What to wear to Royal Ascot

by Mark Buxton, February 8, 2017

This year, Royal Ascot takes place from 20th June – 24th June. It’s one of the most exciting events in the racing calendar, yet— horses aside — it’s the fashion that gets us talking. From sharp-cut suits to elegant ensembles and the fascinators we’d rather forget, getting your look right is important — and not just in case you get papped.

Royal Ascot is known for its strict dress code, so planning your outfit in advance could save you embarrassment on the day. Here, Daniel Footwear explains what you should and shouldn’t be wearing this year, depending on which ticket you buy:

1

Royal Enclosure dress code

If you’re lucky enough to be a member of the Royal Enclosure, you’ll have the strictest dress code to follow. Here’s our round-up of the main dos and don’ts:

Dos:

  • Formal daywear.
  • Knee-length or longer dresses.
  • Dresses and tops with straps that are 1-inch wide or larger.
  • Full-length trouser suits.
  • Hats, although a headpiece that has a solid base of 10cm or more in diameter is also accepted.

Don’ts:

  • Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti strap styles.
  • Show your midriff.
  • Fascinators and headpieces with a base of less than 10cm.

3

Queen Ann Enclosure dress code

Booked your spot at the Queen Ann Enclosure? Here’s how you should dress:

Dos:

  • Formal wear.
  • Wear a hat, fascinator or other headpiece at all times.
  • Only wear trousers if they are full-length.

Don’ts

  • Strapless or sheer dresses and tops.
  • Show your midriff.

2

Windsor Enclosure

Unlike the areas above, the Windsor Enclosure does not have a strict dress code. However, race-goers are expected to dress formally and look the part.

A dress is a fail-safe choice, but you’ll need to choose wisely if you’re going to look the part. Try to avoid anything too form-hugging, as well as neon colours, cut-out panels and sheer detailing. Remember that less is more; create an elegant look by keeping the flesh you flash to a minimum.

Instead, opt for a chic midi dress that finishes just above the knee. Because Royal Ascot takes place in the summer, pastel colours and pretty floral prints will work well, and offer plenty of potential for co-ordinating other parts of your outfit, like your shoes or accessories.

In terms of footwear, heels are a must — but think twice about sky-scraping stilettos. You’ll be spending lots of the day standing up and wandering around, so a pair of mid-height heels are preferred.

Of course, a fascinator or hat is a must. Pick out a colour on your dress and carry it through your headwear, shoes and accessories to tie your look together.