British Formula One star Lewis Hamilton was excited to be heading to the Royal Box for the Wimbledon men’s final yesterday, but was reportedly denied entry after failing to meet the Lawn Tennis Club’s strict Royal Box dress code.
Having been recently appointed as an ambassador for London Collections Men, the capital’s dedicated men’s fashion weekend, it was an unfortunate turn of events for Hamilton, who was only last month chosen to fly the flag for British style alongside David Gandy, Tinie Tempah and Dermot O’Leary.
The official Royal Box dress code dictates that men must wear a jacket and tie, which Hamilton failed to do, favouring instead a floral shirt tucked into chinos, a panama hat, tasseled loafers and a large diamond earring.
While Hamilton’s shirt would no doubt have distracted some spectators from the action on centre court, and though his stud would possibly have attracted a few low flying magpies, we can’t help but feel for Hamilton, who had clearly made an effort dressing for the day and was excited about attending the match. He posted his invitation on Instagram on Sunday morning with the caption: "On my way to Wimbledon to watch the final. Honoured to have been invited to watch the men's finals from the Royal Box."
Menswear is in a state of flux at the moment, and although we respect the unflinching Britishness of an institution that cares more about a young sports star dissing its dress code than it does about benefiting from the publicity of said star attending its biggest event of the year, Wimbledon’s reaction feels a bit out of step.
Everyone knows that menswear is booming, but it’s at the casual end of the market that the expansion is really happening. Harrods, for instance, unveiled an extra 15,000 square feet of store space earlier this year dedicated solely to high end sports and casual menswear from the likes of Neil Barrett, Valentino and DSquared2 – designer brands which produce beautifully tailored clothes with a sporting edge.
While there’s no denying that Hamilton should probably have read the dress code a little more closely, and though it goes without saying that he definitely should have picked a better shirt, the reality is that Hamilton is a prime example of the new breed of British man, and how that man is dressing.
Hover over image below to see what we think he got wrong, and what we think he got right.