Ascot-dresses-2022

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21 beautiful Ascot-appropriate dresses for a day at the races

Ascot Ladies Day dressing 101

Royal Ascot is as much about what you wear as it is the races. If you're lucky enough to be heading there this year, make sure you've brushed up on the rules before choosing your all-important outfit. Attended by royalty, celebrities and paparazzi, there's nowhere more important to be sartorially savvy, and after two years of restrictions and lockdowns, attendees will no doubt be more excited than ever to go all out.

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The strict dress code includes rules on hem lengths, shoulder straps and headpieces. Everyone is encouraged to dress up for the occasion, but each enclosure has slightly different rules.

Royal Enclosure dress code

- Dresses and skirts should be a modest length, falling no shorter than just above the knee.

- Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or more. 

- Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted. 

- Dresses and tops with sheer straps and sleeves are also not permitted.

- Jackets and pashminas may be worn, but tops and dresses underneath should still comply with the dress code. 

- Midriffs must be covered.

- Hats should be worn; however, a headpiece that has a solid base of four inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Fascinators are not permitted.

Kate-Middleton-ascot

Kate Middleton wears Elie Saab at Ascot 2019

Queen Anne Enclosure dress code

- A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.

- Strapless, off the shoulder, Bardot and one-shoulder dresses and tops are not permitted.

- Dresses and tops with sheer straps and sleeves are also not permitted.

- Midriffs must be covered.

Village Enclosure dress code

- Ladies within the Village Enclosure are encouraged to dress appropriately for a formal outdoor occasion.

- A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.

- Strapless, off the shoulder, Bardot and one-shoulder dresses and tops are not permitted.

- Midriffs must be covered.

Windsor Enclosure dress code

- Whilst attendees are encouraged to wear smart clothes, no formal dress code applies in the Windsor Enclosure except that replica sports shirts are not permitted.

Is there a theme for Ascot 2022?

Similar to last year, there is a focus on sustainability for 2022. As always guests are encouraged to look their very best but have been asked to consider looking in charity shops, boutiques, vintage emporiums and resale websites for their outfits.

For 2022, Ascot intends to celebrate fashion on a global scale as customers will once again be attending from all over the world. In the official guide, British style icon Greta Bellamacina advises: "Pull things out of your wardrobe that you may not have been daring enough to wear throughout the year."

Looking for your Ascot-appropriate dress online? We've done the work for you and searched for the most stylish options available to order now.

Shop the best dresses to wear to Ascot 2022

L.K.Bennett-2022-ascot-dress

Margot apple blossom print maxi dress, £499, L.K.Bennett

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L.K.Bennet's Royal Ascot collection has an edit of dresses guaranteed to comply with the strict dress codes. The vintage-inspired Margot maxi dress is made from luxurious pink lurex silk and takes inspiration from lavish garden parties in grand English homes.

Self-portrait-blue-lace-dress

Self Portrait Pussy-bow pleated lace and chiffon midi dress, £370, Net-a-Porter

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This dreamy dress is by Kate Middleton favourite Self Portrait and reminiscent of the one she wore to Ascot 2019. It's made from delicate lace and chiffon in the brand's signature fairytale style.

Lydia-Millen-ascot-dress

Lydia Millen cutwork embroidery woven maxi, £188, Karen Millen

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Karen Millen's whimsical floral maxi dress features voluminous sleeves and a tiered swishing skirt.

Whistles-pink-dress

Molly maxi dress, £199, Whistles

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If elegance is the look you're going for, Whistles' Molly dress has a sleek slim-fitting silhouette with a fishtail hem and button front detail. Add strappy heels and delicate jewellery.

Loveshackfancy-maxi-dress

Loveshackfancy Kinsler paneled satin, chiffon and lace maxi dress, £709, Net-A-Porter

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From Loveshackfancy's new collection comes this romantic, vintage style dress with delicate lace panels and puffed sleeves. It's cut from satin and chiffon in tonal-pink hues.

L.K.Bennett-green-dress-2022

Amor green satin crepe dress, £279, L.K.Bennett

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L.K.Bennett's 30s-inspired mint green midi dress has a crystal buckle belt and flippy knee-length skirt with a centre slit. It comes in pink, too.

Erdem-clarisia-dress

Erdem Clarisia embroidered linen-voile midi dress, £2,490, Net-A-Porter

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Erdem's stunning Clarisia dress is crafted from breezy linen-voile and adorned with the fashion house's intricate floral embroidery. It features layered cap sleeves and a nipped-in waist.

L.K.Bennett-dress-white

Lux cream crepe shift dress, £259, L.K.Bennett

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This elegant and feminine dress is understated but still Ascot-appropriate. It's available in cream or green and has a sweetheart neckline, cap sleeves and a fitted cut.

Victoria-Beckham-dress

Dolman sleeve midi dress, £990, Victoria Beckham

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This sleek midi dress by Victoria Beckham comes in the most gorgeous bright orange hue.

Hobbs-rosabella-dress

Rosabella silk midi dress, £299, Hobbs

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Hobb's pure silk Rosbella dress comes in a stunning floral print, hand-painted in Como, Italy. It features long sleeves and a fit and flare shape.

Reformation-dress

Winslow dress, £285, Reformation

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Eco-friendly brand Reformation has a whole range of gorgeous occasion dresses. This one is suitable for Ascot while also featuring a flattering high slight.

Monsoon-dress-green

Tallyia maxi dress, £250, Ted Baker

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Ted Baker's Tallyia dress has exaggerated sleeves and a draping fit for a piece that's modest but totally show-stopping. 

Needle-thread-selfridges-dress

Needle and Thread Lilian floral-embroidered tulle midi dress, £550, Selfridges

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Needle and Thread does florals so well and this embroidered tulle piece is the definition of a princess dress.

Stories-midi-dress-ascot

Flowy puff sleeve midi dress, £85, & Other Stories

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Tap into the puff sleeve trend with this printed midi dress from & Other Stories. It features a side slit and ruched detail.

Coast-races-dress

Allover pleated hanky hem midi dress, £127.20, Coast

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Looking for the perfect bright and bold midi dress? We think we've found it at Coast.

John-Lewis-phase-eight-blue-dress

Phase Eight Lidia guipure lace dress, £175, John Lewis

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Phase Eight's Lidia dress has a vintage-style silhouette and is embellished with intricate lace detailing.

Hobbs-ascot-polka-dot-dress

Selena spot printed dress, £299, Hobbs

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With its vintage-inspired polka dot print and modest cut, Hobbs' Selena midi dress was made for a day at the races.

Reiss-green-dress

Emily linen tie waist dress, £188, Reiss

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Made from a linen blend, Reiss's Emily dress will keep you cool even on the hottest summer day. Pair it with oversized sunglasses and statement gold jewellery.

M-and-S-dress

Nobody's Child Felicia floral midi dress, £49, Marks & Spencer

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Shop this summery Nobody's Child floral print midi dress for less than £50 at M&S.

Stella-McCartney-dress

Stella McCartney coral-print maxi-dress, £1,395, Farfetch

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Known for her ethical approach to fashion, Stella McCartney also creates stunning designs, like this silk coral printed dress.

Phase-Eight-red-dress

Phase Eight Phoebe frill belted maxi dress, £179, John Lewis

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Phase Eight's chic red maxi dress features a romantic waterfall ruffle, belted waist and frilled sleeves.

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