Ladies – What to Wear to Royal Ascot

As the most famous of the racing festivals, this is the place to show off your fabulous fashion flair. But take heed; there are dress codes to adhere in all of the enclosures.

Official Dress Code for the Royal Enclosure

Dress code in the Royal Enclosure is formal daywear.

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 wide or greater. Strapless, off the shoulder, Bardot tops, one shoulder style, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted (even if worn under a jacket).

Dresses and tops with sheer straps and sleeves are also not permitted.

Midriffs must be covered.

Trouser suits are welcome but the trousers should be of full length to the ankle and of matching colour, pattern and material to the jacket. Jumpsuits are also welcome but should fall below the knee and its straps must adhere to the dress code for tops.

Hats or a substantial headpiece (with a solid base of 4 inches/10cm or more in diameter) must be worn at all times. Fascinators are not permitted if they have a base less than 10cm. Novelty hats (i.e. ones which are excessively oversized or are promoting or marketing any product or brand) are not permitted.

Girls aged 10–17 should dress in accordance with the Ladies’ Dress Code. However they may wear a headpiece or fascinator as an alternative to a hat, without any size restrictions.

Overseas Visitors are welcome to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress.

Serving Military Personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress or equivalent.

Fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing is not permitted on site.

We Say…

The rules may look too restrictive but there are still so many dress styles to choose from to find the perfect oufit to suit your body shape and personality – from the figure hugging bodycon and sheath dresses to the feminine A-line and fit & flare dresses. 

The Hat

Royal Ascot is all about the hat, and most ladies will ensure their hat is the focal point of their outfit by choosing an eye-catching creation. But remember don’t get too big headed here as excessively oversized hats are not permitted.

The Handbag

Your hat is the main attraction so choose a small to medium sized handbag in a colour to complement your outfit rather than a statement oversized bag. Clutch bags are popular – the photo (above right) shows how texture and sparkle on a clutch bag can enhance an outfit without taking all the attention.

On the left, the two ladies look chic with a delicate chain shoulder bag and the vintage style structured top handle handbag.

Footwear

Take a leaf out of this lady’s book who is wearing transparent high heel protectors to ensure her beautiful lilac patent heels don’t get stuck in the cracks or sink in the grass.

Jewellery

Most racegoers keep their jewellery subtle or to a minimum in order not to overshadow their hat and dress.

A string of pearls is chic and the colour is neutral allowing the colours from the hat and outfit to take centre stage.

Official Dress Code for Queen Anne Enclosure

Ladies within the Queen Anne Enclosure are required to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion and are kindly asked to take note of the following:

A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.

Strapless and sheer dresses and tops are not permitted, Ascot’s definition of strapless necklines include off-the-shoulder, Bardot and one shoulder.

Dresses and tops with sheer straps and sleeves are also not permitted.

Midriffs must be covered.

Trouser suits must be full length and jumpsuits should fall below the knee. Both must adhere to the neckline regulations above.

Shorts are not permitted.

Girls aged 17 and under should be dressed for a formal occasion. Smart summer dresses are suggested. Hats, headpieces and fascinators may be worn but are not compulsory.

Overseas Visitors are welcome to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress.

Serving Military Personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress or equivalent.

Fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing is not permitted on site.

We Say…

The dress code is just a little more relaxed – dress straps can be narrower than one inch and dress lengths can be higher but still go for elegance as though you are attending a smart wedding.

The Hat

The headpiece is still the main attraction, so whether a full hat or a fascinator, ladies will still make it the focal point of their outfit.

The Handbag

Your hat is the main attraction so choose a small to medium sized handbag in a colour to complement your outfit rather than a statement oversized bag. Clutch bags are a popular choice, but for something unusual and fun with a vintage twist opt for a square or round compact vanity case style.

Footwear

Choose kitten heels, mid heels or block heels instead of stilettos. These gorgeous ladies show how the lower heel can still look sexy and glamorous.

Jewellery

Most racegoers keep their jewellery subtle or to a minimum in order not to overshadow their hat and dress. Although statement earrings do work well with a tilted hat or fascinator. 

Official Dress Code for the Village Enclosure

Ladies within the Village Enclosure are required to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion and are kindly asked to take note of the following:

A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.

Strapless and sheer dresses and tops are not permitted, Ascot’s definition of strapless necklines include off-the-shoulder, Bardot and one shoulder.

Dresses and tops with sheer straps and sleeves are also not permitted.

Midriffs must be covered.

Trouser suits must be full length and jumpsuits should fall below the knee. Both must adhere to the neckline regulations above.

Shorts are not permitted.

Girls aged 17 and under should be dressed for a formal occasion. Smart summer dresses are suggested. Hats, headpieces and fascinators may be worn but are not compulsory.

Overseas Visitors are welcome to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress.

Serving Military Personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress or equivalent.

Fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing is not permitted on site.

Note: The Village Enclosure is a grassed area and ladies should consider their hat size and shoes accordingly. Smaller hats or fascinators and wedges or block heels are recommended in place of large headwear or stilettos.

We Say…

Although the dress code for the Village Enclosure is the same as the Queen Anne Enclosure, it isn’t as formal. This is an enclosure with a more party atmosphere providing an eclectic mix of music throughout the day until 9pm.

The Hat

As this enclosure is largely an outdoor area, smaller hats and fascinators are recommended but they can still be eye catching.

The Handbag

A small shoulder bag in a summery colour is an ideal choice, especially if you want to keep your hands free for taking photos or decide to dance to the music.

Footwear

Wearing high heels, standing and walking around most of the day can take its toll on your feet especially if they are stilettos. This lady shows how the comfier chunky heel can look glamorous and eye catching when embellished. Wedges are also a good alternative.

Official Dress Code for the Windsor Enclosure

Whilst there is no official dress code for the Windsor Enclosure, ladies are encouraged to dress in smart daywear.

It is recommended that ladies wear smart attire with a hat or fascinator.

Overseas Visitors are welcome to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress.

Serving Military Personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress or equivalent.

Fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing is not permitted on site.

We Say…

Still dress as though you are going to a wedding, but here you can be more revealing in your outfit choice with an off the shoulder, one shoulder or strapless dress.

The Hat

Headwear is still important and in this enclosure, designs range from the simple embellished headband crowning a professional hairdo to the most flamboyant of hats.

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