What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse

Wondering What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse?
Read our specialist guide
from Racing Fashion Editor Karen Grace.

Set in 179 acres of rural Berkshire and 6 miles from Windsor Castle, Ascot Racecourse hosts both Flat and Jump meetings throughout the year including the world famous Royal Ascot, QIPCO King George and the Flat season finale British Champions Day.  Check out our specialist Guide for What to Wear to Ascot below.

Click on the following links for a detailed account on What to Wear to Royal Ascot:

Ladies – What to Wear to Royal Ascot

Gentlemen – What to Wear to Royal Ascot

Scroll down below for What to Wear to the other Ascot Main Festivals:

King George V1

British Champions Day.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

Official Dress Code

King Edward VII Enclosure & Hospitality

Ladies should dress as for a smart occasion and are encouraged to wear hats.

Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket with a collared shirt and tie. Tailored shorts are permitted. During exceptionally hot weather, the dress code may be relaxed, however this is a discretionary decision which will only be made and communicated at the venue on the day. Trainers are not allowed. Replica sports shirts or bare chests are not permitted.

Children aged 17 and under should adhere to the dress code, however this does not apply to very young children.

Fancy Dress is not an option under the ‘What to wear to Ascot Racecourse’ guidelines.

Ascot Racecourse reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone deemed to be dressed inappropriately.

Queen Anne Enclosure

Whilst racegoers are encouraged to wear smart clothing, no formal dress code applies in this enclosure during either Flat or Jump season.

When considering what to wear to Ascot Racecourse in the Queen Anne Enclosure, ladies generally wear smart summer clothing and gentlemen dress for a smart occasion during the Flat season.

Fancy dress and replica sports shirts are not permitted.

Ascot Racecourse reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone deemed to be dressed inappropriately.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

What to Wear to King George Diamond Weekend and Diamond Day

Held end of July, this is a relaxed but elegant occasion and is a showcase of contemporary summer style with ladies encouraged to wear hats.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot
What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

Ladies, We Say…

Not limited to the restrictive dress codes of Royal Ascot, this is the time to show off your summer style without thinking of hemlines or the widths of shoulder straps.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot
What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

The Hat

Although headwear is not compulsory, ladies are encouraged to wear a hat, with many ladies embracing the racing atmosphere and sporting a beautiful hat, headpiece or fascinator.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

Statement Jewellery and Sunglasses

Not all the ladies choose to wear a hat or fascinator. Some opt for statement jewellery like the above chandelier earrings and a pair of sunglasses to wear on your head instead.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot
What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

The Handbag

Choose a small to medium sized handbag in a colour to complement your outfit rather than a statement oversized bag. Clutch bags are popular and chic.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot
What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

Footwear

Many of the King George ladies wear high heels with their summer dresses. High Heels elongate the legs and add elegance to a summer outfit. These can range from barely there sexy sling-back sandals to the glamorous metallic peep toe shoe.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot
What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

The Cover Up

It’s July so it should be warm. Many ladies take a pashmina just in case the weather turns a little cooler. Or choose a cropped jacket to enhance your dress.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

Gentlemen, We Say…

Collared shirts, jacket and tie are required in the King Edward VII Enclosure and although a blazer and chinos are acceptable, most gentlemen go all the sartorial way wearing a suit and tie. However don’t cloud you summer day with a dull dark suit. Go light or bright to sartorially stand out from the crowd, like the gentleman on the right wearing an ecru linen suit and Panama hat, showing off how much he knows about what to wear to Ascot Racecourse. 

If you decide to wear your city suit, check out our How to Spice up your Suit – Part 1 – Eclipse Magazine article to take the office look out of your style.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot
What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

The Shirt

For the linen suit – pale linen suits look great paired with shirts in pastel hues. The above gentleman has chosen a hint of pink whilst the gentlemen mentioned before in the Panama hat has opted for baby blue.

For the business suit – a crisp white shirt will set off a sharp suit. But if you have decided to wear your grey or navy business suit, then maybe team with a coloured or patterned shirt to give interest and ensure you don’t look like you’ve just come from the office. Go for bold geo prints, romantic floral patterns or colourful stripes. The above gentleman has opted for a soft pink stripe, whilst the gentlemen on the left in the photograph before has chosen a sky blue check.

Both of the above gentlemen would need to wear a tie if they wanted to enter the King Edward VII Enclosure.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

The Tie

As mentioned gentlemen do have to wear a tie in the King Edward VII Enclosure.

