A day at the races comes with connotations of elegant outfits, fascinating fascinators and a glass of champagne in hand and as we embark through the race season, we’ve seen plenty of it all. From flowing skirts and bodycon marvels, to three-piece suits and a top hat or two, Royal Ascot is one of the most well-known events for an elegant outfit or two. Dressed to the nines, attendants of Ladies Day, the royal procession or frankly any day at the races, come together to celebrate some of the most intense horse racing around while sporting top fashion from across the country.
With King George Weekend just around the corner, we’re taking a look at some of the best fashion from Royal Ascot, and what we can expect to see the future event.
The Style Guide
For anyone attending Royal Ascot, the main website publishes a style guide every year that covers the expected dress across different parts of the racecourse. From the Royal Enclosure to the Millinery Collective, each has its own suggested style of dress. For example, the Royal Enclosure requires:
- Ladies: Dresses of a moderate length and with straps one inch in width or wider, all midriffs must be covered and while trouser suits are welcome, they should be full-length and of matching colour.
- Gentlemen: Morning dress of a black or grey colour must be worn, including a waistcoat and tie (no novelty designs), a black or grey top hat and back shoes with socks.
- Girls: The dress code for girls should follow that of the women, however, they are allowed to wear a fascinator as opposed to a full hat.
- Boys: Young boys can choose to follow the same dress code as the gentlemen or opt for a black or grey lounge suit. In the Village Enclosure, however, the dress code is a little laxer but does include:
- Ladies: Dresses must not be sheer or strapless, even on one shoulder. A hat or fascinator must be worn at all times and midriffs must remain covered at all times. Again, trouser suits are permitted but have to be full-length.
- Gentlemen: Any suit is permitted, providing that it is full length, with a collared shirt and a tie. Socks must also cover the ankle, and no trainers are allowed.
- Girls: Formal wear is required, such as a smart summer dress. Hats and headpieces are optional, however, can be useful in high heats.
- Boys: Suits and jackets are required, with a tie. However, boys under the age of 9 can dress smartly without the need for a jacket and tie.
Ladies Day, this year on the final day of Royal Ascot, is well known for attracting some of the best fashion of the entire week. The glamorous event sees the ante upped considerably when it comes to ‘what to wear’. From fascinators stretching far beyond standard limits to bold and colourful outfits across the board, there’s rarely a dull choice in sight. Even the queen donned a bright pink choice for this year’s event, turning heads with a bold, yet still characteristic dress.
The hats are often the focus of the event, with women taking the suggested hat/fascinator guideline and turning it into the opportunity to make a statement. This year has seen eccentric styles including chiffon, teapot-inspired styles and floral crowns, not least including an incredible pink and metallic fanned-out hat that covered her body.
Even the gentlemen went all out this year at Ascot, donning elegant and bold suits to match their partners, with top hats worthy of a turned head. From three-piece suits and tails to morning coats and some of the best-fitted tailoring around, Ladies Day is a true extravaganza for those that love a touch of fashion with their horse racing.
With King George Weekend taking place on the 27th-29th July, racing fans are already looking to don their best wear ready for another few days of intense racing. While dress codes aren’t quite as extravagant as Royal Ascot, they’re certainly set to be impressive and we can’t wait to see just how the guests and attendees will make it their own.