Royal Ascot is always a tricky event to attend. With so many fashion rules, it can be difficult – nigh impossible – to find an outfit that sticks to the event’s strict dress code.
Luckily, Ascot’s organisers have conjured up a style guide for the 2017 event in order to make visitors lives a little bit easier.
The race event has barely swayed from its formal dress code since its inception 304 years ago. But for the first time ever, Ascot is allowing jumpsuits to be worn inside the Royal Enclosure: the most elite location attended by the Queen and other members of the royal family.
“We spoke to people in the fashion industry to take a sense of whether we should be considering it,” Ascot’s commercial director, Juliet Slot, told The Telegraph. She also revealed that adding jumpsuits to the approved ensemble list required board approval who “have high expectations of what formal attire is.”
However, any old jumpsuit won’t do. To secure a spot in the Royal Enclosure, your jumpsuit must be full length. A pale pink Emilia Wickstead design has been given as an example of an appropriate choice. Cropped lengths will be allowed in more relaxed parts such as the Queen Anne Enclosure.
This marks a more modern turn for the traditional British event which last reinvigorated its dress code in 1971, allowing trouser suits to be worn by women after the popularity of Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking tuxedos.
Ascot found that a total of £34 million is spent on outfits by racegoers each year, resulting in a real influence on the UK fashion industry. “We take our role in British fashion quite seriously,” Slot commented. “[The style guide is] very important for our customers because they’re always concerned to look right.”
If you’re planning on attending Royal Ascot in June, listen up. Women in the Royal Enclosure are required to wear skirts that are just above the knee or longer with headpieces that have a solid base of four inches or more. (No fascinators) Full-length trouser suits are allowed. Men must don a black or grey morning suit with a waistcoat, tie and top hat.
Formal dress is still required in both the Queen Anne and Village Enclosures. However, items such as fascinators are allowed. Strapless or sheer strap tops and dresses are not permitted and midriffs must be covered up. Men are simply required to wear a matching suit with a tie.
The most casual area – the Windsor Enclosure – has no formal dress code although smart attire is still encouraged.
Many may look to royal figures such as the Duchess of Cambridge for inspiration. Although she is unlikely to opt for a newly allowed jumpsuit, Kate doesn’t always stick to boring looks.
Last year, she arrived in a calf-length white lacy creation by Dolce & Gabbana with a matching rose headpiece and nude suede heels.