horse racing - royal ascot

The 2017 Royal Ascot Style Guide

This June the sartorial headlines will be coming from Royal Ascot, one of the most exclusive and stylish events of the year. An annual haunt of the Royal Family, which is almost as well-known for its fashion as the horse racing. This is one of the most exclusive events and has a dress code to match.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to attend Royal Ascot and bathe in the atmosphere before getting stuck into the horse racing. This is one of those times of the year where everyone seems to have some sort of money riding on the horses.

Quick background on the event itself: Royal Ascot is the showcase event of the Ascot Racecourse and is famous due to the regular attendance of the Royal Family. Although in 2017, it is rumoured that The Queen may not make an appearance at the event but these rumours have appeared to be dismissed. Officials believe that Elizabeth II has not missed a single day’s racing since her coronation in June 1953.

The official website claims that over 300,000 visitors are attracted to the event annually, ‘all dressed up in their finest clothes and hats’. If you’re unable to attend Royal Ascot in person, worry not, for ITV will be televising the main events.


Royal Ascot lasts for five days of top quality racing action, taking place between 20th-24th June 2017, with the prestigious Gold Cup up for grabs. Last year the Order of St. George, rode by Ryan Moore won the top prize and they come into 2017 as favourite’s to retain the trophy.

The riders are unlikely to go home completely empty handed as there is over £6.5 million in prize money on offer.

With such high-class company, it’s no exaggeration to say that the outfit choices take months of preparation. Beware, this event has very strict rules, which were revealed early this year, and feature a couple of noticeable rule changes.

Most notably, jumpsuits are finally welcome! Remember that if you are planning on wearing a jumpsuit into the Royal Enclosure then make sure that it is full-length.

Meanwhile, the Royal Enclosure also welcomes outfits with straps of one inch or greater, along with full-length matching trouser suits and headpieces boasting a base of 4 or more inches.

Take heed, fans of strapless pieces, visible midriffs and halter necks, none of these items are welcome this year.

These rules and more are fully explained in the official dress code video.


Our tips for outfits to wear for Royal Ascot 2017:

Ladies’ Outfits

According to the Royal Ascot dress code, there are five rules for ladies within the Queen Anne Enclosure area:

  1. A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times
  2. Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted
  3. Trousers and jumpsuits must be full length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above
  4. Midriffs must be covered
  5. Shorts are not permitted

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Men’s Outfits

Like most occasions men’s fashion is a lot less complex, with the official guidance offered:

“Gentlemen are required to wear a matching morphing suit with a shirt and tie.”

All men’s formal shoes must be black and top hats must be worn. Black or grey are the only colour of outfit that is deemed acceptable for outfits.

The Royal Ascot dress code can be a minefield, hopefully our guide has given a guiding light for navigating these choppy seas of formalwear.