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What to wear at Royal Ascot 2019: The dos and don'ts of dressing for the racing event

Jumpsuits are in, shorts are out

royal ascot

Royal Ascot is in full swing and if you want to check your outfit meets official regulations, then listen up. The annual racing event runs until 22 June, so there's still time to get race day ready. We've got all the outfit rules from the official 2019 Style Guide to help you dress for the occasion and avoid flouting the notoriously strict fashion rules. You'll be pleased to hear that respectable jumpsuits have made it into this year's style guide and there's even an enclosure without a dress code. 

The 2019 Royal Ascot Style Guide has been compiled in association with cruise line Cunard and stylist Prue White has helped curate suggested looks for the event. Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer of Ascot Racecourse, said: "Fashion and style are an integral part of the Royal Ascot experience for all of our customers. The annual Style Guide provides valuable support and inspiration when deciding what to wear for a day at the Royal Meeting."

kate ascot

If you're looking for style inspiration from the royal family, look no further than the stunning Duchess of Cambridge, who got Ascot dressing spot on this week in her elegant Ellie Saab dress with matching hat. Didn't she looks beautiful?!

Read on for your 2019 Ascot style rules and take inspiration from the official style guide fashion photographer Luìs Monteiro…

ascot royal

A suitable outfit for the Royal Enclosure

Royal Enclosure

This enclosure is the most formal of all four enclosures. Disobey these rules at your peril!


Do wear a dress or skirt of 'modest length', which means falling just above the knee or below. Dresses and tops must have straps of at least one-inch thickness, and full-length trouser suits are allowed as long as they are of matching material and colour. Jumpsuits to below the knee are ok too. You have to wear a hat or a headpiece with a solid base of at least 10 cm.

MORE: 12 times royal women wore summery white dresses! Duchess Kate, Meghan, Countess Sophie and more


Don't wear a strapless, off-the-shoulder, halter neck or spaghetti strapped dress. Exposing one's midriff is a big no-no and miniskirts and dresses are not allowed. Fascinators are not permitted either.

ascot queen anne

A suitable outfit for the Queen Anne Enclosure

Queen Anne Enclosure & Village Enclosure

These enclosures aren't quite as strict as the Royal enclosure yet they are still considered formal.


Do wear a hat, headpiece or fascinator at all time. Like, don't take it off, not even to scratch your head. It's a yes to full-length trouser suits and jumpsuits so long as they fall below the knee and they must comply with the neckline rules in the 'don't' section below.


Don't wear a strapless or sheer dress or top. Strapless means off-the-shoulder, Bardot or one-shoulder. Just like the Royal Enclosure, you are not allowed to expose your stomach and shorts are a clear no.

ascot village

A suitable outfit for the Village Enclosure

Windsor enclosure

You'll be thrilled to hear there is no official dress code for this enclosure, although Ascot 'encourages' ladies to wear smart daywear.


Do wear smart clothing with a hat or fascinator. That's it. If you want.


There's no don'ts. Apart from the extra rules below…

MORE: Is this what royal ladies ACTUALLY carry inside their clutch bags?

ascot windsor

A suitable outfit for the Windsor Enclosure

Extra Ascot rules

The following rules apply to all four enclosures:

Overseas visitors are allowed to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress, and Service military personnel may wear their Service Dress 'or equivalent' states the style guide.

Fancy dress, novelty, branded or promotional clothes do not comply with the rules, so are not permitted. You'll have to put your unicorn outfit away for another occasion, sorry.

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