I was making my way home from Waterloo Station today and saw a Clash of Titans or should I say a fashion train wreck heading off to Lady’s Day at Royal Ascot. It’s a strange thing that two groups, who in normal circumstances would never happily share the same postcode or oxygen, seem only too content to hit the dressing-up box and slum it on the 12.32 to Ascot.
In one corner we have the Toffs. The men are decked out in handmade tailcoats and top hats. Sadly, handmade for their fathers or grandfathers. There is nothing quite as funny as watching a man who thinks he’s dressed like Beau Brummell trying to work out how to get throught a train turntable when the last time he did this was when Nanny sent him off to Eton in 1972. The Toff women are older for sure, but completely comfortable in their high heels and clutching sensible handbags and umbrellas. They favour white and coral and their hats are well secured against the winds in the Royal Enclosure .
The Chavs are equally easy to spot. The men got their tickets at the last minute from the head of trading at their bank, so didn’t quite have time to get the right size from Moss Bros. So they have identical hats and a selection of ill-fitting tail coats with white shirts, that still have the laundry creases in them. The women are by far the most amusing. By and large they all wear black coctail dresses at least 2 sizes two small. To that they add spray tans that end five inches before the back of the dresses so they all look slightly two-toned and hats that have been lifted from table decorations at a Harvester. I won’t dwell of the hilarity of these beautiful, orange creatures trying to run for a train when they’ve never worn anything more complex than trainers. My hero of the day, gave up any pretense, took off her shoes and legged it like a shoplifter. Full marks.
So both are groups are equally vile; one pretentious and broke; the other ill-dressed and rich. You pays yer money and takes yer chance.