Royal Ascot Dress Code


As the most prestigious event in the racing calendar, Royal Ascot attracts the cream of international society. What you wear is very important, but don’t worry - we’re here to help you dress impeccably for your day at the races!



here are a few rules that must be followed, particularly in the Royal Enclosure. At Royal Ascot the racing is only half the fun. The strict dress codes and etiquette hurdles are where this event really heats up!

Much has been written on the dress code for women at Royal Ascot. The pitfalls are plentiful, from being declined entry when wearing miniskirts, to the no-no of flashing bare shoulders, to the faux pas of donning a non matching trouser suit. Little has been said about the rules for men, yet there are plenty of mistakes to be made.

So, if this year is your first time at Royal Ascot, you are probably wondering exactly what to wear. Here at Dobell we are always happy to help and will have you kitted out appropriately for the event in no time.

Different Dress Codes

With Grandstand Admission male race-goers are required to wear a suit with a shirt and tie, while for Silver Ring Enclosure and Heath Ring Enclosure, things are more relaxed. Here no formal dress code applies, but race-goers are still encouraged to wear smart clothes. Royal Ascot specifies very clearly that ‘bare chests are not permitted at any time!’

Morning Suits for the Royal Enclosure

If you are lucky enough to have tickets for the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot this year, don’t take any chances when it comes to your attire.

1. First and foremost you should be aware that traditional morning dress is compulsory for gentlemen within the Royal Enclosure. Morning dress, otherwise recognised as ‘top hat and tails’ is better known as the traditional attire worn by men at weddings (generally exclusive to the wedding party). However, it is also worn at Royal Ascot, Royal Garden Parties and other Royal and Court events.

2. What should your morning dress consist of?A black morning suit is the classic attire, however grey is also just as acceptable. If you do chose to go for black, then your trousers should either be grey or black with a pin stripe running through them. Alternatively, if you do go for grey, the trousers should also be plain grey – and made from the same cloth. Click here to find a full range of morning suits

3. When it comes to shirts, a crisp, freshly ironed white shirt is perfect. However a shirt in a pale shade is also an option. If you do decide to go down this route make sure that the cuffs and collar are still white, keeping your look formal. A classic standard collar is most appropriate, combined with double cuffs, as cufflinks should be worn. It should also be noted that no more than 1 inch of your cuff should be on display. If you find that your sleeves are too long, armbands are a great accessory.

4. Waistcoats are also obligatory, but here Ascot allows a little eccentricity! In the past, buff or grey waistcoats would have been traditionally worn. Now however, colour is far more acceptable, and it’s here that you can let your personality show. See our large selection of colourful waistcoats.

5. Cravats are a definite no-no. To avoid error wear a tightly knotted tie, for example a half Windsor knot. Again, be adventurous with your colours but steer away from matching your tie and waistcoat together, after all this is not a wedding. If you want to wear a patterned tie, we would advise you to wear a single colour waistcoat to dodge overkill (and vice versa). On tips on how to tie your tie expertly, check out our how to guide.

6. Last, but by no means least, a top hat must be worn at all times, unless you are in a restaurant, private box or private club. For this both black and grey are equally suitable, although it has been said that those who really know what they are doing, go for black. Check out our selection of luxury top hats here.