Dress Code Announced for 2013 Royal Ascot: No Fascinators Allowed This Year
Posted on April 5, 2013
Royal Ascot begins on June 18th and runs through June 22nd. Women will put out their most fabulous hats and Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge usually make an appearance, along with Queen Elizabeth and the royal family. Royal Ascot runs for five days and on each of those days the Queen and her guests arrive by horse-drawn landaus which pass in front of the assembled 80,000 guests, each of the enclosures and end in the Parade Ring. The tradition dates back to 1825 when King George IV instituted it.
This year the powers that be have decided to get the word out about what is sartorially acceptable for attending the formal racing event. If you are not dressed appropriately, you will not be allowed into the Royal Enclosure.
For women, that means dresses at a respectable length, shoulder straps that are at least one inch wide and no fascinators. That's right. You must wear a hat. But this year the base of the hat must be at least four inches. You can't just put a bow or ornament on your head and call it a fascinator -- it needs to be a real hat. Men must wear a morning suit and a top hat with a tie and not a cravat. The standards are a bit less exacting outside the Royal Enclosure in the Grandstand, but they are still formal. Here is a video with examples of what is expected at the event:
Here are the guidelines for this year's Royal Ascot for Ladies in the Royal Enclosure:
Ladies are kindly reminded that formal day wear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:
- Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.
- Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater.
- Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code.
- Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and colour.
- Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Ladies are kindly asked to note the following:
- Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted.
- Midriffs must be covered.
- Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches/10cm).
Photo: Ascot Racecourse. Dress by Osman, shoes by Gina and hat by Philip Treacy.