For most British women, a day out at the races is synonymous with a show-stopping outfit that has to include a hat, as the event becomes more of a fashion parade than an opportunity to watch live horse racing.
Many put a lot of thought into their race day outfits, especially for the most luxurious of events like Ladies Day at Royal Ascot, whilst bearing in mind the event’s strict dress code. We expect the usual — ladies must wear a dress and there’s the obligatory suit for the men — but in recent years as the event attracts a wider audience, it seems the dress code is becoming even more stringent in hopes of maintaining the event’s prestigious appeal. (Or shall we say, as an excuse to kick out the riffraff!)
For all of you ladies who are currently planning your outfits for the next Royal Ascot (scheduled for June), the event just released a special video detailing its most recent dress code. Some antiquated guidelines to keep in mind include “strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted” and “a hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.” No shoulders at the races? How far we have come.
The rules seem more fit for Downton Abbey than modern society, but if you break them, rest assured that you won’t be getting into the event, no matter who you are. So, if you’re thinking of going on a strap-free protest, don’t expect to make it past the gates.