The gentleman’s guide to the Royal Ascot dress code

Home to one of Britain's strictest dress codes, how well do you know Royal Ascot?

Very few sporting events can rival the rich history of the Royal Ascot. The iconic meeting sees the world’s most impressive race horses descend on Berkshire, and a who’s-who of Britain’s social scene make appearances in several of the famed enclosures.

And, with a respected reign of over 300 years, Royal Ascot has naturally become an event highly respected for its level of style and fashion amongst the spectators. The dress code is strict, and there’s a real risk of being unceremoniously denied entry if you fall short of the mark. So, whether you’re attending in the Royal or Queen Anne Enclosure, here are a few key pieces to ensure that you are dressed to your nines.

The Royal Enclosure

The Royal Enclosure is, as the name suggests, an area reserved exclusively for guests and the Household of the monarchy. The historic heart of Ascot, it was first graced by King George III and, today, is notoriously not only one of the most unique sporting venues in Britain, but also home to one of the nation’s strictest dress codes.

The official dress code states that: ‘Gentleman must be suitably dressed in either grey or black morningwear; including a waistcoat and tie, a black or grey top hat and black shoes.’

Absolutely no personalisation to the top hat will be tolerated, for those of you toying with coloured satin bands. But no need to fret, we have assembled our tip-top pick of perfect garments from Ascot experts Favourbrook and Oliver Brown to make sure you get a head start on the competition.

The Queen Anne Enclosure

The Queen Anne Enclosure is the perfect location from which to watch the Queen and the Royal Procession arrive at the Royal race track, as well as offering a great vantage point for you to view the horses before picking your favourite. This enclosure also boasts uncompromised views of the final charge of the race, and is slightly less strict on the dress code.

Officially, the dress code requests that gentlemen dress in a matching suit with a shirt and tie. However, guests are also allowed to follow the Royal Enclosure’s dress code, if they wish. Here, we’ve picked out our top two blue suits for the occasion. 

Further Reading