Strictly dressed for Ascot

Today marks the first day of Royal Ascot, a quintessentially British sporting event that attracts over 275,000 enthusiastic race goers every year.

The very first race meeting at Ascot took place on 11th August 1711, during the reign of Queen Anne, and in 1813 parliament passed the all-important Act of Enclosure, ensuring that Ascot Heath would be used by future generations of racing enthusiasts.

While Ascot is all about the excitement of the racing for most, it’s also become quite a lot about the outfits on show.  Hats especially.  Every year newspapers enthusiastically report on the most noteworthy hat trends, from the super-stylish to the hugely horrific.

If you are planning a trip to Ascot yourself this week – the last day is Saturday – it’s definitely worth noting the dress code changes this year, especially if you’ve secured yourself a ticket into the Royal Enclosure. The old rule that ‘miniskirts are considered unsuitable’ has been replaced with the new no-nonsense legislation that skirts and dresses must be only a fraction above knee-length or longer



And if you’re considering a trouser suit, note that the tailored shorts variety is strictly forbidden.

Out too is the Fascinator. Royal Enclosure attire now requires a hat or headpiece with a base of four inches or more.  Dress straps of less than an inch will also not be tolerated.  Gentlemen are required to wear black or grey morning dress with waistcoat, a tie but no cravat.  Their ensemble must also include a black or grey top hat and black shoes.

The Grandstand dress code is a little more relaxed but you’d still be advised to double check before you leave the house.  Rather helpfully they’ve made a great little video to guide you through the essential dos and don’ts.  Watch it here.

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