Decoding the Dress Code: Royal Ascot

With Summer just around the corner your thoughts may be turning to any events or special occasions you have planned. The epitome of the British Summer calendar is, quite possibly Royal Ascot taking place at the end of June in Berkshire. With well over a quarter of a million typically in attendance over the course of the five-day Royal Meeting it is often the racegoers outfits that draw more attention that the horseracing itself. Dress code is all-important for this event, here’s what you need to know to be appropriately dressed for raceday.


As the Ascot enclosures have recently been renamed, you may need to double-check the gentlemen’s dress code requirements for yours. Should you have a place in the Royal Enclosure only a morning suit in black or grey is acceptable. This ensemble must include a waistcoat and tie, a black or grey top hat and plain black shoes – no exceptions. You can include colour and detail in your shirting and tie – statement or understated, dependent on your own preferred style.

In the Queen Anne & Village Enclosures a suit with shirt and tie is the only specification. Here you can be more adventurous with colour and fabric (should you wish) or, if business is on the agenda keep it more formal for the day.

For the Windsor Enclosure racegoers are very much encouraged to wear smart clothes however no formal dress code applies. But why not make the most of a special occasion by getting suited and booted?


With corporate entertaining it is essential to get the dress code right, to avoid embarrassment. If you have a last-minute invitation don’t panic or go for your usual work suit. Make sure your attire reflects your business and makes the right impression for you, your role and the company. If you need a bit of a wardrobe overhaul to cover the needs for your invitation it can be difficult to get the look right without a bit of help to guide you through the options whilst complying with the dress codes. This is where made-to-measure clothing can be a real investment. Made well, a quality suit will give you wear for many events and occasions, and per outing will cost less than you may think.


With strict rules in place putting your personality on your outfit can seem unachievable. However, professional understanding of fit and fashion trends in tailoring can get you that one-off yet smart look. Remember too those all-important accessories to complete and complement your suiting – the perfect way to update your existing wardrobe. Adding colour and a current design will provide an instant refresh. Footwear needs to be well-fitting as it is likely you will spend much of the day standing. With shoes you can give an injection of current style to your existing wardrobe bringing it right up to date without flouting those sartorial rules.


How do you like to dress for formal occasions? Classic tailoring or something with a contemporary twist?