Ascot is internationally recognised for its tradition and style – a proud and much enjoyed chain of events. Horsey or no, en masse the sartorial standard is set. Top hats and tailcoats need not be stuffy or uncomfortable confections. And of course, they never need to be drab. You don’t have to hire (dreaded word). Choose vintage if you don’t have something appropriate.
You can find a frock coat, tailcoat in Portobello Market for a few sovereigns even today. Perhaps search your wardrobe or steal from gramps when he is listening to the Archers (when you aren’t) and stride out. Ascot, Henley, Lord’s. You choose. Play with colour in the form of elegant silk waistcoats and creative Ascots. Conforming need never be dull. For a proper top hat surge down to Old Hat in Fulham for polished, textured silk varieties in black. Although grey is acceptable. Don’t. You’ll pay a fortune for a late nineteenth century example. £500 is not atypical but as you take the bus home eschewing the taxi, you’ll be poorer but richer in one way.