Friday, 12 May 2017

Debrett's Style Tips: Chelsea Flower Show

Debrett's style experts talk us through the do's and dont's of dressing for the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show

What is your partnership with Bicester Village and why does it work so well?
Debrett's and Bicester are both champions of British style; Debrett's as the authority on etiquette, British tradition and formal events, and Bicester through the exceptional partner brands it supports and showcases. For this reason we have collaborated to create the Guide To British Style, exploring all things sartorial with a focus on the comprehensive rules of dressing throughout the Season.

What is the 'Guide To British Style'?
It is a beautiful pocket guide to style and the Season, deciphering dress codes and exploring the surprising origins of some Britain's most cherished and iconic items of clothing. It reveals everything that remains central to the British notion of style, from its heritage to both its craft and creativity – qualities that Debrett's has championed throughout its nearly 250-year history.

Why would you advise Lady readers to visit Bicester Village when looking for an outfit for RHS Chelsea Flower show?
Not only is there a huge amount of choice of occasionwear on offer in its more than 130 boutiques, but a visit to Bicester is an experience in itself. Just under an hour away from London, a combination of world-famous brands and savings of up to 60% have made Bicester a global destination for style lovers. It is also home to a selection of restaurants and cafés, including Le Pain Quotidien and farmshop restaurant & café by Soho House & Co, together with a suite of services that include valet parking, hands-free shopping, and an onsite tax refund and currency exchange service.

What is the dress code for RHS Chelsea Flower show?
A favourite of the Royal Family and a traditional highlight of the Season, the RHS Chelsea Flower show is open to the public Thursday to Saturday where there is no official dress code – other than being prepared for all weathers and plenty of walking! On Monday evening there is a charity gala preview; this includes a garden party-themed dress code, floral dresses for women and a light jacket and tie for men.

What type of shoes are appropriate for men and women?
Plenty of walking is required to make the most of everything Chelsea has to offer, so sensible but stylish shoes are important. For women, flats, mid-heels or wedges are the most appropriate. For men, anything from smart boots to boat shoes are suitable.

Is the modern trouser suit a good option for women?
As mentioned, there is no official dress code for the public when visiting Chelsea, so women can absolutely wear a trouser suit, but a day dress or skirt and blouse may be preferred if the weather is fine. Floral prints and bright colours are also in keeping with the sense of occasion and the nature of the event.

Given the perils of the British weather, how can visitors combine style with practicality?
In case of rain, an umbrella is always handy at the show, and a waterproof jacket may also be a sensible idea.

What jewellery is appropriate for the occasion?
There are no official rules, but simple day jewellery such as pearls are appropriate. Again, you can also pay tribute to the event by opting for floral or botanical themes in your jewellery or accessories.

See more on Bicester Village & Debrett's 'Guide To British Style'

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