Royal Ascot dress code and banned items in Royal Enclosure, Queen Anne Enclosure and Village Enclosure

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Royal Ascot returns this week and horse racing fans will be wearing the best frocks and suits in the various enclosures.

Horse racing fans will be out in the finery this week as the prestigious Royal Ascot begins and attendees often spend days agonising over their outfits.

The world’s best flat horses will bolt down the course over five days of palpitating horse racing action that is just as much about the pomp and glamour as the action on the course.

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NationalWorld has all you need to know about the different dress codes in the various Royal Ascot enclosures.

Royal Enclosure dress code at Royal Ascot

In the Royal Enclosure ladies must follow the formal daywear code at Royal Ascot. This means:

  • Dresses and skirts should fall just above the knee or longer (lace and chiffon fabrics are permitted)
  • Shoulder straps must have a minimum width of 1 inch / 2.5cm
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn. Tops and dresses beneath must still comply
  • Trouser suits are welcome and should be of matching material and colour
  • Jumpsuits should fall below the knee and comply with the shoulder strap requirements
  • Hats must be worn. However, a headpiece or hatinator with a minimum base diameter of 4 inches / 10cm is acceptable.

Ladies watching the racing in the Royal Enclosure must not wear fascinators unless under the age of 17. Dresses and tops are not permitted if they are; Strapless or one shoulder; Off-the-shoulder or bardot; Halter neck; Spaghetti straps; Sheer; Visible midriffs.

In the Royal Enclosure gentlemen are to follow morning dress which must:

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  • Be of black, grey or navy material
  • Include a waistcoat and necktie
  • Include a black or grey top hat
  • Black shoes worn with socks covering the ankle
Royal Ascot takes place this week (Image: Getty Images)Royal Ascot takes place this week (Image: Getty Images)
Royal Ascot takes place this week (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Gentlemen in the Royal Enclosure are not permitted to wear; customised top hats; cravats, bow ties and neckerchiefs; novelty patterns and fabrics; trainers; denim; leggings; shorts.

Overseas visitors can wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress and serving military personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress.

Queen Anne Enclosure dress code at Royal Ascot

In the Queen Anne Enclosure ladies must follow the formal daytime dress code at Royal Ascot. This means:

  • A dress or top and skirt, with shoulder or halter neck straps (no minimum length)
  • Trouser suits are welcome and should be of matching material and colour
  • Jumpsuits should fall below the knee and comply with the above strap requirements
  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator

Ladies in the Queen Anne Enclosure are not permitted to wear dress and tops that are; strapless or one shoulder; off-the-shoulder or bardot and sheer. Visible midriffs are also not permitted.

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Gentlemen in the Queen Anne Enclosure must dress for a formal daytime occasion. This means:

  • A full-length two or three-piece suit. Jackets and trousers should be of matching material (morning dress is also permitted)
  • A collared shirt
  • A necktie (patterns of a patriotic nature, for example a national flag, are acceptable)
  • Socks must be worn and should cover the ankle

The prohibited clothing list follows similar guidance as the Royal Enclosure.

Village Enclosure dress code at Royal Ascot

In the Village Enclosure ladies must dress for a formal daytime occasion. This is the same guidance as given for the Queen Anne Enclosure above.

Ascot has become just as much a catwalk as a race track (Image: Getty Images)Ascot has become just as much a catwalk as a race track (Image: Getty Images)
Ascot has become just as much a catwalk as a race track (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images for Royal Ascot

Gentlemen in the Village Enclosure must follow a formal daytime occasion dress code. This means:

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  • A suit jacket or blazer (can be of different material to the trousers)
  • A full-length trouser or chino
  • A collared shirt
  • A necktie, bow tie or cravat (patterns of a patriotic nature, for example a national flag, are acceptable)
  • Socks must be worn and should cover the ankle

The prohibited clothing list follows similar guidance as the Royal Enclosure.

Windsor Enclosure dress code at Royal Ascot

There is no official dress code for the Windsor Enclosure but ladies are encouraged to dress in smart daywear and a hat or fascinator is recommended.

There is no official dress code for gentlemen in the Windsor Enclosure either but smart daywear is encouraged. A jacket, collared shirt and full-length trousers are recommended.

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