Royal Ascot is the time to raise your dapper stakes to the limit and show off your impeccable style. However you do need to adhere to the dress codes for each enclosure.
For gentlemen, the Royal Enclosure is more about uniformity, elegance and tradition, rather than standing out from the crowd.
Morning suits and top hats are obligatory. The morning suit must be black or grey and worn with a waistcoat and tie (no bow ties or cravats). The black morning coat is worn with striped trousers whilst the trousers for the grey morning coat should match the coat in colour and fabric, like a suit.
The top hat must be black or grey and NO customisation is permitted. But then why would you want to mess with perfection?
Shoes must be black and socks worn to cover the ankles. Black oxfords are the most formal especially when highly polished.
You can either hire or buy your morning suit and top hat.
To hire, Oliver Brown (one of the Official Licensees for Royal Ascot) offers a package starting from £200 which includes morning coat, trousers, waistcoat in either in either buff or grey and top hat.
The waistcoat can be a different colour if you are prepared to purchase one. However keep the colour subtle with pastel shades of pinks, yellows, blues and lilacs. Choose matte wool over shiny satin for a classic look.
Double breasted mid blue wool waistcoat. Price £155.
Single breasted yellow wool waistcoat with blue piping. Price £185.
Give an equestrian nod to the races with Oliver Brown’s Yellow multi horse head silk tie. Price £65.
A crisp white shirt with double cuffs is traditional. However a pale coloured shirt (plain or striped) is also acceptable but the collar and cuffs should still be white.
Complete the dapper look with a set of cufflinks.
Racing ahead in style are Deakin & Francis’ sterling silver horse’s head cufflinks (pictured above left). Price £245.
And if you are on a winning streak, there are Deakin & Francis’ hand painted crystal horses head cufflinks in 18ct gold at £5225 (pictured above right).
Queen Anne Enclosure
A suit with jacket and trousers of the same colour and pattern is obligatory.
Shirt and a tie must be worn (bow ties or cravats not allowed) and socks must be worn and should cover the ankle. No trainers are permitted.
Stay cool and choose a light summery shade to your normal working day suit. Paul Costelloe’s Walsh three piece suit is in a light grey Prince of Wales check with accents of baby blue. From his Cheltenham range, the lining print is apt for the races – silver horseshoes on a blue background.
Price £429 from House of Fraser.
Matching the lining is Costelloe’s Odell horseshoe tie in navy with silver horseshoe motifs. Fabric is a silk and wool blend. Price £35, also available in red.
Silk pocket square adds a pop of purple. Price £25.
Choose a double cuff shirt such as Paul Costelloe’s crisp white poplin shirt if you want to wear cufflinks. Price £55.
With double cuffs you will be able to carry on the equestrian touches with Deakin & Francis’ fun but stylish jockey cufflinks. In sterling silver with blue and brown enamel. Price £260.
Jacket, full length trousers, collared shirt and tie must be worn (bow ties and cravats not permitted). Socks must also be worn and should cover the ankle.
Jeans, trainers and shorts are not permitted.
Red & navy Prince of Wales Check on a cream background, the Henley jacket from Chester Barrie is a summer tweed jacket in pure linen woven by the Italian mill Solbiati with a bit of extra weight to keep its shape. Half lined with soft shoulders. Price £750.
Paired with plain linen navy shirt tailored fit. Price £110, but House of Fraser has reduced the price to £77.
Worn with fine Hopsack trousers – flat fronted, fitted with side adjusters and gently tapered. Woven by Italian mill Loro Olana from fine New Zealand lightweight wool Price £295.
Accessorised with a red knitted silk tie trimmed at the bottom in sky blue. Price £65 from House of Fraser.
The dapper touch with the irregular dots silk pocket square. Price £45.
In the Windsor Enclosure you are requested to wear jacket, shirt and long trousers.
Go Italian chic with a bold contemporary twist.
Nico Didonna’s navy blue jacket Sarli will attract the envious gaze of other racegoers. The monotone embroidered lapel has a smattering of sparkle on the collar whilst the colourful embroidered motif on the back ensures you will make a grand exit. Price £620.
Didonna’s black Etienne Trousers have a curved upper yolk with shaped front pockets and curved back slit pockets. Price £238. And yes you can wear navy jacket with black trousers. The old sartorial rule that stated navy and black should not be worn together is now antiquated.
Complete your contemporary style in Nico’s avant garde floral shirt with its left side opening and off centre collar. Price £172.
Belt is of stingray leather available from Nico Didonna’s London store.