How To Dress For Royal Ascot
Few sporting events can rival the rich history of the Royal Ascot, which has become a major fashion event in it’s own right. Follow our guide on what to wear to one of the biggest highlights on the social calendar.
Royal Ascot is Britain’s most spectacular racing event, attracting avid race goers and some of the most prestigious members of society, including the Royal family. Steeped in British tradition, the event is synonymous with sartorial elegance thanks to its strict dress code, which has remained unchanged for centuries. The Royal Ascot style guide reads, “Our dress code is traditional, woven into the very fabric of our history”. It goes on to advise that those who have not followed the dress code can be refused entry and so it’s really important to get it right.
The dress code for the event will depend on which enclosure you’re in, so if you’re planning on attending this June, read on for our advice on how to plan your outfit correctly.
The Royal Enclosure
The Royal Enclosure is an area reserved exclusively for members and their guests and is upheld by a strict, formal dress code. Gents must be suitably dressed in morning suits of either black or grey and accompanied by a waistcoat, tie, top hat and black leather shoes. Given the prestige of the Royal Enclosure, a high-quality, well-fitting suit is a must. Our suit hire collection comes in a range of cuts to suit all body shapes and gives a superior fit. Compared to a traditional 550 gram morning coat, our Balmoral morning coat is made from a lightweight, 320 gram English wool – perfect for staying cool on a hot, summer’s day.
Cravats are not permitted, nor is the customisation of top hats, which should either be black or grey and can only be removed within certain areas. Your tie and waistcoat choice can be a little more adventurous, however, and it’s here that you can really let your personality show. For ties, we’d recommend rich paisleys or spotted silks and, if you’re visiting the racecourse with your partner, choose a coordinating colour for unison.
Queen Anne Enclosure
Formal dress rules still apply here but are slightly more relaxed than the Royal Enclosure, making it the preferred choice for many of Ascot’s regulars. The main difference here is that morning dress is not required, although you are more than welcome to wear it. Gents must wear a full-length suit, with a matching jacket and pair of trousers trousers of the same colour and pattern. Although a waistcoat is optional, a tie must be worn at all times and, as with all enclosures, shoes must be worn with socks that cover the ankle. With no restriction on colour, we’d suggest going for a light blue or grey suit to compliment the warmer weather.
The Village Enclosure
Dress code for the Village Enclosure generally follows the same the same rules as the Queen Anne Enclosure, with a minimum requirement that all gents wear a jacket, full-length trousers, collared shirt and tie. This enclosure caters for the racegoer who still likes to dress formal but would rather opt for more of a contemporary, sartorial style.
If you’re attending the Windsor Enclosure, you’ll be at the very heart of all the action. This is definitely the most relaxed of all four enclosures and has a real sense of fun, with some great live music. No formal dress code applies here; the relaxed tone encourages guests to dress smartly with no real restrictions. If you’re attending this enclosure, you will have the option to ‘go all out’ with pattern and colour, so take advantage of the latest mix and match trend. Team a patterned jacket and waistcoat with contrast trousers for a standout look.
At Whitfield & Ward, we offer the perfect blend of tradition and style. Our exclusive range of waistcoats and accessories will allow you personalise your look, so you won’t feel like you’re in a hired suit. If you’re hoping to make an impression at Royal Ascot this year, get in touch to discuss our suit hire services by calling us on 01625 536 545.