Formal dress with on-the-knee or below length skirt, shoulders covered, hat or substantial fascinator. That’s the easy part, but what actually to wear?
I have just one hat which I bought second hand over ten years ago. I still love it and see no point in buying another. It was a designer bargain and it comes out for weddings and Ascot and, as it is a classic navy, goes with everything.
I have a navy leather Osprey handbag (a bargain from TKMaxx) and some L K Bennett navy wedges (another bargain from Kilver Court) so the accessories were sorted.
I bought a lovely red-with-white-polka-dots dress from TKMaxx for our first wedding anniversary last month when we went to Geneva and haven’t worn it since. Red and navy are great together, so I decided to go with that.
But I don’t own a suitable jacket.
It was Monday and Ascot was on Thursday so, knowing I could spend an entire day shopping and still not find what I was looking for, I popped over to Hanson’s fabric warehouse in Sturminster Newton with an aim to making one.
What a fabulous place, I love going there! I wanted a bolero style and ended up going for this one by Simplicity: –
I really wanted navy silk and couldn’t believe it when they didn’t have any:(
Anyway, as I only needed one metre of fabric and lining, I bought navy linen and red silk. My theory being that both would be useful additions to my wardrobe and, at less than forty pounds including the pattern, a bargain to boot!
I don’t know if you can see on the picture of the pattern above, but I made the navy one in style B and the red one in style F.
This is the navy one; slightly longer in length and with a straighter neckline: –
I bought some gorgeous coat lining which looks fabulous,
The only gripe I had was with the actual pattern itself – it really was too simple and the lack of tailoring lets it down in my opinion. For instance, the lining was too simple without any facings and the armhole edges were just overlocked which was awful. I found some black satin ribbon in my stash and bound the raw edges with it and it looks much better now.
I prefer to buy Vogue designer patterns which are very advanced, but are more likely to take ten hours rather than the two that this one took! I didn’t have much time and anyway, this really was the only style I liked in all the pattern books that would suit the outfit.
When I made the red one I altered the pattern slightly so that the lining was inserted differently and is consequently much neater.
Look at this finishing – much better!
The silk is a dupion with a slub effect – it shimmers as the light changes. Here’s a close up.
I put the finished outfits together on a hanger and decided to go with the red jacket, which is ironic considering I would have bought navy silk had it been in stock:)
So this is me, champagne in hand, ready to go….
…and this is with my lovely friend Andrea with whom I had a fabulous day!
Do you want to see some more? Yes? OK then; this is Dawn on the way up in our minibus.
And, yes, we are drinking champagne at 8.30 in the morning:)
These are the other girls we went with.
At the Winner’s Enclosure waiting for Her Maj to arrive….
And here she is!
They hand round a Carriage List so you know who’s in which carriage. It seems Rory Bremner hob nobs with royalty!
This was a typical crowd around one of the many champagne bars…..
…and this was the champagne list. £80 for the cheapest bottle!!!
Here are a few photos of the outfits and hats on display –
So that’s the story of my Ascot Ladies Day outfit dilemma – what did you wear?