As summer gallops towards us, we thought it only necessary to turn our attention to Ascot – the racing week of the season. If you’re counting down the hours to Ladies’ Day but struggling with what to wear, then look no further. Here is the LDNfashion guide to the Ascot 2014 dress code.
The Racecourse, established over 300 years ago, is split into three separate areas, each with different rules. If you’re lucky enough to be invited into the Royal Enclosure, the exclusive area reserved only for members and their guests, then prepare to adhere to some strict guidelines.
1. Royal Enclosure
Dresses are usually glamorous (think appropriate for a wedding) and hemlines must fall at the knee or longer to be admitted. Strapless dresses are not permitted and shoulder straps on garments must be an inch or thicker so no bra straps are on show. If you want to mix it up and wear a trouser suit like Lily Allen this is acceptable, but each part of the suit must be made of the same fabric and colour (no mixing and matching here!) Lastly, a hat is imperative to your look. Rules have been made slightly stricter in recent years, which means fascinators are no longer allowed in the Royal Enclosure. Official guidelines state that the base of the hat must be 10cm in diameter or more. For inspiration, check out our Kate Middleton Gallery, for other suitably regal outfits.
The next tier down, the Grandstand, is one of the main enclosures at Ascot. The dress code still has strict guidelines here, although the length of hemlines is slightly more relaxed. Guests are encouraged to dress in formal daywear but are still not permitted to wear anything strapless or sheer. Hats must be worn at all times in this enclosure, although fascinators are allowed.
3. Silver Ring & Heath
These areas of Ascot are the most relaxed of all, with no formal dress code or hat restrictions (although you are encouraged to dress in smart clothes). The only real rule here is no novelty or fancy dress, although this applies throughout the Racecourse.