What not to wear at Royal Ascot

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Ladies Day at Royal Ascot is the most glamorous day in the racing calendar. It’s your chance to put on a posh frock and silly – sorry, lovely – fascinator.

Sartorial rules

Before you dash out the door (or totter, if you’re wearing very high heels), there are a few sartorial rules you need know.

This year – for the first time in Ascot history – you can wear a jump suit in the Royal Enclosure. This is the first change of rules since 1971, when trouser suits were given the thumbs up for female racegoers. However, if you’re wearing a strappy dress, get your tape measure out, as the straps have to be at least one inch wide.

Here’s a quick run down of what to wear and what NOT to wear, according to the Ascot Style Guide.

Royal Enclosure


  1. Dresses and skirts should fall just above the knee or longer
  2. Jackets & pashminas may be worn
  3. Trouser suits are welcome but must be full length and of matching material and colour
  4. All straps must be one inch or greater
  5. Jumpsuits are welcome but must be full length to the ankle and follow the same strap regulations as dresses
  6. Hats should be worn
  7. Headpieces must have a solid base of four inches or more


  1. Black or grey morning dress must be worn
  2. A waistcoat must be worn
  3. Ties must be worn
  4. No cravats
  5. A black or grey top hat must be worn
  6. Black shoes must be worn

Queen Anne & Village Enclosure


  1. A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times
  2. Strapless of sheer straps are not permitted
  3. Trousers must be full length


  1. A suit with shirt and tie must be worn

Windsor Enclosure

This is where the rest of us hangout, so you can pretty much wear what you like, although they do suggest (very politely, this is Royal Ascot after all) racegoers wear smart clothes. There is one rule – replica sports shirt are NOT permitted. So leave your Barcelona top at home. You have been warned…