England has been having a brilliant summer: June and July were some of the warmest months in London’s history. Sunny days have been especially appreciated for the key local events, including Polo in the Park, Royal Ascot and Wimbledon.
Another highlight of the English social, fashion and sporting calendar — Henley Royal Regatta — is the rowing fixture of the season, which is also celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. FAJO joined the Regatta for the fourth consecutive time.
One of my personal favourites for people-watching, Regatta is an event with some fun street style. Members of the general public are not required to dress in any specific manner and they generally go for informal and summer-focused pieces. For the ladies, outfits are mainly dresses or skirt-and-top combinations, while the men tend to focus on rowing blazers: apparently first coined in Cambridge for their “blazing” red colour.
Meanwhile, members of the Steward’s Enclosure, similarly to the Royal Ascot, must follow a strict dress code to enter. Men must wear lounge suits, jackets or blazers, with flannels and a tie. Ladies must be wearing a dress or skirt that covers the knee, and are encouraged to wear hats, while trousers, shorts/culottes and skirts with splits are forbidden.
Rowers from clubs, schools, colleges and universities throughout the U.K., and rowing nations around the world, including top universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Brown and Harvard, and even our own Ridley College from Canada, are clad in matching coloured and striped blazers from their respective clubs. I loved seeing the variety of clashing stripes, badges and bright colours from red, green, blue and purple solids to multi-colour combinations. Of note this year, it wasn’t just the guys representing rowing clubs they belonged to — female friends and girlfriends looked great in oversized rowing blazers too, overtop of their summer dresses.
Another Henley Royal Regatta to remember, and an annual event I look forward to attending again. I’m hoping to join as a member of a rowing club, purely to sport one of their preppy blazers myself next year! In the meantime, here is my photo gallery that captures a few street style highlights from HRR 2014.