Royal Ascot is undoubtedly one of the most iconic events on the British social and sporting calendar, not to mention style agenda. Every year in June over 300,000 people bedeck themselves in their finest formal daywear and haute hats for a day at Britain’s most famous racecourse. This five-day event is a gleeful gathering of horses, high stakes and of course hats.
What began in 1711 at the request of Queen Anne, has continued to remain a truly royal affair with The Queen and family attending in horse drawn carriages, parading in front of the grandstands for the Royal Procession at the start of each day. And take note, when royalty are present in Britain, fellow guests will dress up for the occasion.
clockwise from top left: top: DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, skirt: Jason Wu, hat: Philip Treacy, shoes: Dolce & Gabbana, bag: Bottega Veneta.
But the dress code for Royal Ascot is no take it or leave it affair. There are strict rules to adhere to for both men and women (and children) and do not deviate from the style etiquette, or you won’t be let in. Royal Enclosure ticket holders have more criteria to follow, whereas for grandstand admission, it is a lot less strict. So what are the rules and what should you wear to impress in the style stakes?
Here is the LUXOS guide to what to wear to Royal Ascot 2015...
ROYAL ENCLOSURE DRESS CODE
If ever you had a reason to splash the cash on a new outfit, the Royal Enclosure is it. This is your opportunity to let your inner style goddess out and dress to impress from head to toe. Heels yes, hemline modest and hat a necessity - what more could a girl ask for. Just be sure to follow the below rules...
• Play it safe with a modest under the knee hemline (just above the knee is also acceptable).
• You can wear a dress or skirt and top but make sure your straps are one inch or greater (no spaghetti straps, halter neck or off the shoulder numbers).
• Jackets and pashminas can be worn.
• Trouser suits are acceptable but must be full length and be of matching colour and fabric.
• Hats are a must – a headpiece is acceptable but must have a base of 10cm or more covering the head, but no fascinators.
• No midriffs.
clockwise from left: dress: Biyan, hat: Philip Treacy, shoes: Gianvito Rossi, bag: Diane Von Furstenberg
• Black or grey morning dress is the only option and must include a waistcoat, tie (no cravats) and top hat (no customization or coloured bands etc.).
• Black shoes.
• If you get hot and want to remove your hat, make sure you only do so in a restaurant, private box, private club (and its terrace, balcony or garden) or any external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.
The dress code is slightly more relaxed for the little ones (who are only admitted on Friday and Saturday). For girls (aged 10-16) smart summer dresses are advised and a hat or headpiece can be worn but isn’t compulsory. For the boys, morning suit can be worn, or for a less formal option a dark-coloured lounge suit and shirt is also acceptable.
Overseas visitors are welcome to wear their formal National Dress or Service Dress.
GRANDSTAND DRESS CODE
The style rules for grandstand goers are a lot more relaxed than for the Royal Enclosure, although guests are encouraged to dress in a manner as you would a formal occasion. And who doesn’t like an excuse to get all dolled up? Again, be sure to adhere to the below rules...
dress: Dolce & Gabbana, hat: Philip Treacy, bag: Victoria Beckham, shoes: Sophia Webster.
• There is no official length of skirt required, but keep it chic and modest. Save the mini skirts for the beach (shorts are not permitted).
• A hat, headpiece or fascinator is required to be worn at all times.
• No strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are allowed.
• Trousers can be worn but must be full length.
• No midriffs.
dress: top: Marni, hat: Misa Harada, skirt: Roksanda, shoes: Pierre Hardy
Don’t worry; morning dress is not required in the grandstand. A suit, shirt and tie is acceptable.
The dress code for girls (aged 10-16) in the Grandstand is the same as the Royal Enclosure (smart summer dress with or without headwear). For the boys (aged 13-16) a suit or jacket and shirt and tie is required and for the younger boys (aged 12 or under), they are not required to wear a jacket or tie, just something smart.