New strict clothing rules for Royal Ascot racegoers

Models illustrate the new strict dress code in the Royal Ascot style guide Credit: Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot gets underway today with rules on what racegoers can wear at the festival much stricter than in previous years.

An official style guide has been produced for the very first time to help ensure no one strays too far from the expected high standards at the Berkshire racecourse.

Royal Ascot has strict guidelines for ladies in the Royal Enclosure, Grandstand and Silver Ring:

The advice for women in the Royal Enclosure is:

  • 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

  • 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; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches / 10cm).

The advice for men in the Royal Enclosure is:

  • A waistcoat and tie (no cravats)

  • A black or grey top hat

  • Black shoes

  • A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden.

  • Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.

  • The customisation of top hats (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.

The advice for women in the Grandstand is:

  • 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.

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

In the Silver Ring smart clothes are required for both men and women but no formal dress code applies except that bare chests are not permitted at any time.

The list of rules for women is substantially longer than for men Credit: Royal Ascot

There are also strict rules about removing hats, which can only be done within a restaurant, a private box, a private club private balcony or garden.

Royal Ascot has become famous for its fashion. Below are some of the colourful hats worn by last year's racegoers.

A plastic parrot hat from Royal Ascot 2011 Credit: ITV News
A ship forms the centrepiece of this headwear Credit: ITV News
Another featured creation Credit: ITV News