What to Wear – Royal Ascot

If you are intending to visit Royal Ascot this is definitely the year to do it. With it being the Queen’s Jubilee year I am sure this will be an extra special occasion. When I had my shops we were only a few miles from Ascot and I loved this time of year. We would start to see women shopping for outfits almost as soon as the Spring stock arrived. Like weddings, Ascot gives us something to dress up for and we all need a little glamour in our lives and something to look forward to. This year most of us will have to be a little more careful what we spend so buying an outfit that can be split up and worn again in different ways makes sense.

One thing you do need to know if you are attending Ascot is that there have been a few changes in the dress code. So to avoid confusion here are the rules direct from the Horse’s mouth (sorry couldn’t resist!) Note that fascinators are not permitted in the Royal Enclosure, although the are in the main grandstand.

Ladies are kindly reminded that formal day wear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:

  • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer
  • Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code
  • Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and colour
  • Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.

Ladies are kindly asked to note the following:

  • Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted
  • Midriffs must be covered
  • Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches / 10cm).

Ladies within the main Grandstand enclosure are encouraged to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion

Ladies are kindly asked to take particular note of the following:

  • 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 worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above (i.e. strapless or sheer strap tops are not permitted)
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Grandstand Admission dress code
  • Midriffs must be covered
  • Shorts are not permitted.

If you are in the silver ring there is no formal dress code (other than no bare chests which I am sure you would comply with!)

Look 1 has a feminine dress worn with a jacket and hat for Ascot, which can be worn again less formerly at a summer garden party. Both shoes and bags and the black jacket and silver pashmina would be useful additions to your wardrobe for parties, Christmas and weddings. If you don’t think you would wear the hat again try hiring something similar or sell later on ebay.

Look 2 pairs a red dress with cream and a pair of drop dead shoes (sorry ridiculously expensive but couldn’t resist them!) The dress would make a great edition to your smart workwear wardrobe mixed with black or grey. A cream hat is an investment as you can make it work with almost anything.

Look 1
Precis Petite Brim Hat, Blackberry £89 from John Lewis
Shawl Collar Bolero £49.00 from Phase Eight
Rhona Leather Clutch Bag £45 from Phase Eight
Fifi corsage shoes £110 from Phase Eight
L.K. Bennett Flora Dress, Duck Egg £245 from John Lewis
Pashmina in silver from Pure Collection £149
Metallic clutch bag from Dune at John Lewis £65
Twist sandals in silver £59 from Boden

Look 2
Cleo Hat from Phase Eight £110
Emma Jacket £79 from Phase Eight
Kia Clutch Bag £40 from Phase Eight
Bionda Castana Leopard Print shoes £425 from my-wardrobe.com
Flower necklace by Hobbs from House of Fraser £99
Robins dress by Hobbs at House of Fraser £139
Chic wool Jacket by Boden £150
Tote bag by Tula from John Lewis £129
Court shoes by Mary Portas at Clarks from House of Fraser £79.99

I hope this has given you some inspiration – if you are going to Ascot send in your outfit pictures – I will be happy to share the best of them in a future post.

1 Comment

  1. Helen Wild Hymans
    April 26, 2012 / 11:37 pm

    Oh those leopard print shoes! You put them in deliberately to taunt me – they are FABulous. The fact that I’d have to mortgage my dogs to get funding and then have vertigo wearing them is neither here nor there as I’m sure they’d be worth all the suffering. Maybe I could just stroke them and croon quietly?