This Royal Ascot look is understated but powerful. All this outfit had to do to make a big impression was feature a larger-than-life butterfly. This beautifully crafted black-and-white butterfly is delicately perched atop a woven black hat. Whoever designed this hat did a wonderful job because what could easily have become a cheesy look was something incredibly classy.
The angle of the hat is just right. Plus, we can’t see the woman’s face in this photo. Somehow, that makes this Ascot outfit even more elegant and mysterious. The butterfly hat was worn with a simple, classic dress that featured 60s-inspired mother-of-pearl buttons. Sometimes, less really is more.
In Full Bloom
Gertrude Shilling may have been the most notorious avant-garde fashionista at Royal Ascot, but that doesn’t mean other people never branched out of the usual traditional hats and stuffy garden dresses. Julia Sellwood wore this fun hat to “Ladies Day” one year. It was a total hoot.
Her hat is a stylized version of a giant bouquet of roses. Heck, we’re pretty sure those are actual real roses tucked into the folds of her hat. Hopefully, someone cut off the thorns before sticking them in there. This hat is silly, artistic, and downright surreal. It turns out Julia could buy herself flowers way before Miley Cyrus came on the scene.
The Lady in White
We have no idea who this woman is, but she captures the essence of Royal Ascot fashion. This candid photo was taken in the early 90s. However, her classic outfit, gloves, and hat give off an elegance that has been a staple of Royal Ascot for centuries. She’s reading the event program with one glove off, a perfectly manicured nail ready to turn the page.
Her hat is next-level. It’s an incredible work of millinery. The layers of tulle and who knows what else look so light and fluffy. This hat looks more like a luxurious wedding cake than a fashion hat for a horse racing event. The soft tulle flowers are free of dust and smudges, and the sheer tulle brim is pressed to perfection. There’s not a speck of dust or imperfection in sight with this woman’s look.
A “Limited Too” + Royal Ascot Collab?
Hey, all you Gen Z kids out there who love wearing early 2000s fashion. We dare you to wear an outfit like this. If you’re a true fan of the era, you’ll get it. Tracey Rose went all-out for her Ascot outfit, fuzzy pink butterflies and all. It looks like a tween girl’s dream dress as far as formalwear is concerned.
Royal Ascot has a famous “modest length” rule when it comes to dress hemlines, so we’re not sure how she got away with rocking this mini dress to the event. It looks like she’s wearing sheer pink tights, but this is still a pretty risky look for Royal Ascot. We give this girl major credit for embracing her inner Barbie and wearing this all-pink ensemble, regardless of dress code rules.
Fashion in Full Bloom
Isabell Kristensen is a couture fashion designer known for her elegant, feminine designs that plenty of British celebrities love wearing on the red carpet. But Isabell wants to be in the spotlight sometimes, too. She wore this stunning avant-garde outfit to Royal Ascot one year, flower hat and all. We’re obsessed.
We have no idea how that hat is staying on Isabell’s head, but it’s a stunning floral arrangement that makes her look like a human-size water lily emerging from the water. Isabell paired her incredible hat with a cheerful buttercream yellow skirt suit. The handbag matches the exact same yellow as her outfit, which is no easy feat. We swear all of these color-coordinated Ascot women have some kind of secret regarding how they color-match so well.