The Handbook
The Handbook

They say never let a man determine what you wear. But if you just so happen to be heading to the Royal Ascot this weekend, you’ll have to swallow your pride (and feminist ideals) in order to be let in. It’s your chance to dress like royalty and let’s face it, options are a little more varied for the ladies. 

Not enclosed?

Firstly, it depends whether you’re in the Royal Enclosure or not. If you’re not, then things become a lot simpler. Dress like you’re going to the christening of your hoity-toitiest friend. So you’ll need to pop on a dazzling dress or opt for a trouser suit, if the weather’s on the questionable side.

So You’re In The Royal Enclosure…

When it comes to the Royal Enclosure, though, rules start to apply. If you’re a member, then let’s assume you can skip this article, but if you’re a guest of a member then don’t stress and read on. Here’s how not to get thrown out… It’s fairly simple if you follow the rules. Knee length dresses, ankle-cut trousers, matching headpieces… It’s like school uniform all over again but this time, more fun.

Let’s Start With The Dress / Skirt

With the dress code being woven into the history of the event, it’s become a major fashion event in its own right with hats and all. Formal daywear is required so if you’re opting for a dress or skirt, it’ll have to fall just above the knee or longer. And don’t think you’ll get away with a strapless number, because all dresses and tops need to have straps of one inch or greater… You’ll be happy to know there’s no limitations on the fabric or print though, yippee!

As the summer is momentarily here, opt for a floral number, like this one from Katya Katya or ponder over to Beulah for their floral frocks, to bring a little colour to your look. If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, try a silky number from Ghost or this sequinned gown that’ll keep the girls guessing where it’s from. Or try a bold print skirt for an added statement, take a peak at what Gucci has to offer. But let’s not forget your top still needs to comply so you can’t be showing off your belly-bar anytime soon… 

The Perfect Power Suit

Can’t find a dress that takes your fancy? Rock up in your best power (trouser) suit or jumpsuit and you’ll be ready to take on anything the day throws at you. Of course, if you’re opting for a suit like this one from Mother of Pearl, it’ll have to be full-length to the ankle and of matching material and colour. Let’s be honest, if you’re showing up in a suit, you might as well go all out with a Dolce & Gabbana number. There’s no harm in playing it simple with a classic black or grey from Victoria Beckham.While jumpsuits need to fall below the knee, matching the same regulations for dresses. This jumpsuit from Karen Miller is elegantly regal, just try not to spill any champers over it! 

Hats, glorious hats

Now you can’t go to the Royal Ascot without a hat, because quite frankly, you won’t be let in without one. If you’re not convinced your face shape quite suits a hat, then don’t worry, you can wear a headpiece. It just needs to have a solid base with four inches or more in diameter. Whether you’re wanting to make a statement with a hat decked out in florals and feathers, or be more subtle with a headpiece decked with frills and all. Take a look Laura Cathcart Millinery‘s handcrafted pieces, perfect for a royal occasion. Or opt for a pretty number from Marisa Groom Millinery.

Oh, and if you think you’ve fooled the system by rocking up in a fascinator, think again, because they aren’t permitted at the Royal Ascot weekend! Whatever you decide, make sure you feel a million bucks, because you never know who you’ll bump into!

Not sure what to wear to Ascot, gents? Follow me…

Royal Ascot runs June 19th until Saturday 22nd June, at High St, Ascot SL5 7JX,