Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Stylist's anti-Ascot dress guide

Royal Ascot is underway and once again event organisers have rolled out a strict dress code telling "ladies" exactly what they can and cannot wear.

Its fashion-unfriendly ruling bans female ticketholders from entering the race meet in outfits with thin straps, off-the-shoulder sleeves, cropped tops and high hemlines. 

"Ladies are kindly advised that formal daywear is a requirement," the code says, before listing its own exacting interpretation of what formal dressing should entail.


Ascot began on Tuesday

Prior experience of choosing outfits for work events, weddings and parties means nothing to the style judges at Ascot, where your halterneck is certainly not welcome.

As well as putting just about every SS16 trend on its kill list, Ascot permits trousers only if they are "full length" and worn as part of a matching suit.


  • Dresses and skirts should fall just above the knee or longer
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn
  • Trousers suits are welcome but they should be full length and of matching material and colour
  • All straps should be one inch or greater. Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted
  • Hats or headpieces with a solid base of four inches or more should be worn

We're okay, thanks Ascot. 

Join us outside the royal enclosure with these 20 banned beauties, including cold shoulder silhouettes, '90s slip dresses, palazzo pants and stomach-baring cutaways...


heels work.jpg

Forced to wear heels at work? MPs want to hear from you


One of the world’s best red wines is available for less than £5


Dame Helen Mirren: Kim Kardashian has made women love their bums

beyonce power pose.jpg

Want to do well at work? You’d better learn to stand like a man


Dream come true? A theme park dedicated to wine will open next week


This week's Style List: from summer accessories to travel essentials


The most captivating new reads of June


Why we can’t remember anyone’s name


Kate Moss' daughter Lila Grace models in first shoot with her mum



Sarah Jessica Parker unveils her debut jewellery collection

The real-life Carrie Bradshaw designed the pieces herself

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Oct 2016

Whistles is launching a wedding dress collection

And they're all under £699

by Amy Swales
27 Oct 2016

Daily outfit inspiration with our look at the best dressed A-listers

Casual dressing ideas from stylish celebrities

27 Oct 2016

Say hello to succulent manicures: actual tiny plants as nail art

No, really

by Amy Swales
26 Oct 2016

The 2016 Fashion Awards nominations have been announced

... and supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid will compete for model of the year

by Harriet Hall
26 Oct 2016

Feast your eyes on the new Alexa Chung M&S Archive collection

Get ready to want it all.

by Alexandra Fullerton
26 Oct 2016

The surprising Zara item that is selling out across the globe

It can be yours for just £59

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 Oct 2016

This clothing range is designed to raise awareness of mental illness

“It’s not a delusion, you are incredible”

by Amy Swales
24 Oct 2016

The Met Gala 2017 theme will bring some serious high-fashion weirdness

Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams are set to host the fashion world’s biggest party.

by Moya Crockett
24 Oct 2016

In memory of Richard Nicoll, one of fashion's brightest talents

by Alexandra Fullerton
22 Oct 2016