Here Are All The Things You Can And Can't Wear To Britain's Fanciest Horse Racing Event

the royal ascot dress code

Photo: The Royal Ascot

At the centre of the British social calendar is The Royal Ascot.A five-day horse racing event, The Royal Ascot is also a premier fashion event attended by royals, movie stars, and high society.

After some outrageous outfits in recent years, the event organisers have imposed some much stricter guidelines for the dress code.

The’ve even organised a special team of “fashion police” to assist racegoers at the track and hand out loaner gear, if necessary, and published photos of acceptable outfits.

Click here to see some acceptable outfits >
Below is the brand-new dress code that was mailed out with the tickets:


Ladies are kindly reminded that formal day wear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:

Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer

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 Royal Enclosure dress code

Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and colour

Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.

Ladies are kindly asked to note the following:

Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted

Midriffs must be covered Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches / 10cm).


Gentlemen are kindly reminded that it is a requirement to wear either black or grey morning dress which must include:

A waistcoat and tie (no cravats) A black or grey top hat Black shoes.

A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden. Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.

The customisation of top hats (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.

Children (admitted on Friday and Saturday only)

Girls (aged 10-16) should be dressed for a formal occasion. Smart summer dresses are suggested. Hats, headpieces or a fascinator may be worn but are not compulsory.

Boys (aged 10-16) should either dress in accordance with the gentlemen’s dress code (as set out above); or alternatively may wear a dark-coloured lounge suit with a shirt and tie (whereupon no hat is required).

Overseas Visitors

Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress.

Serving Military Personnel

Serving military personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress or equivalent.

The skirts and dresses must fall just above the knee or longer.

Trouser suits for women are welcome.

The dress code specifies a black top hat.

Hats must have a base of four inches, at least.

All midriffs must be covered.

If the dress is spaghetti strapped or sleeveless, a coat or cover up must be worn.

There is no colour requirement for women.

Want to see photos of high-society Americans?

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