Dressing for Royal Ascot

There’s no place to really pull out all the fashion stops like Royal Ascot (20 – 24 June). It’s the pinnacle of class and style so, understandably, they enforce strict dress codes and issue their own style guide. While elegance and sophistication are the order of the day, that doesn’t mean you have to hide your personality completely.

To help you pick a winner (on the fashion front, at least!), I offer you my quick guide to dressing for the most exciting event on the racing calendar. It’s helpfully broken down by the different ‘enclosures’ that you lucky guests will be enjoying your day in.

Royal Enclosure:

This is the most prestigious, and most sartorially demanding enclosure. Gentlemen are required to wear black or grey morning dress with a waistcoat and tie, black shoes, and a black or grey top hat.

I recommend a black herringbone coat, Prince Edward stripe trousers with a dove grey or sand waistcoat. The usual style of trousers worn with morning dress has one pleat which makes for a roomier fit.

Accessories such as tie and pocket square are where you can add your own personal flavour. But choose wisely and stick to classic tones – anything overly bright or garish will have you looking like an extra in the racing scene of Mary Poppins.

Remember to keep your hat on outside, and remove it when indoors or in covered external enclosures. Helpful note: Royal Ascot does not allow customisation with coloured ribbons or bands on the hats.

Hiring is a great option if you are short on time or are very unlikely to wear such a suit again. Our hire wear range includes new, Prince Edward flat fronted trousers which are far more flattering; and this sleek black mohair morning suit.

Queen Anne Enclosure & Village Enclosure:

These enclosures are still relatively formal and require a suit with shirt and tie. However, outside of the Royal Enclosure, you can wear almost any colours you like. Some years you will see more silver-grey tails, but really you can opt for any colour. Again, let your personality shine with your pocket square and tie.

A standard suit is fine, but the quality is key here – aim for the best tailoring and cloth you can afford. A single-breasted, two-buttoned jacket is the most flattering cut as it draws the eye downwards. Keep your trousers slim and tapered.

Windsor Enclosure

There is no formal dress code for this enclosure but I’d still recommend maintaining a classic racing look with a suit, shirt, and tie.  At the very least, smart trousers, shirt, and a blazer.

It goes without saying that exceptional grooming is required, whatever venue you will be enjoying the races in. Pall Mall Barbers range of products work a treat to keep you looking, and smelling, sharp.

A word of caution, the Village Enclosure and Windsor Enclosure are both outdoors on grass, so do dress with the delightful British weather in mind. A smart umbrella is a great investment, and we have a range fit for the most discerning race-goer.