Royal Ascot is the most glamorous event of the racing calendar. It’s not just about what you win, it’s also about what you wear! And for 2018, Royal Ascot is making dress code rules more strict than ever before, so much so it’s been in all the press recently.

It doesn’t matter whether you are in the Royal Enclosure or the Village Enclosure, dress code rules now apply to all these areas. So be sure to check. Imagine turning up and not being let in!¬† And believe me this does happen. I went on Ladies Day and saw women being turned away because their dresses were too short.

The best advice is to imagine you are going to a wedding when you go to Royal Ascot. The dress code is formal so special occasion outfits are perfect as they tend to be on the knee or below. Many have sleeves and most come with a jacket. Headpieces and hats are a must.

Mother of the bride and mother of the groom occasionwear is ideal for Royal Ascot. Other very wearable designers are Michaela Louisa and Veromia Occasions. You will find these great dresses perfect for race days. They are easy to wear, don’t crease, tick the dress code boxes and can be worn again. To help, we’ve created a dedicated page on our website where you can find lots of ideas for Ascot dresses.

Royal Ascot – know the dress code rules

Depending on which enclosure you have chosen, different dress code rules apply. The Royal Enclosure is the strictest and most formal followed by the Queen Anne Enclosure

In the Royal Enclosure

  • Dresses should fall just above the knee or longer.
  • All dresses must have straps of one inch or more. Think that they must be bra-friendly and you will be on the right lines.
  • If you are a fan of trousers, you can wear a trouser suit or jumpsuit but it must be full-length. No crop leg looks. Suits must also be of the same material and colour so no mix and match trouser and jacket looks.
  • Essential attire is a hat or headpiece. Headpieces must have a solid base of four inches or more in diameter.
  • Men must be in black or grey morning suits with a waistcoat. No cravats allowed. They must wear a tie.
  • Black or grey top hat to finish the look and black shoes.
  • Socks are a must – this year Royal Ascot want to put a stop to the celebrity look of formal shoes with no socks.

In the Queen Anne Enclosure

  • You cannot wear strapless dresses and strapless tops.
  • Trouser suits and jumpsuits are permitted but must be full length.
  • Hats, headpieces and fascinators have no size restrictions but be sure to wear them at all times.
  • Men must wear a suit, shirt and tie. No bow tie or cravats permitted in this enclosure. Suits must be same pattern or same colour so no mix and match jacket and trousers.
  • Socks are a must too!

Royal Ascot – dresses that tick the box

The Village Enclosure and the Windsor Enclosure are less formal but Royal Ascot still has dress code guidelines that you must adhere to.

In the Village Enclosure

  • This is less formal than the first two enclosures but dress code rules still apply for men and women.
  • As tempting as it is with so many in fashion – don’t wear one shoulder dresses, Bardot style dresses or strapless dresses.
  • Trousers and jumpsuits are allowed but must be full length.
  • You must wear a hat, headpiece or fascinator at all times but there is no size restriction.
  • Men must wear a jacket, trousers, collared shirt and tie. No cravats or bow ties allowed.
  • No trainers or jeans allowed for men and socks are a must!

In the Windsor Enclosure

  • Think formal attire – as if you are going to a wedding as a guest.
  • Hat, fascinator or headpiece.
  • For men, jacket, trousers and shirt but no tie needed.

For more ideas, take a look at the latest Royal Ascot fashion video guide.