For the first time in its 309-year history, the famously stringent dress code of the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot will allow for gentlemen to wear navy morning dress alongside the traditional black and grey style this June. To acknowledge this sartorial first, we’re thrilled to announce that as the Official Licensee of Royal Ascot 2020, we have created the navy three-piece ‘Furlong’ morning suit in superfine merino cloth as the centrepiece of a unique Favourbrook x Royal Ascot capsule collection. "Charcoal and grey will always be the traditional colours of morning dress but navy offers a very modern elegance,” says Favourbrook owner and founder Oliver Spencer. “I’m excited to see how visitors to the Royal Enclosure will make it their own. Navy is such a fundamental part of menswear, so why not formalwear too.”
The tradition of formalwear at Royal Ascot can be traced back to the influence of the notorious 19th century dandy and confidante of the Prince Regent (the future King George IV), one Beau Brummell, whose statue stands a short walk from Favourbrook’s flagship store on London’s Pall Mall. Brummell famously decreed that ‘men of elegance’ should attend the race meet wearing ‘waisted black coats and white cravats with pantaloons.’ Quite why Brummell omitted navy from his Royal Ascot stipulation is up for debate, especially given that he himself preferred the Montem-inspired (Montem refers to the clothing worn during an arcane Etonian rite of passage) blue-and-buff combination to the stark black-and-white that would later become standard evening dress. What’s certain is that Brummell’s preference for elegance and simplicity in the cut and colour of his attire, as opposed to the flamboyant ostentation of the affected Macaroni style of the mid-18th century, continues to inform contemporary formalwear today and inspires the clean, understated lines of Favourbrook’s Furlong morning suit. There is an elegant minimalism to it that reaffirms Brummell’s own desire to be noticed without drawing attention to himself.
The Favourbrook x Royal Ascot capsule also features a traditional black Chesham morning coat with high-waisted charcoal trousers, together with a selection of waistcoats that honour the Favourbrook house style, including shawl-colour double-breasted versions alongside six-button single-breasted options. Both styles come with or without piping details and are offered in a variety of linen, wool and silk-blend fabrics. There are also a number of matching ties and pocket squares in 100% silk and silk/linen blends to add a sophisticated flourish to the look. We were honoured to be able to shoot the collection recently at Park House Stables, Kingsclere, home of champion trainer Andrew Balding and his wife Anna Lisa. We were joined by the charming ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell who modelled the collection with panache and aplomb. Follow Oli on instagram (@olibell) to see how he wears the Furlong suit across Ascot week.