Ascot – How to do it in style – Queen Anne & Village Enclosures

Whilst The Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot has probably the most famous dress codes of any race meeting, or indeed, social event; guests of the other enclosures should also be aware of the clothing restrictions and use the opportunity to display your finery (and excellent taste in headwear).

The Queen Anne Enclosure stipulates to gentlemen that a full suit must be worn, which is defined as a tailored jacket in the same colour and pattern as the trousers as opposed to a blazer or sports jacket. Although some male guests choose to follow the more formal dress code of the Royal Enclosure and wear the top hat and tails, this is becoming less popular and we would suggest and encourage gentleman to enjoy the freedom of a well-tailored lounge suit. We would recommend the wearing of a waistcoat with your suit and this is allowed to be in a matching or contrasting material. A plain, light-coloured waistcoat in pale blue or dove grey can really lift a blue suit and removes any “business” connotations from your ensemble. Lightweight wool suits are preferable to the more casual options of linen or cotton and a tie must be worn with a collared shirt. A smart double-cuff shirt in an interesting pastel shade such as lilac will add visual interest and although there are no strict rules governing footwear, dark brown or black always look the smartest.

There are no rules governing which hat you should wear in the Queen Anne Enclosure and we have some excellent options. A top hat would be incongruous and although our classic bowler would be technically correct, they are the hat of choice for the race stewards who have worn this style since it was codified into their uniform in the 1950s. A better choice would be one of our a classic felt hats; available in a wide range of colours and qualities. From the limited edition beaver felt (complete with silk lining) to the more robust merino wool, we offer a wide colour palette to match your personal style. We usually suggest a complementary shade for your hat rather than matching the colour of your suit. The silver grey Bond Trilby with a navy suit or the Canterbury in Red Wine with a charcoal flannel suit or inspired choices.

But perhaps the best option would be one of our Panamas. As an official licensee of Royal Ascot we have created six sublime Panama hats that will add some old-world elegance to your race day ensemble. The Halcyon with its wider brim and coloured band is ideal for larger characters and sunnier days whilst the Aurum and Nimbus will suit everyone who appreciates classic style. Comfortable, practical and lightweight, be prepared for admiring (and dare we say) slightly jealous glances from your top-hatted friends in the Royal Enclosure.

Our Panama hats are also ideal to be worn in the Village Enclosure where the dress code is slightly less formal. Suits can be worn but you are also allowed to wear a blazer or sports jacket instead, with full-length trousers in a contrasting fabric. A navy blazer with lighter-coloured linen or cotton trousers would be ideal or a lightweight sports jacket. Your collared shirt must be worn with neckwear but bows and cravats are acceptable alternatives. Feel free to ditch the tie and wear a colourful cravat in a silk/cotton blend for a nostalgic take on classic style and remember that cravats are known as “Ascots” in the USA (despite being banned in the Royal Enclosure).

As an alternative to the Panama hat, our linen blend caps could also complement your race day kit. Available in both the eight-piece Baker boy style as well as the our Balmoral flat style they designed for warmer weather.

Ladies attending the event in either the Queen Anne or Village Enclosure are required to wear a hat or headpiece at all times. We recommend our Jessica wide-brimmed Panama for the perfect combination of comfort and elegance and to avoid fascinators. And finally, do not forget to enjoy your day and bet responsibly. But even if you lose your shirt, you will keep your hat!

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