Style Guide: Win in the Style Stakes at Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is one of the most highly anticipated events in the British sporting calendar, however, over the years the occasion has become just as much about fashion as it is the horse racing. The event is renowned for the glamorous frocks and extravagant hats worn by the guests and who’s wearing what is a key talking point surrounding the occasion.

Dressing up is all part of the raceday experience, so you want to pick something that you’ll feel fabulous in and will get you noticed. It’s an opportunity to really go all out, so whether you’re male or female, it’s worth putting the effort in.

If you’re looking for a little style inspiration for the day, here are some of our top suggestions.

For the ladies

An elegant dress

As long as it isn’t too revealing or outlandish, you can’t really go wrong with a dress for a day at the races. Something that sits below the knee and doesn’t show off too much skin is ideal and you’re bound to turn some heads in an understated, yet feminine design.

Ascot Dresses

SHOP: Joseph Pink Fluid Crepe Murphy Dress / Diane Von Furstenberg Midnight Navy Aveline Dress /Torn by Ronny Kobo Cream Rona Floral Dress

If a dress isn’t for you…

If you don’t fancy wearing a dress don’t fret! A feminine skirt and blouse combo, or even a sleek tailored suit or elegant jumpsuit can be the perfect choice for the occasion. If you opt for a suit, choose something that is full length and in a matching colour and pattern to create a really chic look. Not only will you tick all the boxes in the dress regulations, but you’ll also ooze sophisticated glamour.

Ascot suits2

SHOP: Keepsake Black All Talk Lace Sleeveless Blouse & Skirt / Joseph White Linen Laurent Blazer Jacket & Trousers / Diane Von Furstenberg Black Layana Jumpsuit

Make a statement with your headgear…

If you have a ticket for the Royal or Queen Anne Enclosure you will be permitted to wear a hat of some sort. And even if you’ve got a ticket for the Windsor Enclosure it’s still fun to get involved in the battle of the best headgear! Each year you see hundreds of quirky designs, featuring the likes of fanciful bows, polka dots and birds. One guest last year even sported a fascinator homing a My Little Pony figurine.

It could be said that the bigger and bolder the hat, the better when it comes to finding a statement piece for the races. If something extravagant isn’t for you, however,  there are plenty of more understated head pieces to choose from on the market.

For the men

Suited and booted

Brush off your finest suit, men, as whatever type of ticket you have for the day it will be required for you to be suited and booted. Those lucky enough to be entering the Royal Enclosure will also be asked to wear a waistcoat, however elsewhere you can get away with a jacket and trousers. Pair it with a smart shirt and tie and you’re good to go!

Ascot Mens

SHOP: J. Lindeberg Navy Hopper Glencheck Suit Jacket / PS by Paul Smith Grey Weaved Lined Suit Jacket / Hugo Boss Navy 3 Piece Suit

Top hat

A top hat probably isn’t your usual attire, but sticking to long standing traditions, men visiting the Royal Enclosure must sport one in black or grey.

Dress code

Sorry to spoil all of the fun, but Royal Ascot is a prestigious event and they ask that all guests adhere to their specified dresscode, in order to respect traditions and reputation. Failure to do say may result in refusal of entry and we don’t want that!

Requirements vary depending on the ticket you have purchased, so it is important to be aware of the regulations in place.

The Royal Enclosure

The Royal Enclosure is the most exclusive of the three divisions at Royal Ascot and therefore requires that the most care is given to each guest’s appearance and attire. Formal daywear is a requirement for all guests in the Royal Enclosure and the following guidelines must be respected:

Ladies

  • Dresses and skirts should fall just above the knee or longer and midriffs must be covered
  • Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn, but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the dress code
  • Trouser suits must be full length and of matching material and colour
  • Hats should be worn; however a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative

Gentlemen

  • Men must wear a waistcoat, tie and plain black shoes
  • A black or grey top hat must be worn, however it can be removed in a restaurant or private box or club

The Queen Anne Enclosure

Guests within the Queen Anne Enclosure are encouraged to dress formally and the following should be considered:

Ladies

  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times
  • Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted and midriffs must be covered
  • Trousers must be full length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above

Gentlemen

  • Men must wear a matching suit with a shirt and tie

The Windsor Enclosure

There is no strict dress code within the Winsor Enclosure, however guests are asked to dress appropriately for the occasion and why not take the opportunity to dress to impress! Any sort of fancy dress or novelty clothing is strictly prohibited, so I’m afraid you may have to leave the Hawaiian shirt for another occasion!