What to wear to Ascot 2023: 5 incredible outfits that are perfect for the Royal Enclosure – shop now

Known for its impeccable standards and timeless charm, Royal Ascot effortlessly combines the thrill of horse racing with a celebration of exquisite sartorial style. This year promises to be no different, as fashion-forward attendees embrace the opportunity to showcase their elegance and creativity within the bounds of the event’s unforgivingly formal dress code.

As the racecourse prepares to host one of the most prestigious events of the British social season, well-heeled fashion enthusiasts from around the world eagerly await to see the likes of the Princess of Wales and the world’s most glamorous equine loving socialites and race enthusiast A-listers will be wearing.

Princess Kate at Ascot in 2022

What should I wear to Royal Ascot?

Fashion lovers attending the Royal Enclosure can expect to don dresses or skirts of ‘modest’ length, exuding grace and sophistication is a must. While vibrant colours and bold patterns are welcomed, necklines need to be equally demure, and spaghetti straps or strapless designs are to be avoided lest you find yourself on the wrong side of an over zealous steward. 

hana cross ascot© Photo: Getty Images
Model Hana Cross photographed at Ascot last year

Hats are an absolute must, completing the quintessential race day look. As of 2017 ladies are now permitted to explore the world of jumpsuits, as long as they adhere to the guidelines of length and coverage. If you’re really brave you can pull a Daisy Knatchbull (founder of The Deck; the first female-only tailor on Savile Row) and wear a morning suit… We love to see it. 

What is the Ascot 2023 dress code? 

Ascot Racecourse is well-known for its strict dress code particularly in the Royal Enclosure, which is the most prestigious and exclusive area (yep, that’s where HRH and other British royals have their box.) The Ascot Racecourse has been known to update their dress code yearly, so it’s always best to check the specific dress code for the enclosure and event you plan to attend. While specific dress codes vary depending on the enclosure and the type of event, the general guidelines for the Royal Enclosure dress code traditionally include:

ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Maya Jama attends Royal Ascot 2022 at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2022 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images for Royal Ascot)© Kirstin Sinclair
Maya Jama attended Royal Ascot 2022 in an avant garde pink headpiece

Royal Ascot Dress Code for ladies:

  • Dresses or skirts should be of modest length, falling just above the knee or longer.
  • Strapless, off-the-shoulder, halter neck, and spaghetti straps are not permitted.
  • Fascinators or hats are a must, with the base having a diameter of at least 4 inches (Measuring tapes have been used in the past to judge them , you’ve been warned)
  • Trouser suits are now allowed, but they should be full length and of matching colour and material.
  • Jumpsuits are permitted, but they should adhere to the same guidelines as dresses in terms of length and coverage.
  • Midriffs should be covered, and the overall look should be formal and stylish.
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Betty Bachz attends Royal Ascot 2022 at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2022 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images for Royal Ascot)© Kirstin Sinclair
Betty Bachz donned a black boater and Cartier bag to attend Royal Ascot in 2022

Royal Ascot Dress Code for gentlemen:

  • Men are required to wear black or grey morning dress, which typically includes a waistcoat, trousers, and a morning coat.
  • A top hat is a must, and it should be worn at all times.
  • A shirt and tie are necessary, and cravats are not permitted.
  • Socks should be long and of a dark colour, and formal shoes, preferably black, should be worn.

To make things a little easier for you we have found 5 outfits that are perfect for Royal Ascot 2023: 

The Floral Frock Lover:

Rixo’s Petra dress is a keyhole-front midi with blousy sleeves and a bias-cut skirt. This mint-crepe style is trimmed with black at its neckline and waist and has a bouquet print inspired by 50s wallpaper.

ascot outfit ideas 2023

Melissa Green Satin Plaited Headband Fascinator, £79, LK Bennett; Slingback Bow Heels, £46, Next; Petra Keyhole Midi Dress, £285, Rixo; Florere stud earrings, £145, Swarovski; Vanina faux pearl-embellished tote bag, £432, Farfetch.

The Ultra Glam Goth:

Chloé’s midi dress draws on the Baroque theme for the label’s Pre-Fall ’23 collection, inspired by 17th-century painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Spun from monochrome wool and silk-blend, it has a square neckline framed by trumpet sleeves.

ascot outfit ideas 2023

Christian Louboutin Iriza 100 suede point-toe pumps, £595, NET-A-PORTER; Code Earrings, £380, Dior; Black Patent Croc Hat Box Bag, £495, Aspinal; Rose bow headband, £199, Hostie Hats; Chloé Striped ribbed two-tone wool and silk-blend midi dress £1,725, NET-A-PORTER. 

The Chic Attention Seeker:

Expertly designed in a midi silhouette that lightly skims your figure, this dress is framed by a neat crew neckline and elbow-length sleeves. The tonal feather detailing at the cuffs and hem give this classic piece a statement flair.

ascot outfit ideas 2023

Kristine Rosa beige saucer disc hat, £140, Etsy; Feather Midi Dress, £199, Mint Velvet; Castañer raffia-woven platforms, £231, Matches; Tulip Necklace, £295, Soru; SJP City Osette bag, £325, Strathberry.

The Jumpsuit Junkie:

The unstructured chenille Emma jumpsuit from Magpie Vintage arrives in a unique check print with deep-V neck. Each piece from Magpie Vintage is a one off using up-cycled fabrics. 

ascot outfit ideas 2023

Beige Heeled Slingback Shoes, £33, River Island; White Leather-Look Twist Lock Shoulder Bag, £19.99, New Look; Magpie Vintage Emma Chenille Jumpsuit, £350, Koi Bird; Maison Michel Kiki Hat, £579, MyTheresa; Earrings pearl star gold, £169, Thomas Sabo.

The Polkadot Princess:

A combination of sultry and sophisticated, this midi dress exudes understated elegance. Crafted in a classic monochrome palette, further emphasised by a polka dot print. The pattern has been given the royal seal of approval by Princess Kate, who wore polka dots to Ascot last year. Flared sleeves add a touch of drama, while a high-low hemline creates a fluid silhouette. 

Slingback Point Pump, £245, Russell & Bromley; Carvela Sophia Suede Clutch Bag, £89, Selfridges; Mono Spot Midi Dress, £109, Karen Millen; Navy Blue Jackie O Pillbox Hat, £116.95, Whiteley Hats; Rain Or Shine Statement Earrings, £124.00, Kate Spade.

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