Royal Ascot is known for its upkeep of elegance and style, making it a standout event in the fashion calendar – and for anyone thinking of attending, preparation is key.
Now, with just over a month until the long-awaited event kicks off on the 18th June, Ascot Racecourse has launched its eighth annual Style Guide in association with luxury cruise brand Cunard.
The guide helps to predict key trends for the summer and provides inspiration to racegoers keen to look their best while still meeting the infamous Dress Code.
This year monochrome dressing, statement bows and tailoring for women are some of the spring/summer fashion highlights for the coming season.
The Royal Ascot Style Guide helps to predict trends for the summer and provides inspiration to racegoers. Pictured is a model in an outfit for the Royal Enclosure, which includes a £750 Sarah Cant hat and a £750 Victoria Beckham jacket
This red outfit is another suitable for the Royal Enclosure, where skirts have to be of a modest length. The model wears an £895 hat from Lock & Co and shoes from Gianvito Rossi
This year the guide predicts monochrome dressing and statement bows will be some of the spring/summer fashion highlights. Pictured are two suggested outfits for the Royal Enclosure
Men also have to abide by the dress code and wear top hats, such as this £600 Oliver Brown one when in the Royal Enclosure
While for gentlemen, mixed textures and bold colours come to the forefront of formal wear.
Featured looks this year include designs from Emilia Wickstead, Zimmerman, Victoria Beckham, Delpozo, Simone Rocha, Erdem, Suzannah and Mary Katrantzou.
To make it easy for racegoers to dress to the nines, and to the standards, the Style Guide has been broken into each enclosure and suggested outfits for each.
These looks include beautiful pieces from luxury designers and leading high street brands such as Karen Millen, Rixo, T.M. Lewin, River Island and H&M.
Working closely with stylist Prue White, Ascot curated looks and world-class fashion photographer Luìs Monteiro captured them for all four Royal Ascot Enclosures.
For example in the Royal Enclosure women must wear dresses and skirts of a modest length, which is defined as ‘falling just above the knee or longer.’
There’s also a strict dress code in the Queen Anne Enclosure, two possible outfits pictured, with headpieces for women and suits for men being necessary at all times
In the Queen Anne Enclosure strapless, sheer dresses and tops are not permitted. Pictured is a model dressed for the area in a £2,500 Alice Archer The Place London dress
Ladies are not permitted to show midriffs or wear shorts when in the Queen Anne Enclosure at Royal Ascot
The Style Guide also expects to see bold prints at Ascot. Pictured is a £510 top paired with a £1,115 skirt from Emilia Wickstead
Women can also wear trouser suits however they should be of full-length to the ankle and of matching material and colour. Another important rule is that midriffs must be covered.
And of course, hats should be worn. Ascot explained: ‘A headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Fascinators are not permitted.’
As for the men, they must wear either black or grey morning dress which has to included a waistcoat and tie (no cravats or bow ties), a black or grey top hat and black shoes worn with socks.
The style guide said: ‘A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or a facility’s terrace, balcony or garden.
‘Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden. Novelty waistcoats and ties, unless of a patriotic nature are not permitted.
For gentlemen mixed textures and bold colours are expected to be popular. Pictured is a bright pink Gieves & Hawkes two-piece suit, which costs £995
Men are also reminded that socks must be worn and should cover their ankles when watching from the Village Enclosure. Pictured, the female model wears a £995 Zimmermann dress
Although there are strict rules to follow, this doesn’t mean that racegoers cannot be creative with their fashion and style. Pictured are two suggestions to wear at the Village Enclosure
Jumpsuits and trousers are allowed to be worn by women in the Village Enclosure. Pictured is a model wearing a £350 top and £395 pair of trousers from Mother of Pearl
Those watching the races from the Queen Anne Enclosure also have to wear a hat, headpiece or fascinator at all times.
The Style Guide also points out that strapless, sheer dresses and tops are not permitted.
It adds: ‘Please note our definition of strapless necklines include off-the-shoulder, Bardot and one shoulder.
Gentlemen are required to wear a full-length suit with a collared shirt and tie, and Jeans, chinos and trainers are not permitted.
Although there’s no official Dress Code for the Windsor Enclosure, ladies and gentlemen are encouraged to dress in smart day-wear
It is recommended ladies wear smart attire with a hat while in the Windsor Enclosure at Royal Ascot (pictured)
Gentlemen are advised to wear a jacket, collared shirt and full-length trousers for the day at Ascot. The male model is pictured in a suit from Hammond & Co. by Patrick Grant
Fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing is not permitted on site at Ascot and everyone should look smart at all times. The model wears a £69 dress from Studio by Preen
Guidelines are similar in The Village Enclosure with exposed midriffs and shorts still against the rules.
Men are also reminded that socks must be worn and should cover their ankles.
Even those who have a ticket for the Windsor Enclosure, which doesn’t have an official dress code, there are rules to follow.
How To Dress Well For Ascot
Dresses and skirts should fall above the knee or longer
Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater
Jumpsuits are welcome, but should fall below the knee
Trouser suits welcome, but should be full length and of matching colour
Headpieces must have a solid base of four inches or more
Queen Anne Enclosure
Strapless dresses or tops are not permitted
A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times
Trouser suits must be full length, jumpsuits should fall below the knee, shorts are not permitted
One shoulder dresses, strapless tops and bardot are nor permitted
A hat, headpiece or fascinator must be worn at all times
Trouser suits are welcome, they should be of full length and matching colour
Jumpsuits are permitted but should be below the knee
Dress for a formal occasion, with a hat or fascinator
The Style Guide said: ‘Whilst there is no official dress code for the Windsor Enclosure, Ladies and gentlemen are encouraged to dress in smart daywear.
‘It is recommended that ladies wear smart attire with a hat or fascinator and gentlemen wear a jacket, collared shirt and full-length trousers.’
Fenwick stocks a selection of brands featured in the 2019 Style Guide and will once again work with Ascot to curate The Royal Ascot Millinery Collective, back for a fifth season later in the spring.
The Royal Ascot Style Guide features millinery from the likes of Philip Treacy OBE, Awon Golding, Stephen Jones OBE, Jane Taylor, Edwina Ibbotson and Rachel Trevor Morgan, all available at Fenwick of Bond Street.
Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer of Ascot Racecourse, said: ‘Fashion and style are an integral part of the Royal Ascot experience for all of our customers.
‘The annual Style Guide provides valuable support and inspiration when deciding what to wear for a day at the Royal Meeting.
‘As the Style Guide enters its eighth year we continue to respond to our customers’ requests for fashion-forward looks that work for each of the four Enclosures, ensuring every racegoer enjoys this special occasion with style.
‘We are delighted to have worked with Prue White to curate an incredibly strong, and varied, selection of looks that are both representative of Ascot’s fashion heritage and provide inspiration for how to wear the key trends for the 2019 summer season.
‘We are equally thrilled to have Cunard involved with our iconic Style Guide for a second year.’