11 Ascot Dresses To Shop This Racing Season

The Handbook
By Astrid Carter | 21st June 2023

With the most stylish race day taking place this week, we’ve edited out our top 11 Ascot dresses to invest in this summer season.

From vintage-inspired prints at Rixo to the sustainable brand making timeless dresses to bring out every year, scroll to shop our favourites. And don’t worry, they all adhere to Ascot’s strict dress code.

ascot dresses
1.
Inspired by a dress her mother found on the Portobello Market in the 1970s, sustainable fashion designer Grace Hudson-Evans has created a near-perfect summer events dress in the form of the Daughter. With a polka dot print, bracelet sleeves and ruffled drop waist its flattering and timeless but still injects a little fun into race day. Pair with feather accessories and gold platform heels . ‌
ascot dresses
2.
White dresses are a bit of a no-go when it comes to wedding guest dressing so it’s tempting to fill that hole at the races. Ilta’s Fern dress has caught our eye with its fluid ivory fabric, demure balloon sleeves and hint of sexiness (whilst still being Ascot appropriate) thanks to its side thigh split. Style up with a velvet headband and mini raffia bag for a summery feel.
ascot dresses
3.
Monochromatic colour palettes are always chic at the races and this Karen Millen lace and polka dot dress seriously delivers on the detail. From the pretty black lace paneling to the floaty polka dot pleats it will make a statement at the races, weddings and beyond.

 

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Take style notes from stylist Martha Ward and Instagram star Zeena Shah and delve into sweet ice cream shades this racing season.

ascot dresses
4.
They are an investment but Anna Mason dresses are also works of art in their own right. This Angelika dress comes in a stunning French provencal cotton print called 'Garance’, a riot of raspberry, lilac and off-white worked into an intricate floral print. We love it styled here with a chunky velvet bow belt and oversized retro sunglasses .
ascot dresses
5.
If there was ever a dress destined for Ladies Day, it’s this. Self-Portrait’s chiffon and bouclé dress almost looks like a two-piece with its pleated skirt and cinched waist peplum top. It’s giving Chanel, it’s giving Jackie O and we can’t get enough of that Barbie-inspired bubblegum pink. Pair with silver accessories for a modern twist.
ascot dresses
6.
If you’re heading to Ascot this year, be prepared to know the dress code inside out because there are some unexpected rules. A strapless or one-shoulder frock is an absolute no no but backless is fine. Who would have thought? Lean into it with Yolk’s sunshine yellow sundress with statement cut-out back and joyful big bow.
ascot dresses
7.
Keep things simple with this Kaya pink linen dress. The classic full skirt shape is super flattering whilst the linen fabric will keep you cool during any unexpected heatwaves. We love it paired with a wide-brim boater hat tied with a black grosgrain ribbon.
ascot dresses
8.
If you’re sticking to a high street budget, it’s worth checking out Warehouse. They have some great occasionwear pieces that belie their modest price tag and some vintage-inspired prints that will echo the current ‘70s trend. We love this floral halterneck style paired with minimal accessories for a cooler way to do race day fashion.

 

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ascot dresses
9.
From the Princess of Wales to Sienna Miller and Salma Hayek, there isn’t a style icon worth their salt who hasn’t slipped into one of The Vampire’s Wife’s instantly recognisable dresses. They are ideal for the races but also come with a higher price point, so it’s worth considering renting one. We love the nostalgic print of this Falconetti dress but you can find plenty in different colourways, prints and fabrics on all the good rental sites. Check out our guide to shopping rental here . ‌
ascot dresses
10.
You'll be a dream in green in Kaka Bargas’ taffeta dress with a giant statement bow. Known for her voluminous silhouettes, these are dresses that will make an instant impact but still feel cool and chic. We love this rich green hue styled with a black veiled fascinator.
ascot dresses
11.
You can’t go wrong with a Rixo dress when it comes to styling out your summer diary dates. Super versatile, they work for weddings, garden parties, dinners out and, of course, race days. The print is inspired by a design the brand founders, Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey , found in Paris and it has a wonderfully nostalgic feel to it. We love it styled with a wooden beaded or raffia evening bag and simple gold sandals.

The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some products purchased through affiliate links.


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