The do's and dont's of Royal Ascot dressing

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Products Available at Fenwick: Philip Treacy Hat, £3,900; Gianvito Rossi Shoes, £486

To anyone in the know, Royal Ascot goes hand in hand with the best of British fashion. While the best looks at the races throw a modern spin on traditional styles, the strict dress code at Ascot can be tricky to navigate.

To help you shop smart and get the most out of your Ascot experience, the team at Fenwick - the Official Style Guide Supporter and Exclusive Millinery Sponsor of the event - consulted the official Royal Ascot Style Guide and selected the rules you need to know before you buy as well as some of the most gorgeous outfits to inspire you for 2016...

Royal Enclosure

Product Available at Fenwick: Left: Gieves and Hawkes Coat, £600, Waistcoat, £195, Trousers, £200, Shirt, £145 and Tie, £95; Centre: Harvy Santos Hat, £915 and Kate Spade Bag, £270; Right: Philip Treacy Hat, £7,350

For the ladies...

Formal daywear is required in the Royal Enclosure. Not sure what that means? Follow these tips...

  • Dresses and skirts must fall just above the knee or longer
  • Dresses and tops must have a strap of one inch or greater
  • Jackets and pashminas can be worn (but make sure what's under them follows the rules above!)
  • Trouser suits of full length and of matching material and colour can be worn
  • A hat or a headpiece with a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter must be worn. No fascinators in the Royal Enclosure!
  • Stay away from strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck or spaghetti strap tops and dresses
  • Midriffs must be covered

For the gentlemen...

Either black or grey morning dress is required, and must include...

  • A waistcoat and tie (no cravats)
  • A black or grey top hat (can be removed within a restaurant, private box, private club, or enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden)
  • Black shoes


Product Available at Fenwick: Top Left: Piers Atkinson Hat, £455 and Gianvito Rossi Shoes,  £445; Top Centre: Hugo Boss Suit, £530, Shirt, £139, Tie, £65, Pocket square, £85 and Shoes, £270; Top Right: Ted Baker Coat, £269 and Dress, £199; Bottom Right: Sportmax Playsuit, £595; Bottom Centre: Paul Smith Suit, £985, and Shirt, £139; Marwood Tie, £120; Bottom Left: Stephen Jones Hat, £750, Kate Spade Dress, £378, and Salvatore Ferragamo Shoes, £225

For the ladies...

Women are encourage to dress for a formal occasion, which means...

  • 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 work with a top that adheres to the above
  • Midriffs must be covered
  • Shorts are not permitted

For the gentlemen...

  • All men are required to wear a suit with a shirt and tie

No formal dress code is required in the Windsor Enclosure, except that replica shorts are not permitted. Fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing are not allowed at any location on the Royal Ascot site.

For more inspiration, watch the official Royal Ascot Style Guide video for 2016...

Stay tuned for our pick of the best Ascot dresses, skirts, hats, shoes and beauty products at Fenwick at

By Alison Millington