A safe bet when wearing a patterned shirt is to wear a plain tie. If you are feeling daring then team with a patterned tie – just don’t choose the same pattern, vary the size of the print and pick out a less dominant colour from your shirt to be the dominant colour for the tie.

The above gent has chosen a striped tie with a touch of pink to complement his pink shirt. For a neat classical look, he has chosen a plain shirt with his pinstripe suit and striped tie. A riskier but more dramatic look would be to wear a striped shirt – just ensure the stripes on the shirt and tie are of different sizes and widths to each other.

Tailored Shorts

Tailored shorts can be worn if the weather is particularly hot but remember to tan your legs and you still have to wear a collared shirt, jacket, tie and shoes (not trainers) in the King Edward VII Enclosure.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

Sunglasses

July/August are the months to wear sunglasses and they are a popular accessory in all of the enclosures.

Click here How to Spice up Your Suit – Part 2 – Eclipse Magazine to see our article on what style of sunglasses to wear for your face shape.

Shoes

Slip into comfort and style with a pair of smart soft loafers. These are ideal for the summer and easy to wear with or without socks.

What You Need To Know About Racecourses, Oldest Biggest Best, What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

What to Wear to British Champions Day

Although British Champions Day is not the final day of the Flat racing season, it is the last of the major festivals and a popular end-of-season highlight. Held in late October.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

Ladies, We Say…

We wouldn’t like to bet on the weather being warm and sunny so try go for a dress in a warmer fabric such as jersey and preferably with long sleeves – a great transitional piece allowing you to layer underneath with a thermal T-shirt and thick tights if it is a bit nippy.

These lovely ladies have chosen jersey fabrics, two have layered up with cardigans and another has chosen a long sleeved dress with a gorgeous equine print.

Super-stylish horseracing presenter, Francesca Cumani knows exactly what to wear to Ascot Racecourse for a chilly October raceday. Here she is wearing a midi length dress coat opened at the top to show off a patterned top which is adding an extra layer of warmth as well as complementing the grass green block colour.

The midi length of the dress allows for a full range of footwear styles from strappy sandals to knee high boots. This way you can decide on the day to accommodate the unpredictable October weather.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

The Hat

Hats are not compulsory for British Champions Day with many ladies choosing not to wear one; however it is still a major racing event and will complete your fabulous outfit. Don’t go too ostentatious; aim for a subtle style with a smaller hat similar to Francesca’s or a fascinator like these glamorous ladies.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

Footwear

A safe and glamorous bet is the full shoe or the ankle boot which doesn’t look out of place in warm or cold weather.

These glamorous ladies have opted for the full shoe with the lady on the left adding thick black tights to keep warm.

The Coat/Jacket

It is a safe bet to say the British October weather will not be warm enough to go without a coat or jacket, so ensure yours makes a statement. However don’t opt for a heavy winter fabric yet, go transitional.

The Handbag

Although small handbags and clutches are popular, your best bet is to go for a medium to large handbags. These are better for carrying a scarf, umbrella, gloves and sunglasses so you are prepared for the unpredictable weather.

The Umbrella

Don’t be caught out in the fashion stakes if it rains on the day. Choose a colourful umbrella to complement your outfit.

What to Wear to Ascot Racecourse, What to Wear to Ascot

Gentlemen, We Say…

Although autumnal days are here, most gentlemen still prefer to wear suits to QIPCO British Champions Day rather than don the heavier wool and tweed jackets.

These sartorial gentlemen were lucky with the weather but in October it is not guaranteed. Layering is the answer – if you don’t want to wear a coat, then think about wearing a thermal vest under your shirt and consider a three piece suit for that extra layer of warmth. Matching waistcoats not only provide that extra layer for warmth but help to create the illusion of looking slimmer and taller, all due to the same block colour continuing further up the body and not breaking at the waist.

The Coat/Jacket

Even though it is October, it is really too early to be wearing those heavy winter coats and jackets – opt for a lighter coat, a lightly padded jacket or a trench coat. 

Above, racing presenter Oli Belll models the look perfectly! 

Photo below shows a mixture of coats and jackets.

The Hat

If you decide to brave the weather and not wear a coat then you can always accessorise with leather gloves and a felt trilby hat to keep those hands and head warm.

Shoes & Socks

Bring a flash of colourful fun with a pair of socks.

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