Anyone for Ascot? It's the bees knees in the race day calendar. The stakes are high - both in prize money and in street credibility. World class racehorses compete with high profile fashion icons and royalty to create a spectacle of colour, fashion and sheer fabulous style. If you're going, you'll need to be aware the strict dress code. From hats to bare shoulders, read the essential dos and don'ts for creating race day wow. Here's our top picks for 2019.
Ascot Race Day Wow
The Royal Ascot is anticipated the world over and attracts the eyes of the world towards a leafy little spot 25 miles from London. The Royals are its biggest fans with HM The Queen and her immediate family attending each year.
Whether it’s the arrival of the Royal Procession at 2pm sharp, six world-class races throughout the afternoon or the communal singing around Ascot’s Bandstand early evening, each of the five days in June is a whirlwind of excitement and colour.
The Royal Meeting, from June 18-22, is the perfect occasion for socializing, hosting a choice of four separate enclosures with plenty to offer in terms of dining. Royal Ascot is equally synonymous with sartorial elegance and is awash with colourful fashions as well as the most magnificent creations.
Firstly, have you got your stand out race day look? Ascot prides itself on its heritage and smart style - bare shoulders are a big no, no. We may giggle, but they even have 'Fashion Police' handing out cover ups to those showing more skin than is acceptable. . .
What to wear to Ascot Royal Enclosure
Yep, this is the hot ticket. If you have one of these then you are officially the creme de la creme. Not a member? Your only chance of entering is to book a table in a fine dining restaurant within the enclosure. This should give you access to the exclusive Champagne bars, viewing decks and restaurants.
Dress code: First and foremost, if you’re going to the Royal Enclosure, do not wear halternecks, strapless gowns, off-the-shoulder styles or spaghetti straps; in fact dress straps must also be one inch wide. Hemlines must also be knee-length or longer. No crop tops. Try this Nataliya Couture ensemble. The nude Aurora maxi dress is a real show stopper. Don't want to break the bank? Simply select Klarna easy payments at the checkout and slice your payment in 3, no fees.
What to wear for Ascot - The Grandstand
The Grandstand is the premiere enclosure with access to the lawns, ground floor of the Grandstand and numerous bars and restaurants, as well as both parade rings. This is the most popular ticket type. However, if you book with your friends you can get great group rates.
Dress code: The Grandstand is less strict, but still be sure to avoid strapless or sheer straps unless you fancy a run-in with the fashion police. Even for both enclosures, the wearing of a jacket or matching bolero over a dress doesn't count – the actual dress still has to follow the guidelines. So, again, we're loving Nataliya Couture for her pink Liliana dress - we're simply loving the blousy sleeves. Finishing touches, opt for this gorgeous Luna hat.
The Silver Ring
If you like to party , this is the enclosure for you! The Silver Ring is a bit further away but has a real party atmosphere with live music at the weekends after the races. There's no shortages of lively bars and guests can even bring a picnic - though there are no restaurants here. And the added bonus, there is no dress code although you’re encouraged to dress smartly, with the only limitation being no fancy dress, branded or promotional clothing.
Dress code: No fancy dress or large branded slogans - sorry Katie Perry but your Met Gala outfits just won't do. Also, don't pack alcohol in your picnic. Last year, race goers saw a crackdown to avoid anti social behaviour. So check the security details before your go see BBC news article
Opt for floating summer dresses that are comfortable and easy to wear. We love the Club L London Teal ruffle midi satin dress ticking all the right trend boxes for 2019. And simply add a hat for elegance - although hats aren't necessary for the Silver Ring, they're always a style bonus. Discover this Penelope hat.
Don a Hat
So, you've got your dress - now it's time to splash out on a hat. And we've got a perfect selection here at Little Black Dress. It’s not often we get the chance to wear head candy. So, let's make the most of it! Our expert milliner, Nataliya at Nataliya Couture is no stranger to Ascot. With her boutique right next door to the race track in Berkshire, she's been dressing racegoers for over a decade. And, her amazing dresses and hat creations are available at Little Black Dress - with easy no fee payments available so you can split the cost.
For instance, in the Royal Enclosure, a hat must be worn at all times, by this we mean the actual base must be at least 10cm in diameter. Fascinators aren’t allowed because although many fascinators have a flamboyant display of netting, feathers and flowers, it is the actual base without the trimmings that counts.
In the Silver Ring no hat is necessary but even in the Grandstand, a headpiece or fascinator must be worn at all times.
Caption: Outfits of all shapes and sizes are part of the spectacle of the Royal Ascot. We're sure HM The Queen gives her approval, seen in the royal procession in 2018 with Prince Andrew. We certainly adore her cerise pink combo outfit.
Shop Race Day here.
Jumpsuits are now allowed - yay!
Taking the lead in the fashion stakes is the jumpsuit – a must-have for this season. The trousers of the jumpsuit can be skinny, tapered; straight or wide-legged, so there's one to suit every shape and size. The Gorgeous Couture Calla jumpsuit in beige ticks many à la mode boxes. Keep mixing those neutrals into your accessories and make up pallette - try Daniel Sandler for soft make up finishes and their award winning watercolour blush.
Shop Jumpsuits here.
Meanwhile, most women won’t make it past the finishing post without kicking off their heels. So, choose your strappy heels carefully, adding vital gel inserts is a top trick for comfort. Donning a pair of flip flops or trainers just isn't allowed. Try folding flats that slip into your clutch bag. Finally, dressing up is the major part of the Ascot racing day experience. Adhere to the dress code and you’re sure to have a fun and glamorous day out. Good luck in the style stakes. . .