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Royal Ascot: Dress Code & Fashion

Royal Ascot is one of the highlights of the summer for horse racing fans and fashionistas alike and this year's eagerly-awaited five-day meeting takes place between Tuesday 20th June - Saturday 24th June.

As well as the top-quality racing action, Royal Ascot is a unique social occasion and the pomp and ceremony, which includes a traditional Royal Procession at 2.00pm every afternoon, creates an unrivalled atmosphere at the famous Berkshire course.

Racing fans and those wanting to enjoy hopefully the best of the British summer weather flock to Royal Ascot every year, and all those in attendance are expected to be dressed in their very best attire.

WhatRoyal Ascot 2023
WhereAscot Racecourse
WhenTuesday 20th June - Saturday 24th June 2023
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming, ITV, Sky Sports Racing

Royal Ascot hats

One of the biggest decisions ahead of Royal Ascot is which hat to choose. There are different expectations for different parts of the racecourse, with fascinators not permitted in some areas.

Fascinators only cover part of the head and are not permitted in the Royal Enclosure, while hats must have a base of four inches in diameter and cover all of the head with a large brim.

Royal Ascot dresses

All Royal Ascot dresses must meet the on-course requirements. Dresses and skirts should fall just above the knee and shoulder straps must have a minimum width of 2.5cm.

Any jackets and pashminas must comply, while trouser suits must be matching in both material and colour. Jumpsuits should fall below the knee and also comply with the shoulder strap requirements.

Racegoers must follow a strict dress code for the different enclosures and, for some, there's as much focus on fashion across the week as there is on the actual racing.

Royal Enclosure

There are four enclosures at Royal Ascot, but only three of them are open to the public. The Royal Enclosure is the most prestigious, with access strictly limited, and anyone who does enjoy the privilege of being in this exclusive section must adhere to the venue's strict dress code of formal daywear for women and morning dress for men.

For the men, their morning dress "must be of black, grey or navy material, and "include a waistcoat and necktie and a black or grey top hat" while "black shoes worn with socks covering the ankle".

Queen Anne Enclosure

The Queen Anne Enclosure is Royal Ascot's premier public enclosure, where guests can access the parade ring, grandstand and trackside lawns. The dress code here remains formal, but is slightly more relaxed.

Women must still "dress for a formal daytime occasion" and men are required to don a "full-length two or three-piece suit, where jackets and trousers should be of matching material with a collared shirt".

Village Enclosure

The dress code for those with tickets for the Village Enclosure is similar, but slightly less formal to that of the Queen Anne Enclosure, with women again wearing formal daywear and a hat and men wearing jackets, full-length trousers, a tie and socks covering the ankle.

Windsor Enclosure

Finally, the Windsor Enclosure has a more informal and relaxed atmosphere about it and, while there is no official dress code, ladies and gentlemen are "encouraged to dress in smart daywear" with ladies "recommended to wear smart attire with a hat, headpiece or fascinator and gentlemen a jacket and collared shirt".

Another element of the Royal Ascot meeting is visitors wearing their 'National Dress', which is permitted in all enclosures, but the racecourse warns anyone attending as part of a stag or hen party that "no items that would be considered novelty clothing" are allowed.


While Ascot no longer holds official 'best-dressed' competitions, there is, of course, much debate and judgement over racegoers' dazzling attire throughout the week.

Day three, which used to be known as 'Ladies Day', is traditionally when a lot of the attention is placed on the high fashion and millinery masterpieces that can be seen and admired at the various enclosures at the course, while it's also Gold Cup day.

The Gold Cup remains the feature race of the meeting on the Thursday, which is usually the busiest day of the five, and this year some of the contenders in the Group 1 contest include Coltrane (7/2), Eldar Eldarov (4/1) and Emily Dickinson (5/1), who will be vying for the headlines alongside those deemed to be turned out most impressively.

Racing gets under way every day at Royal Ascot at 2.30pm and there are 33 races in total across the five days with a reminder that every race from the meeting is available live on the bet365 Sports Live Streaming platform.

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