The Royal Ascot Fashion and Etiquette Guide

Royal Ascot 5 things to remember:

  • Gates open at 10:30am so remember to pace yourself. The last race isn’t until 5:35pm so if you’re planning on enjoying a few glasses of champagne keep in mind it can be a very long day if you indulge too early.
  • If you’re heading to the Silver Ring and are planning on securing a position on the lawn, be sure to get there early as these spots fill up very quickly.
  • If you’re packing a picnic to take along, remember that the only alcohol allowed is one bottle of bubbly per person over the age of 18 so leave your hip flasks and beers at home.
  • Check the dress code. Different areas require different levels of dress code. If you’re heading to the Royal Enclosure or the Grandstand make sure you comply with the dress code to avoid embarrassment at the gate. Dresses and skirts must not be any shorter than on the knee and bare shoulders are a no go. Hats are also a must and headpieces with a base of 4 inches or more are an acceptable replacement. Remember, when in doubt, opt for your smartest option.
  • Footwear is arguably the most important asset of the day. If your feet remain happy and comfortable all day, so will you! Ladies, remember, it is never a good look hobbling out of the racecourse with your shoes in your hand. 


10 Royal Ascot Fashion Tips:

  • Well dressed and well behaved are the order of the day.
  • Dresses: Dresses and skirts are to be of modest length particularly in the Royal Enclosure which requires skirts and dresses to fall no higher than on the knee. Remember, it’s a day at the races – not a cocktail party.
  • Hats: A requirement to gain entry into the Royal Enclosure and Grandstand enclosures. A headpiece may be worn as a suitable alternative, however, it is required to have a base of 4 inches or more in diameter.
  • Straps: Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted in the Royal Enclosure or Grandstand. If you’re heading to the Royal Enclosure dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater so leave your spaghetti straps at home.
  • Midriffs: A big no no in the Royal Enclosure and Grandstand.
  • Shoes: Since you’re going to be on your feet all day remember to go for comfort. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style, simply opt for a lower heel or a softer one. Keep them simple, comfortable and stylish so that you avoid walking barefoot down the hill to the station. 
  • Gentlemen: In the Royal Enclosure, you are required to wear either a black or grey morning suit complete with a waistcoat and tie (no cravats). A grey or black top hat must also be worn and no customisation is allowed – sorry lads, no colourful additions!
  • Fancy Dress: Please resist the urge to dress up in your favourite costume as fancy dress is not permitted in any area of Royal Ascot. Neither are replica sports shirts or promotional clothing so leave your sporting goods at home. 
  • Learn from others. If it is your first time to Royal Ascot, have a look at photos from previous years and chat to friends who have been before. This will not only get you excited for the day ahead but help you decide what to wear. 
  • Choosing your outfit for Royal Ascot should be fun so remember not to worry too much and when in doubt it is always best to overdress.