
|July Meeting||Newmarket||Friday 14th July||Racing Post Trophy||Doncaster||Saturday 28th October|
|July Meeting||Newmarket||Saturday 15th July||November Handicap||Doncaster||Saturday 11th November|
|John Smith’s Cup||York||Saturday 15th July||The Open||Cheltenham||Friday 17th November|
|King George Meeting||Ascot||Saturday 29th July||The Open||Cheltenham||Saturday 18th November|
|Glorious Goodwood||Goodwood||Tuesday 1st August||The Open||Cheltenham||Sunday 19th November|
|Glorious Goodwood||Goodwood||Wednesday 2nd August||Betfair Chase||Haydock||Saturday 25th November|
|Glorious Goodwood||Goodwood||Thursday 3rd August||Hennessy Gold Cup||Newbury||Saturday 2nd December|
|Glorious Goodwood||Goodwood||Friday 4th August||Fighting Fifth Hurdle||Newcastle||Saturday 2nd December|
|Glorious Goodwood||Goodwood||Saturday 5th August||Tingle Creek Chase||Sandown||Saturday 9th December|
|Ebor Meeting||York||Wednesday 23rd August||International Meeting||Cheltenham||Friday 15th December|
|Ebor Meeting||York||Thursday 24th August||International Meeting||Cheltenham||Saturday 16th December|
|Ebor Meeting||York||Friday 25th August||Long Walk Hurdle||Ascot||Saturday 23rd December|
|Ebor Meeting||York||Saturday 26th August||King George VI Chase||Kempton||Tuesday 26th December|
|Sprint Cup||Haydock||Saturday 9th September||Welsh National||Chepstow||Wednesday 27th December|