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13 November 2014

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You are in: Berkshire > Local radio > Ascot > What not to wear at Royal Ascot

Racegoers at Royal Ascot

Racegoers at Royal Ascot

What not to wear at Royal Ascot

If you're heading to the Royal Enclosure during Royal Ascot, off the shoulder dresses, spaghetti straps, miniskirts and bare midriffs are all a no-no for ladies. Only a 'substantial fascinator' or hat will do.

Zara Phillips and Princess Anne

Zara Phillips shows too much flesh in 2003.

Think of Ascot and a sea of hats comes to mind. Although hats or 'substantial fascinators' are only obligatory in the Royal Enclosure, all Ascot race-goers are encouraged to wear formal dress.

Dress restrictions at Royal Ascot depend on where your ticket allows you to go within the racecourse.

Premier Admission Dress Code

Both ladies and gentlemen are asked to dress in a manner appropriate to a smart occasion. Many gentlemen wear a shirt and tie with a jacket or suit. Please note that jeans, shorts, t-shirts and sports attire (including football, and rugby shirts, sweatshirts and trainers) are not permitted.

Grandstand and Silver Ring Dress Code

Whilst race goers are encouraged to wear smart clothing, no formal dress code applies, except are chests are not permitted at any time.

Royal Ascot is a major event in the British social calendar, giving Ascot Race-goers the chance to rub shoulders with members of the Royal Family.

Though even the Royals sometimes get the Royal Enclosure dress code wrong, as can be seen in this one-shouldered dress, slashed to the thigh, on Zara Philips (right).

Dressing correctly for the Royal Enclosure has been all-important since the early 1800s, when Regency dandy Beau Brummell declared  “men should wear waisted black coats and white cravats with pantaloons" to the meet.

Since then, hot pants and trouser-suits have been banned, fashions have come and gone, and regulations have been tightened over fake tan and hemlines.

But Royal Ascot remains a major event in the social calendar, for everyone from Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, to would-be models hoping to become the new face of Ascot.

The Royal Enclosure has some specific dress requirements, listed below:

What to wear: Women

  • A hat or substantial fascinator.
  • Strapless, off-the-shoulder, halter-neck dresses and any with a strap less than one inch are banned.
  • Skirts and dresses must be no more than two inches above the knee.
  • Trouser suits must be full-length and of matching material and colour.
  • Midriffs must be covered.
  • Bare legs are frowned upon.

What to wear: Men

  • Black or grey morning dress, including a waistcoat, with top hat.
  • Brown shoes are banned.
  • Overseas visitors can wear their formal national dress or Service dress.

What to wear: Girls

  • A dress or skirt.

What to wear: Boys

  • A suit or jacket and smart trousers with a tie.

last updated: 16/06/2009 at 16:15
created: 29/05/2009

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