Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Royal Ascot dress code shows society's decline

PHOTO courtesy of Mark Large.

Britain’s famed Royal Ascot is confirmation of the sorry state of all things sartorial.

For those unfamiliar with Royal Ascot, which started yesterday and runs until the weekend, think of it as a much grander version of the Kentucky Derby.

Apparently, those in attendance — the number of true race fans is likely dwarfed by those only going to be seen — weren’t dressed well enough because Royal Ascot organizers have put out a YouTube video telling attendees what is and isn’t acceptable under the race’s dress code, which requires morning dress for gentlemen in the best seats near Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

It may be true that Brits dress better, at least in some respects — surely because of an established bespoke clothing tradition (think London's Savile Row), which is sadly lacking on these shores.

However, the reality of the matter is that morning dress is for many what a dinner jacket (tuxedo) is for most Americans: a tribal costume reserved for weddings and other social affairs.

And the fact that Royal Ascot is employing 20 wardens to enforce its dress code speaks volumes to the sad decline of etiquette, manner and customs in this age of modernity.

Case in point? Teenybopper sensation Justin Bieber’s audience with Canada’s prime minister

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