Clothes Fashion

From Ascot to Wimbledon: What to Wear to Summer Events


By Chere Di Boscio

Ah, summer! It’s the season for snacking on strawberries and cream, dining under the stars and learning how to best walk on grass lawns in spike heels. It’s also the time to pick out the right clothing for the right occasion. From joining the sporty set at Wimbledon, the French Open or Ascot to dressing up for the opera, we’ve found the perfect eco-friendly wardrobe for the most exclusive of summer events.

Wimbledon & Other Tennis Events

From visors to trainers, Valentina Gauthier’s style screams ‘tennis!’ this season. Her eco-friendly line this season features midi-length skirts in organic cotton, striped polo-necked shirts and of course, tennis sweaters with their classic blue and red striped collars and sleeves. To accessorise the look, she’s created 30s style brogues and 70s throwback visors, all of which wouldn’t look out of place on Gatsby’s tennis court.


Image: Wimbledon audience on Wikicommons

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If you prefer a slightly more formal look to sport, David Peck USA makes some wonderfully simple and super sustainable dresses and pantsuits, which are the perfect combination of smart/casual that tennis requires. Just don’t forget your sunnies–they’ll be essential if you want to watch the action without squinting. Our faves for this year are bamboo or wood sunglasses, like these ones from Finlay & Co. which apparently are owned and loved by none other than Pippa Middleton and David Gandy.



Glyndebourne, Verona & Outdoor Classical Music

Going to the opera or symphony is the perfect occasion to don the perfect summer LBD. Maiyet makes some fabulous ones, constructed by traditional craftsmen and women in developing countries to produce sustainably sourced luxury goods. The brand also supports the independent nonprofit Nest, which is dedicated to training and developing artisan businesses around the world.

Whether you’re after something with a whimsical detail, like the sheer cut out back below, or the most simple LBD imaginable, like this maxidress worn by Karlie Kloss, Maiyet’s got a black dress for you.


Image: Glyndebourne Opera on Wikicommons

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But don’t feel limited by the LBD–pant suits and tuxes are another option. This one Martin Raffa, as modelled by Milagros Schmoll, was made from dead stock fabrics and looks super-chic. Looking for a jumpsuit instead? Stella McCartney makes loads of classic vegan ones, like this one below. To accessorize such chic-ness, you’ll need equally gorgeous accessories. Jill Milan makes some of the most stunning handbags and clutches around; the fact that they just happen to be eco friendly and vegan is almost an afterthought. Eco-friendly shoes can be harder to find, but thanks to Cult of Coquette, the search is a bit easier. These vegan-friendly shoes are as about as eco–and elegant– as footwear gets. Just mind the grass!




Image: La Nacion Argentina


Jill Milan Holland Park Clutch black and gold


Royal Ascot and Other Races

The races are all about one thing: the hats! While some go all ‘Isabella Blow‘ with extremely expressive headgear, others aim to make somewhat less of a statement. Luckily Hatastic makes a variety of chapeaux for every taste, and of course, each is handmade from sustainable materials in their London studios.

Dressing for the races is not necessarily for the demure–LBDs should be shunned in favour of more colourful frocks and accessories. Sophie Zinga‘s African heritage means she’s very comfortable playing with colour in her ethical fashion collections, and her silky pink creations are perfect for the racing season. To accessorise, try something as equally natural and colourful as these clutches, by Kayu. How could you resist the colourful gem closure?

Image: Royal Carriages at Ascot on Wikicommons


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Chelsea & Other Flower Shows

The pretty English tea dress was made for such occasions, and no one makes them better than Beulah London. Their feminine, floral frocks are all made from natural materials, and the brand donates a percentage of each sale to help victims of human trafficking rings. To accessorise these beauties, try these classically cut vegan shoes and a colourful bag from Lulu’s below.


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Summer Weddings

Of course, every bride will have her own dress code, but there are some frocks that go with just about any of them. Take these maxi-dresses by The Reformation, for example. Throw a veil on with one and it becomes a bridal gown; add some boots and throw a sweater over it and you could wear it to work in the autumn. As for shoes, why not add a strappy vegan pair like those by Sydney Brown, below.






The Serpentine Summer Fete & Other Art Events

It seems that at art events, just about anything goes: any hemline is fine; gents can get away with anything from black ties to jeans (well, at least if you’re Damien Hirst!). Just don whatever you feel is dressy and expressive enough for the occasion: Amber le Bon and SJP went short and sexy, whilst others at the party wore more casual dresses. We love the pret-a-porter collection by eco-friendly couture designer Sohad Acouri, which would look totally at home at an art gallery opening. Just accessorise with a neutral vegan clutch by Matt and Nat, and a glass of champagne, of course!


Image: Serpentine Gallery

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