When it comes to dressing for Royal Ascot, you want to be asked ‘Where did you get that hat?’ rather than ‘Where’s your hat?’.
Follow this detailed guide to the official dress code for men, women and children in each of the three enclosures to ensure you don’t make a faux pas on the day.
Formal daywear is required. Dresses and skirts must fall no higher than just above the knee. Shoulder straps must be wider than one inch, even when worn under jackets or pashminas; strapless, off-the-shoulder, halter-neck or spaghetti straps are definite no-nos. Midriffs must be covered at all times!
Trouser suits must be full length and matching (material and colour).
Headwear is a must: ladies must wear a hat, or alternatively a headpiece with a solid base of at least four inches (10 cm) in diameter; fascinators are not allowed.
Children are only allowed in the Royal Enclosure on Friday and Saturday and should wear formal clothes.
Girls aged 10–17 should follow the same dress code as women but may wear a headpiece or fascinator of any size instead of a hat.
Boys (10–17) may either follow the dress code for men or else wear a dark lounge suit with a shirt and tie.
Overseas visitors and serving military
Formal national dress or service dress (such as regimental uniform) are welcome in place of morning dress or formal daywear.
Formal daywear is to be worn, including a hat, headpiece or fascinator. Strapless or sheer strap dresses or tops are not allowed. Full-length trousers may be worn with a top that follows the rules above. No shorts or short-length trousers are permitted. Midriffs must be covered.
Children are allowed to attend all days and should wear formal clothes. Smart summer dress are suggested for girls, along with an optional hat, headpiece or fascinator.
Boys (13–16) should wear a suit or jacket with shirt and tie; a jacket and tie is not compulsory for boys under 12, though smart clothes should be worn.
In the Queen Anne Enclosure the organizers employ a “degree of discretion” over how strictly you’ve followed the dress code (within reason!). It’s also perfectly OK to follow the Royal Enclosure dress code if you want to.
There’s no formal dress code for the Windsor Enclosure but smart clothes are encouraged and replica sports shirts are not permitted. Children (under 18) are allowed to attend all days.
Clothing not permitted at Royal Ascot
There are certain items of clothing that are forbidden anywhere on site for men, women and children. These are fancy-dress costumes, novelty and branded or promotional clothes.
‘Dress to impress’ is the order of the day at Royal Ascot, and with relatively strict guidelines to follow, it’s important to brush up on what is required before you get your gladrags on. By adhering to Ascot’s requests, you can look and feel great all day – let’s just hope your horses come in lucky to round the whole experience off!