Debrett's Style Tips: Royal Henley Regatta

Debrett's style experts talk us through the do's and dont's of dressing for the Royal Henley Regatta 28 June - 2nd July
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 these summer events?
Bicester Village plays host to more than 130 boutiques, which makes dressing for a special summer occasion both convenient and affordable. Less than an hour from London, a visit to Bicester means you can find your dress, shoes, hat and accessories all in one place – and with up to 60% off.

What kind of statement should an Henley Regatta visitor seek to make?
Strict dress codes are enforced in the Stewards' Enclosure and Leander Clubhouse at Henley, but in the Regatta Enclosure and elsewhere there is no official dress code. Visitors can still embrace the spirit of the occasion, however, with club blazers, boater hats or Panamas, and stylish summery outfits.

How best to combine fashion forwardness with fashion etiquette when selecting an outfit for Henley Regatta?
Visitors to a particular enclosure should check on the dress code in advance, as these are strictly enforced. Elsewhere, dress for the occasion with an elegant but not too formal summer outfit suitable for picnicking beside the river.

What should ladies wear when attending Henley Regatta?
If they are visiting the Stewards' Enclosure, women are required to wear dresses or skirts with a hemline below the knee. Trousers or culottes are not permitted. In the Leander Clubhouse, suits are permitted for women, but dresses should fall to 'around the knee'. In the Regatta Enclosure and elsewhere, no official dress code is enforced, but summery dresses and skirts are often popular. Whilst not a requirement, it is customary for women to wear hats in both the Stewards' Enclosure and Leander Clubhouse.

What should gentlemen wear when attending Henley Regatta?
In both the Stewards' Enclosure and the Leander Clubhouse and grounds gentlemen are required to wear either a lounge suit or a jacket or blazer with flannels and a tie or cravat. Elsewhere, no official dress code applies.

Are ladies and gentlemen required to get more dressed up for the Steward's Enclosure and Leander Club?
Yes. In both the Leander Clubhouse and grounds and the Stewards' Enclosure, gentlemen are required to wear a lounge suit, jacket or blazer with flannels and a tie or cravat. Women are required to wear dresses or suits in the Leander Clubhouse, where dress length should be at least 'around the knee'.

Women visiting the Stewards' Enclosure should wear a dress that falls below the knee. Divided skirts, culottes or trousers are not permitted. Hats are optional but encouraged.

Do you advise that ladies wear hats?
Hats are optional but customary in the Stewards' Enclosure and Leander Clubhouse.

What jewellery is appropriate for the occasion?
Jewellery for daytime events can be elegant but discreet – pearls or simple, sparkly options tend to work well.

What can ladies get the balance between comfort and style right at Henley Regatta?
Be prepared for all weathers and take a hat and sunglasses if it's sunny, as the glare will reflect off the water. If you're planning to picnic on the riverbanks, dress accordingly. Flats or wedges are preferable to stilettos for walking on grass

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