Dressing For A Royal Garden Party

Dressing For A Royal Garden Party

It's a great honour to be invited to a Royal Garden party. Each year, just over 30,000 people receive the invitation to attend one of up to three garden parties held at Buckingham Palace, as well as one party held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Continuing a tradition started by Queen Victoria in the 1860s, the garden parties are a way of recognising and rewarding people who have made a significant contribution to the life and essence of their community. These people are nominated, usually by the Lord Lieutenant, the monarch's personal representative in each county, the military services or the local government. Of course, plus-ones are welcomed too. 


Now held in the afternoon and lasting approximately three hours, originally the garden parties were called 'breakfasts', and were strictly nobility only. The parties were also used as an opportunity for debutantes to be presented to the Court, but this became defunct when Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne.

The national anthem opens and closes the event, during which King Charles and Queen Camilla meet and greet the guests, who are encouraged to dress for the occasion. As per the Royal website, the dress code states that men should wear morning dress or lounge suits, while women should attend in day dresses, with hats or fascinators. National dress and uniform can also be worn.


Given you're likely to only ever go to one Royal Garden Party in your lifetime, then we would always suggest that for gents, a morning suit would be a fitting way to celebrate the occasion. Because the parties are at the height of summer, it's important to choose the correct weight of morning coat in order to stay comfortable throughout the afternoon.  Our Black Chesham morning coat is our lightest weight style, crafted from a beautifully soft and breathable wool that has fantastic moisture-wicking properties. It can be paired with our cashmere stripe trousers, of which we have two slightly different high-waisted styles, but grey herringbone trousers are also an elegant alternative. Combine these with a beautiful pastel double-breasted waistcoat and bold tone tie for a sophisticated ensemble fit for a King and Queen!

For ladies, the Royal Garden Party is a wonderful opportunity to dress up in elegant attire. The dress code requires 'day dresses' which can be interpreted quite broadly, but what they are definitely not are sexy, short dresses! Our beautiful silk shantung dress silhouettes are perfect since they have just the right balance of glamour and sophistication. They are cut with a slim shape too and complement our collection of silk coats.


For a more playful look, we have a number of more dynamic floral dresses with circle skirts that are perfect for elevated garden parties. One wants to be comfortable but also elegant, which is why lighter weight silks and linen fabrics are an excellent choice. Linen is particularly breathable, which is why we've used it extensively this season in our coat collection. Coats that finish at the knee are a good choice since they are versatile and easy to style with similar length dresses. 


As for hats and fascinators, then we can certainly assist you with your choice. We have some fantastic millinery friends who create some wonderful styles so the next time you are in our Pall Mall boutique, don't hesitate to ask for advice.

 

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