Ascot Racecourse is a probably the most famous English racecourse, located in the small town of Ascot in leafy Berkshire. Royal Ascot dates back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne and has been a regular hang out for the royals ever since with Windsor Castle located only six miles away.
Every year over 300,000 people attend the Royal Ascot race day, making it Europe’s best-attended race meeting. It is a major event in the British social calendar, press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing often exceeds coverage of the actual racing. When most people think of Royal Ascot the first thing that springs to mind is daft hats, lots of plumage and some rather interesting fashion choices. Here’s a guide for how to dress for Royal Ascot featuring hats from UK Milliner Bundle Maclaren.
The official dress code for Ascot is a little more complex than just a big hat. If you’re a lady attending this years races we’d like to share with you a little wardrobe inspiration and the official dress code to prevent any fashion faux pas.
(Philippa hat £118, Leah hat £92 by Bundle MacLaren)
Be bold: Colour is where you can make a real impact as a lady.
Ladies in the Royal Enclosure: Formal day wear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure.
• 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.
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)
(Leonora hat £156 Gallia hat £182 by Bundle MacLaren)
Floral fancy: Be brave with print, add a little colour to the occasion with a floral printed frock.
Ladies in the Grandstand: Ladies within the main Grandstand enclosure are encouraged to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion.
• A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
• Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted.
• Trousers must be full length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above (i.e. strapless or sheer strap tops are not permitted).
• Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Grandstand Admission dress code.
• Midriffs must be covered.
• Shorts are not permitted.
(Josephine Hat £182, Cosette £210 by Bundle MacLaren)
Timeless classic: A la Kate Middleton, one colour dressing in luxury fabrics creating a feminine silhouette with an elegant fitted dress and wide brimmed hat.
Don’t be intimidated by the dress code, work with it to create a fabulous look for race day. The looks shown are all available from the UK high-street and work within the dress code to ensure your day runs smoothly and you look beautiful when sipping your champagne and counting your winnings!
The Fabulous Times