Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Royal Ascot 2012 Dress Code

A day at Royal Ascot is very special and dressing accordingly is an important part of the experience. The dress code set out below is designed to help racegoers to dress appropriately for the occasion. Please note that a different dress code applies for each enclosure.

Ladies are kindly reminded that formal day wear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:

  • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer;
  • Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater;
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code;
  • Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and colour;
  • Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.
Ladies are kindly asked to note the following:
  • Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted;
  • Midriffs must be covered;
  • Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches / 10cm).

Gentlemen are kindly reminded that it is a requirement to wear either black or grey morning dress which must include:
  • A waistcoat and tie (no cravats); and
  • A black or grey top hat; and
  • Black shoes.
A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden. Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.

The customisation of top hats (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.

Children (admitted on Friday and Saturday only)
Girls (aged 10-16) should be dressed for a formal occasion. Smart summer dresses are suggested. Hats, headpieces or a fascinator may be worn but are not compulsory.

Boys (aged 10-16) should either dress in accordance with the gentlemen’s dress code (as set out above); or alternatively may wear a dark-coloured lounge suit with a shirt and tie (whereupon no hat is required).

Overseas Visitors
Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress.

Serving Military Personnel
Serving military personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress or equivalent.


Ladies within the main Grandstand enclosure are encouraged to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion.

Ladies are kindly asked to take particular note of the following:
  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times;
  • Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted;
  • Trousers must be full length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above (i.e. strapless or sheer strap tops are not permitted);
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Grandstand Admission dress code;
  • Midriffs must be covered;
  • Shorts are not permitted.
Gentlemen are required to wear a suit with a shirt and tie.

Girls (17 or under) should be dressed for a formal occasion. Smart summer dresses are suggested. Hats, headpieces or a fascinator may be worn but are not compulsory.

Boys aged (13-17) should wear a suit or jacket with a shirt and a tie. Younger boys (12 or under) should be dressed smartly but are not required to wear a jacket or tie.

All Royal Enclosure compliant attire, as defined in this document, is welcome in the Grandstand.


Whilst we encourage racegoers to wear smart clothes, no formal dress code applies in the Silver Ring except that replica sports shirts are not permitted.

In addition to the specific guidance in this document, please note that fancy dress, novelty and branded / promotional clothing are not allowed on site.

Ascot Racecourse recognises that there may be instances where a degree of discretion is required in determining compliance with our dress code. In such instances, reasonable judgement will be exercised.


  1. Last year in the Silver Ring we saw quite a few people, particularly men wearing denim jeans - which led to a general drinking session atmosphere amongst them and we ourselves witnessed a couple of fights breaking out. It would be nice to see a more formal dress code, not as strict as the Grandstand or Royal Enclosure, but certainly no denim. We see Royal Ascot as something special and more refined than a normal racing day and behaviour and dress code should accompany that.

  2. Yobs in suits are still yobs - as evidenced by the only fight I've ever seen @ Ascot (not a RA attendee) taking place in the premier section on the 4th floor - with security dithering about what to do...

  3. "The customisation of top hats is not permitted" .... So that means the Yeoman Prickers / Greencoats would not be allowed into the Royal Enclosure as their top hats have gold coloured bands!?

  4. well I don't know about all the different dress codes and social standings. I'm not from England. What I can tell you is that I am going to be attending this event and I'm going to be looking just spiffing in my new outfit. All the pomp and celebrity of purple, lilac and black will be out in full force – and I'll be there to celebrate with the big dogs when the fillies come crossing the finishing line.

  5. The dress code can be a little overwhelming for some, especially first time visitors. Adhere to the guidelines and treat it as a special occasion, and it will be an extremely enjoyable atmosphere and experience - it is just a shame to see it spoiled by certain people who don't treat the event with the respect it deserves.

  6. Royal Ascot is quintessentially English it is a pleasure to see people dressing and behaving properly. Personally this year I'm looking forward to attending the royal enclosure without seeing woman with skirts under their arses and all their bits hanging out. seeing yobb women falling out of strapless dresses fag in mouth being chucked out will be a pleasure to behold !

  7. As a longstanding Royal Enclosure attendee I've just returned from another fabulous day's racing on Friday. That said the day was once again spoiled by the architectural failure that is the 4th Floor of the Royal Enclosure part of the stand. Most of the standing space up there doesn't exist due to the entirely impractical atrium - it's impossible to navigate making it impossible to find family and friends. The authorities are clearly aware of this due to them shutting off one of the 2 Ground to 4th Floor escalators on Friday in order to avoid the crush at the top because there is no space for the crowds to disperse when getting off the escalator at the top! The 4th Floor is just too long and too narrow and shows no respect for elderly or infirm visitors leaving them exhausted after a simple trip to the tote! Changing the pre-2006 vertical Enclosure area on multiple floors to the too long horizontal area on one floor was a huge mistake. of course, these issues have been well documented previously but when are the Ascot authorities going to address this? a return to the previous vertical arrangement is long overdue.


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