Royal Ascot bans fascinators and short skirts

Royal Ascot dress code

In a bid to prevent racegoers dressing like they’re going to a nightclub – or to the circus, depending on your point of view – Royal Ascot organisers have decided to tighten up on the ol’ dresscode. As of this year, female racegoers will have to wear:

1. Hats, as opposed to fascinators. (in the less formal grandstand, hats OR fascinators will be obligatory: they were previously optional-but-recommended.)

2. “Modest” skirts or dresses – i.e. hemlines must be just above the knee or longer.

3. Tops with straps: no strapless tops or dresses allowed. Or else.

Men, meanwhile, will be expected to wear waistcoats and ties inside the enclosure (no cravats, you peasants!), and suits and ties in the grandstand.

So, in conclusion:

hats at Royal Ascot

What do you think? Are you pleased to see a return to “standards” with a strongly-enforced  dress code, or do you think people should be free to wear whatever they want, regardless of the circumstances?

(For the record, we’re all for the dress codes, if only because at least people know where they stand that way. And let’s face it: a lot of people just don’t have a CLUE how to dress themselves. You can tell purely by the number of people who find this website after searching for the words “Can I wear jeans to a wedding?” And we just know that if you give them an inch, they’ll turn up in an adult onesie one of these days, bleating, “BUT IT’S SOOOO COMFY!”)



  • January 19, 2012


    Telling the truth, for me the blue monster-pretending-to-be-hat is exactly as horrible as adult onesie. Or even more. I almost shut my laptop screaming in horror when I saw this one))
    As for the dresscode itself, I always say that whoever hosts the event may decide whatever they want. It’s their event after all, and if someone doesn’t like, he/she can find another event.

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  • January 19, 2012


    Too bad, I love fascinators (I even love the word) and I think they can be just as fancy and formal as a hat. I wore one to my black tie wedding.

    I would also point out to the creators of the dress code that current formal fashion makes it almost impossible to find a dress with any kind of strap right now. That rule will be especially hard unless you have your own dress maker, which I did for my wedding.

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  • January 19, 2012


    I am all for dresscodes. They enforce how people should be dressing in the first place. While I understand a little strapless top is fun, it seems too casual for me. Anyway, I like it a lot.

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  • January 20, 2012

    Millar Boddington

    I recently saw that hat on the right by Philip Treacy in a store, up close.

    It is one of his most simple hats/ fascinators that he has ever designed.

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  • January 21, 2012


    Aww I love fascinators 🙁 and wouldn’t a hat obtrude the viewing of the rest of the people atending?

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