‘I wore an ‘inappropriate’ gown to Royal Ascot – and it received fairly the response’

‘Tis the season to dress to the nines for Royal Ascot – one of the biggest sporting (and fashion) dates of the year.

While many people are focused on winning big on the betting, others are more preoccupied by looking good and getting the undisclosed seal of approval of fellow attendees.

However, on my visit to the races in Berkshire on Tuesday (June 18), I decided to wear one of the most controversial colour dresses to the big do’ – and I didn’t even realise.

READ MORE: ‘I only bet on horses with silliest names at Royal Ascot – here’s what I won’

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It’s common knowledge that wearing white to a wedding is a big faux pas and quite the savage move at the same time.

Layla Nicholson headed to Royal Ascot in what is perceived as ‘inappropriate’ to some

But, what I didn’t know is that white is also looked down upon for the races, according to some fashion experts.

And it’s mainly because you can easily look scruffy after a long day of Pimm’s and bubbly – no one likes a stained dress.

I spent a two week period suffering from what is known as ‘dress stress’ in attempts to find the perfect number that adheres to the dress code, but also will not make me a clone for the day.

Battling through the number of sponsored cheap fashion pop-ups after typing in ‘Royal Ascot dresses’ into Google, being plagued by influencers in adverts on Instagram and being sucked into the void of TikTok – it was a tough task.

But, eventually I stumbled upon a white dress from brand Sister Jane.

And I knew this would tick both of the boxes I needed to mark for it to go in my basket and be delivered on my doorstep.

White is a brave option and one that is not as popular amongst Royal Ascot attendees

Despite thinking I had alleviated my ‘dress stress’, it quickly came pouring back when I realised en route that white is supposed to be big no-no for Ascot.

Though, there was nothing I could do now as I left for my day with Peroni at Royal Ascot.

Along with the black bow and ribbon detail, the dramatic tie straps and the intricate yellow flowers embroidered onto the dress, I put on my big girl shoes and straw hat to ignore that I’ve probably made a big boo-boo.

However, I wasn’t expecting quite the reaction it got.

Walking to the train station looking incredibly overdressed as I waded amongst those carrying their Lidl shopping in town, I got the odd smile.

Perhaps they thought I looked nice, or maybe they were mocking me for choosing a controversial dress for Ascot. But, I’d like to think it’s the former.

Will people turn their noses up at the white dress?

On board the train, a bunch of middle aged women jumped on and took a look at my outfit. They immediately started talking about Ascot and how they’d been to previous years.

Have I been rumbled? Are they making small talk about the silly girl who wore white to Royal Ascot?

As we both stood up to jump off at the same station, one the ladies asked: “I just really need to know where you’re going.”

Through a smile of confidence coated fear, I shared that I was heading to the races. Her face lit up as I confirmed her suspicions, she then told me I look “lovely and glamourous.”

Well, if the white dress went down with some Royal Ascot Ladies’ Day veterans, then hopefully I’ll get the same reaction throughout the whole day.

On my two hour and 45 minute journey to the race course with a small bottle of bubbly and the self-awareness of my supposed ‘inappropriate’ dress, I hoped that I wouldn’t have to bare the brunt of negativity.

The dress even ended up getting compliments en route to the races…

Though, that was further from the case.

On the station bridge, a fascinator-wearing older lady beamed when she made sight of me, was she about to laugh at my white dress?

Actually, no. She instead mouthed ‘gorgeous’, or am I bad at lip reading and she said ‘gross’?

When reaching Ascot, everyone merged into a gorgeously huge fancy march to the grounds.

Despite some fashion experts thinking that certain colours or prints are a faux pas, it’s truly difficult to think that when being amongst so many elegantly dressed people.

But would my white dress stick out like a sore thumb? Well, the only sore thing about me was my feet and the blisters they are now hosting.

After waving to King Charles and Queen Camilla during the Royal Procession, I bumped into a friend who said she was wondering who was wearing such a ‘gorgeous dress’.

Another said the style is ‘so different’, and I took that as a good thing.

Layla drunk a pint through a straw in attempts to save her dignity and the state of her dress

Amongst the florals, the pastels and navy’s, it seems that my less frequented choice of white dress was a real hit – and the style is something different.

Ok, I didn’t win best dressed. Maybe I just didn’t parade myself around the grounds enough as I was too busy betting on silly horse names and drinking a pint with a straw.

White is risky when you’re clumsy and attending an event were everyone has been preened to perfection.

But, being cautious with your drink and any food splatters will make your white dress stand out from the crowd – and for a good reason.

And it looks like white dresses at Ascot are catching on…

Earlier, fashion expert Giorgio Ammirabile, from Consigned Sealed Delivered, told us: “I would say that white can be the safest and most popular of all because it’s easy for everyone to wear and you can easily match any colourful accessories with it.”