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Westminster Abbey Dress Code - Special event

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Rastatt, Germany
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Westminster Abbey Dress Code - Special event

I'm attending a service to dedicate a memorial to C.S. Lewis on Westminster Abbey. It will be celebrated by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. According to the Abbey's website, there's no specific dress code for the daily services, but they ask that the visitor dress "in a respectful manner".

However, I wonder if there is a specific dress code for special events such as the one I'm attending. I'm planing on using something like a pantsuit, will that be okay? I hope I don't have to wear a hat... :)

This is the link for the event. The description is quite simple:

westminster-abbey.org/whats-on/institute/cs-…

Ossett, United...
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1. Re: Westminster Abbey Dress Code - Special event

Trouser suit will be fine. You'd find cut-off shorts and a bikini top a bit more challenging (and cold) but normal, everyday clothes are fine. I think they often recommend flattish or easy to walk in shoes but that's because of some potential unevenness in the floor.

London
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2. Re: Westminster Abbey Dress Code - Special event

The website indicates that you need to hold a ticket for admission to the service. I assume, since you are going to the service, that you have a ticket. If there is a specific dress code, e.g. morning dress, decorations to be worn, ladies to wear hats, etc, this will be stated on the ticket. If a specific dress code is not stated just wear whatever you will be comfortable wearing. If I were going I would probably wear a lounge suit (simple jacket and tie would seem a bit too casual, and morning coat would seem too formal). For a woman I should think that essentially wearing what you might wear for an important business meeting or to an informal wedding would be a good benchmark. I would say that a hat would be de rigueur for something like a state funeral, but no longer for what is essentially a regular church service. The crucial thing, as I say, is to check what it says on the ticket. If the ticket indicates a very formal dress code then follow that; otherwise, just use discretion.

Rastatt, Germany
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3. Re: Westminster Abbey Dress Code - Special event

Ailidh and jonathanquinn thank you for your replies :)

@jonathanquinn I don't have the tickets yet; I made a reservation and will collect them on the previous day during the symposium. I am now thinking about what you said and that maybe I should contact the event organizers and ask about the dress code since I will only have the tickets on the eve of the event.

London
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4. Re: Westminster Abbey Dress Code - Special event

If you are really worried then do contact the organisers. However, I suspect you are worrying too much. A trouser suit is fine for pretty much any occasion. I even once invited a woman to a black-tie dinner and she turned up in a trouser suit, which was fine. Dress codes for women are always more flexible anyway, short of some kind of uniform having to be worn. For men, codes such as white tie, black tie, morning dress, lounge suit, etc are absolutely prescriptive. For women you have more scope to choose between a trouser suit, skirt suit, dress, skirt and top, dress with a jacket on top, trousers and a top, and so on. As I say, short of your being invited to a state funeral I should think that any of the above would be fine. Also, most people at this event will presumably be academics and religious people, so they won't be sticklers for strict dress codes in the way that, say, the armed forces would be.

Somerset
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5. Re: Westminster Abbey Dress Code - Special event

I don't know Westminster Abbey specifically but it is huge and stone so I would suggest something warm, maybe wear smart boots and a pretty scarf or a polo neck jumper under the jacket and if you have one carry a top coat over your arm in case it is cold. You may need it to get there anyway as it is damp and chill at the moment with no warming sun.

USA
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6. Re: Westminster Abbey Dress Code - Special event

Excellent information you provided, jonathanquinn. I had not heard of a lounge suit and see that it is what I would call a two-piece suit or business suit. Live and learn.

7. Re: Westminster Abbey Dress Code - Special event

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