Royal Ascot is not only one of the highlights of the racing calendar, but also a celebration of fashion.
Race-goers from across the nation will flock to Windsor for Royal Ascot 2020 (16-20 June 2020) in their most stylish attire.
But, while guests are encouraged to showcase their individuality, it’s vital attendees adhere to the Royal Meeting’s all-important dress code.
Recognised as one of the most prestigious sporting events of the year, the annual meeting is attended by the British Royal Family with A-list faces also on the guest list.
And its rich history and traditional fanfare therefore makes for a complicated dress code, particularly as the rule book changes every year.
To help visitors choose their perfect outfit, Ascot has launched its annual Royal Ascot Style Guide, in association with Cunard.
This year’s guide has a strong focus on sustainable fashion, from clothing brands putting ethical and green values at the top of their brand values, to reselling sites that are breathing new life into the pre-loved sector.
Textures and block colours are predicted to be key trends not only for the coming spring/summer season, but amongst racegoers at the prestigious event.
And of course, inventive millinery remains a key focus for this year’s Royal Meeting.
For male race-goers you can expect to see classic tailoring, light summer suits and playful ties offering a twist on traditional formal wear.
But there are some strict fashion rules, all race-goers must abide.
What to wear to Royal Ascot 2020
For those lucky enough to bag a golden ticket to the Royal Enclosure, there’s a strict list of strict style musts you must adhere to, this is the historic heart of the Royal Meeting, originally reserved for the guests of King George III after all.
For ladies, dresses and skirts should be of a modest length (defined as falling just above the knee or longer).
But not all dresses and tops are considered acceptable - strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted in the royal enclosure. Ditto dresses and tops with sheer straps and sleeves.
While jackets and pashminas can be worn, any tops and dresses underneath must still comply with the Royal Enclosure Dress Code, which means midriffs must be covered at all times and straps must be at least an inch wide.
In recent years, Royal Ascot has relaxed its traditional dress code making room for the tailored co-ord. So if you wish to forgo a race-day frock then a full length trouser suit is more than welcome.
Jumpsuits falling below the knee are also permitted.
Read more: How the Royal Family dresses for Ascot
When it comes to hair accessories, hats or headpieces with a solid base of at least four inches are required, but fascinators are a no.
Male royal enclosure attendees must wear black, grey or navy morning dress, which must include: a waistcoat and tie (no cravats or bow ties) and a black or grey top hat.
Queen Anne Enclosure
Named after the racecourse’s founding monarch, women in the Queen Anne Enclosure are also required to don formal dress although the rules are slightly more relaxed.
A hat or headpiece is an essential accoutrement, but unlike the Royal Enclosure, fascinators are welcome here.
Like the Royal Enclosure strapless and off-the-shoulder dresses are not allowed, but trouser suits are welcome provided they are full length, while jumpsuits should fall below the knee.
Whether it’s a hen party or not, there’s a strict no fancy dress policy in place and while shorts are bang on trend right now, they are not permitted to be worn at Royal Ascot.
Male racegoers in the Queen Anne enclosure are required to wear a full-length suit with a collared shirt and tie, and are asked to stick to a few sartorial rules including ensuring jackets and trousers should be of matching colour and pattern.
A tie will also need to be worn at all times, while bow ties and cravats are not permitted.
Unsurprisingly jeans, chinos and trainers are not allowed and socks that cover the ankle must be worn.
Launched in 2017, this enclosure welcomes racegoers and guests for the last three days of the Royal Meeting.
Ladies are asked to dress in a manner suitable for a formal occasion, which includes no strapless items or shorts, and a covered midriff.
Bardot necklines, off-the-shoulder and one-shoulder dresses are also not allowed.
Similar to the Queen Anne enclosure gentlemen attendees here are also required to wear a full-length suit with a collared shirt and tie.
There is no official dress code in place for the Windsor Enclosure though guests are encouraged to dress in smart daywear.
This could include a dress or suit teamed with a hat or fascinator for ladies and a jacket, collared shirt and full-length trousers for men.
Royal Ascot runs from 16 to 20 June 2020.