Royal Enclosure at Ascot
Last year, Royal Ascot tightened the reins on dress codes for both the Royal Enclosure and the Grandstand. It may be a restriction on dress but it shouldn’t restrict your sense of style. But before you go shopping for that special Ladies’ Day outfit, make sure you know the rules.
Royal Enclosure: Formal daywear required
The style you should be aiming for is a flamboyant glamorous look which is also sophisticated and well groomed. Think along the lines of a dressy wedding outfit without the worry of upstaging the bride.
The dress code you must adhere to is as follows. If you break the rules you run the risk of being refused entry.
No halter necks, strapless gowns, off the shoulder or spaghetti straps. Dress straps must be at least one inch wide. And wearing a jacket or matching bolero over a dress does not count – the actual dress has to follow the guidelines.
Jane and Marilyn specialise in racing day dresses especially for the Royal Enclosure. The top image shows their Veronica dress in coral. In 100% matka silk and fully lined, with a flattering pleating across the bust and fishtail godet at the back. Length is just below the knee. Price £455
Also readily available in banana, slate, ocean and stone. Other colours are available on request. janeandmarilyn.co.uk/veronica
|If you are looking for a strappy dress, then when shopping, take a tape measure to ensure you are following the dress code. And if in doubt – don’t buy!|
The Jaeger block stripe flare hem dress just makes it past the finishing post for the Royal Enclosure necklines. The straps are 1 inch wide. Price £250 www.jaeger.co.uk/block stripe dress
No minis or shorts, dress length should be no shorter than just above the knee.
|The skirt length of Jane and Marilyn’s Katherine dress falls below the knee. In 100% matka silk and fully lined, with a draped cowl neckline and fishtail godet at the back. Price £395 Shown here in banana yellow but also available in coral, slate, ocean and stone, plus other colours on request. janeandmarilyn.co.uk/katherine|
|Susannah dresses are ideal for the Royal Enclosure as they are usually inspired by the ’40s and the ’50s with skirts at knee length. This golden yellow dress with dark gold horizontal stripes gives a modern take on the ’50s silhouette whilst still keeping the lady-like knee length. The dress has a close fitting bodice with a low waistband and a full skirt to the knee. Plus side pockets to keep those important betting slips handy. Price £750 suzannah.com/dresses|
|Definitely no bare midriffs and that also means no midriffs just covered in sheer fabrics. If you are proud of your super toned body, go for a figure hugging dress instead of exposing your midriff. But remember to stick to the skirt length and dress straps rules. Phase Eight’s stretchy Lulu Rose print dress will show off your shapely figure. The length is 105cm centre back. Price £140 www.phase-eight.co.uk/Lulu-Rose-Crush-Dress|
Trousers are only allowed if worn as part of a suit. They must be full length, so definitely no shorts or cropped pants. The colour and fabric of the trousers have to match the jacket, i.e. it has to be a true trouser suit.
Note: The top underneath still has to comply with the neckline rules.
|White trouser suits always look stunning especially when worn with a contrasting coloured hat. The MADELEINE white trouser suit is 98% cotton to keep you cool on that hopefully sunny Ascot day, and 2% spandex for a better fit. Trousers are slightly flared with a centre crease. Price £249 www.madeleine-fashion.co.uk/trouser-suit|
Worn here with gold leather MADELEINE sandals handmade in Italy. The heel is slightly chunky making it an ideal choice for walking on grass at the races. Approx 8cm high. Price £149.95 www.madeleine-fashion.co.uk/sandals
|Be bold in a floral trouser suit. M&Co have a Meadow print blazer and matching trousers.|
Jacket has a fitted shape and is fully lined. Price £59 www.mandco.com/meadow-print-jacket
Trousers have tapered leg. Price £39 www.mandco.com/meadow-print-trousers
Fabric for both is 97% cotton 3% elastane. Lining for jacket is 100% polyester.For tops, you have a wide range of colours to choose from. Go for classic white or pick out the yellow, pink, green or blue in the pattern.
A hat or a substantial head piece has to be worn at all times. A substantial head piece means that the base is 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter. Take your tape measure when buying a headpiece to make sure it is 4 inches. And if in doubt don’t buy.
|You’ll have no trouble with the Cartwheel hat by milliner Sean Barrett. Price £585. This fishnet straw hat has a Racello braid and trim. Available in all black or with white Racello braid trim. The silk flower is optional and is available in different colours to match your outfit. See the top image of the Veronica dress showing the Cartwheel hat with a coral flower. Contact Jane and Marilyn for more details. janeandmarilyn.co.uk/cartwheel-hat|
Fascinators are no longer permitted. What is the difference between a headpiece and a fascinator I hear you say? The difference is the base diameter. Many fascinators have a flamboyant display of netting, feathers and flowers etc. but may only have a tiny base. It is the actual base without the trimmings that counts in the Royal Enclosure rules. As long as the base is 4 inches or more in diameter then it falls under the headpiece category.
|If you do prefer to wear a small headpiece, this button headpiece called Leah by milliner Bundle Maclaren is 16cm x 16 cm and so complies with the Royal Enclosure dress code. Here shown in coral and adorned with two black and white chequered quills. Can be made in other colours. Price £102 Available from Boticca: boticca.com/bundlemaclaren/leah|
And definitely no fancy dress, novelty or promotional/branded clothing is allowed in either the Royal Enclosure or Grandstand.
Karen Grace studied Personal Styling at the London College of Fashion and is a registered affiliate member of the Federation of Image Professionals International. You can read more of Karen’s fashion advice at:
For personal shopping and styling services you can reach her via frumpy to funky on firstname.lastname@example.org and 07787 800 390.