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What to Wear to Royal Ascot 2023

Feature: Quick Read

Dreaming of a My Fair Lady moment at the races? Navigating the Royal Ascot dress code can be a daunting prospect, but the sartorial possibilities are plentiful once you’ve grasped the basic dos and don’ts. From perfect midi dresses by Alessandra Rich, Roksanda, Edeline Lee and more to sculptural millinery by the likes of Vivien Sheriff and Rachel Trevor-Morgan, here’s everything you need for a fashionable day at the races.

Royal Enclosure

At the historic and most formal heart of the event, hemlines should fall just above the knee or longer, midriffs must be covered and straps should have a width of one inch or greater – any form of strapless or halter neckline is not allowed (though open backs do fall within the rules). If you’re not keen on dresses, full-length jumpsuits and trouser suits of matching material and colour are welcome, too. And let’s not forget the headgear; Royal Ascot’s unofficial millinery show garners as much interest as the races themselves. Hats or headpieces with a solid base diameter of at least four inches must be worn – meaning fascinators are not permitted.

dress for the races

Maison Michel hat, Alessandra Rich blazer and skirt, Amina Muaddi heels

Think elegance for Royal Ascot’s most exclusive area.

dress for the races

Queen Anne Enclosure

At this vibrant, fashion-forward epicentre, the dress code is less strict than that of the Royal Enclosure, with no minimum hemline enforced – though a level of formality is still expected from every racegoer. For example, midriffs must still be covered, trouser suits should be full-length, and strapless necklines (including Bardot and one shoulder) are not permitted – nor are sheer-nude straps or sleeves. Hats and headpieces are essential, including fascinators, which are welcome in this area.

dress for the races

A level of formality is expected from every racegoer at this fashion-forward epicentre.

dress for the races

Village Enclosure

This buzzing trackside area adheres to the same dress code as the Queen Anne Enclosure – however, as this is a grassed section, wedges or block heels are recommended in place of stilettos, and a smaller hat size is advised.

dress for the races

Justin Smith hat, Roksanda dress, Pomellato jewellery

Opt for smaller headpieces and chunky lawn-proof heels for this grassy enclosure.

dress for the races

Windsor Enclosure

Stationed at the heart of the action, the vibrant Windsor Enclosure benefits from a laid-back approach with no official dress code in place – though attendees are encouraged to dress in smart daywear with a hat, fascinator or headband.

dress for the races

Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the only area without an official dress code.

dress for the races

Victoria Grant hat, Erdem dress, Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, Pomellato ring

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  • Shot on location atPassalacqua Hotel in partnership with Abercrombie & Kent
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