Heading to Royal Ascot? 2016 Dress Code

With Royal Ascot around the corner once more, now seems like a good time to remind you of the guide to what to wear and what to avoid.

If you would like to source tickets for the event or are looking for somewhere to stay or dine nearby, please don’t hesitate to ask.

What to wear to Royal Ascot

Possibly known for the fashion more than for the racing, this year’s Royal Ascot will commence on 14th June.  The racing at Royal Ascot is fantastic, with around £4.5 million in prize money on offer but, perhaps more importantly, what should you wear?

The dress code depends on the section of the venue you will be entering and it’s important to adhere to the relevant rules to make sure you don’t get turned away.  The Royal Enclosure, Queen Anne Enclosure (formerly Grandstand) and Windsor Enclosure (formerly Silver Ring) all have their own dress code so here is a quick guide to what you can and cannot wear on race day.

If you’re lucky enough to have tickets for the Royal Enclosure, you’re in for a fantastic experience. These tickets are only available to those meeting very strict criteria and successful applicants are expected to meet an equally strict dress code.

Grandstand admission also requires adherence to a strict dress code, although it is slightly more relaxed than that of the Royal Enclosure. As Grandstand visitors can view the Royal Procession and access the lawns and Parade Ring, it is expected that guests look their best while attending race day.  An interactive, style guide can be downloaded from the Royal Ascot website.

Royal Enclosure


  • Dresses and skirts must fall below the knee or longer
  • Dresses and tops must have straps measuring one inch or wider
  • Jackets and pashminas are permitted, but tops and dresses must still meet the above criteria
  • Trousers suits of matching colour and material are permitted. These must be of full length
  • Hats or headpieces must be worn. Headpieces must have a base diameter of at least 4 inches

Please note that the following items are not permitted in the Royal Enclosure:

  • Fascinators or headpieces with a base diameter of less than 4 inches
  • Strapless, halter neck, off the shoulder or spaghetti-strapped dresses or tops
  • Midriffs must be covered


Gentlemen visiting the Royal Enclosure must wear a morning suit in either black or grey. This must include a black or grey top hat, waistcoat and tie and black shoes. Cravats are not permitted. Although the wearing of a top hat is compulsory, it may be removed when entering a restaurant, private box, private club or that facility’s balcony, garden or terrace or when in the enclosed external seating area.  Please note that ribbons, bands or other hat customisation is not allowed.

Children will be admitted to the Royal Enclosure on the Friday and Saturday only.  Girls must be dressed formally and can wear a hat, headpiece or fascinator but it is not compulsory. Boys must adhere to the gentlemen’s dress code. A dark coloured lounge suit with shirt and tie is also permitted.

In addition to the above dress codes, members of the military are welcome to wear full dress uniform and overseas visitors may wear the national dress of their country.

Queen Anne Enclosure

Ladies attending the Queen Anne Enclosure for Royal Ascot should dress in a manner appropriate for a formal occasion.  The rules outlined in the style guide ask that female visitors note the following;

  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator must be worn at all times
  • Strapless or sheer dresses or tops are not permitted
  • Trousers must be full length. Shorts are not permitted
  • Midriffs must be covered
  • While a jacket or pashmina may be worn, the top or dress underneath must comply with the dress code

Gentlemen attending the Grandstand are required to wear a matching suit with shirt and tie.

With regards to children attending the races and viewing from the Grandstand, girls must be dressed for a formal occasion. Smart summer dresses are appropriate and hats, headpieces and fascinators are allowed but are not compulsory.

Boys aged between 13 and 16 should wear a suit and tie as per the gentlemen’s rules. Boys aged 12 or under must be dressed smartly but do not have to wear a jacket or tie.

Finally, those with tickets for the Windsor Enclosure do not have to adhere to any formal dress code but are encouraged to be dressed smartly at all times. Bare midriffs and chests are not permitted.

Replica sports shirts, branded clothing, fancy dress and novelty items are not allowed on site at Royal Ascot at any time.

Of course, those attending the races at Royal Ascot on the Thursday will experience the famous Ladies’ Day. While all attendees are dressed fabulously on each of the race days, Ladies’ Day sees the fashion stakes ramped up a notch or two, with the ladies present keen to be the best dressed on the day. If you will be at the races on this day, make sure you have something very special planned.  The most important thing to remember on Ladies’ Day is to wear a particularly fantastic hat!

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