Royal Ascot Style Guide 2015: Hat Brims That Cover Your Face And No Cropped Trousers Please

Royal Ascot - although ostensibly a horse racing event - is really just an excuse for nearly 300,000 attendees to show off their fashion credentials in attention grabbing ensembles.

But ever since some adventurous ladies spoiled it for us all by turning up in *gasp* strapless dresses, the powers that be have felt compelled to enforce dress code regulations, which are reviewed every year.

So if you're planning to attend between June 16 to 20 this year, you'll want to take note of Ascot's newly released video style guide for 2015, (and even if you're not, it's worth a watch for some of the barmy suggestions).

Smile, you're at Ascot!

You can watch the video in full below, but let's be honest, who really has two minutes to spare in their packed Ascot outfit buying schedule! So here's our at-a-glance guide:

First up it's the rules for those lucky enough to have been granted entry into 'the heart of Royal Ascot: The Royal Enclosure.


* Dresses and skirts should be of modest length. Modest length? Surely that depends on your own personal level of humility – be it Victorian ankle skimming or Geordie Shore butt-cheek skimming. Don’t worry if it sounds confusing, the organisers have obviously come across this stumbling block before and have added in the following definition:

Modest length is defined as falling just above the knee or longer.

Knees are modest – thighs not so much. Good to know.

* Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater. An inch is all it takes for an expanse of shoulder to go from appropriate to suggestive. Any less than that and the officials will grow concerned about the safety of your lady lumps – nipple slips are not Ascot approved.

Granny glamour is de rigueur

* Jackets and pashminas may be worn. Phew! We were growing concerned about how our one inch straps would protect our shoulders from the chilly British summer breezes.

* Hats should be worn; Headpieces must have a base of four inches (10cm in diameter). Hats on heads ladies – we wouldn't want to frighten those horses with the sight of our roots now would we.


Before you scoff at your lady friends for getting in a state over whether their hat brim will pass scrutiny, take note - your style is under surveillance too, and the rules are even more restrictive for men.

* Gentlemen are kindly reminded that it is a requirement to wear either black or grey morning dress. That’s right, no sunny summer colours for you boys.

* A black or grey top hat and shoes. With so much attention on the ladies' hats you may be forgiven for thinking that men can get away with an unadorned head, but not so - and the Ascot style monitors will not be so forgiving of your forgetfulness as we are.

Now for those in the Grandstand:

You may have initially felt dejected that you haven't found a place in the inner sanctum of the Royal Enclosure, but buck up - you've actually bought yourself a level of fashion freedom. The dress code for this section is looser, but there are still some rules you must abide by:

Women still have to wear a hat, headpiece or fascinator 'AT ALL TIMES', however there is no minimum size requirement laid out.

Strapless or sheer strap dresses are not permitted, (we're guessing they added in the 'sheer strap' clause after some crafty ladies turned up with inch-wide plastic straps - this year you will not be allowed to get off on a technicality).

Trousers must be full length. In the video this instruction is rather alarmingly accompanied by an image of a fleet of helicopters – presumably ready to pluck any ankle swingers out from the crowd and whisk them away to fashion purgatory.

Gentlemen are required to wear a suit with a shirt and tie – but you do have permission to experiment with colour and print, you lucky things.

Oh and it goes without saying - no midriffs and no shorts, (belly buttons being frowned on with the same ferocity as thighs).

Straight from the set of Pretty Woman

Happy shopping!

Royal Ascot - Day 2

2014 Royal Ascot Hats