The Royal Ascot, which runs June 19-23, has been revisiting its dress code and establishing some new ground rules for attendees, which include socks for men and covered shoulders for women.
As of this year, some of the event’s formal dress codes, formerly reserved for the Royal Enclosure where Queen Elizabeth sits, will apply to all guests.
Male guests in the Queen Anne and Village enclosures must wear socks. Those wearing black leather shoes without socks could find themselves turned away.
For women, event organizers had already banned strapless dresses and are now forbidding Bardot, or off-the-shoulder, necklines, as well as one-shoulder styles. Trouser suits and jumpsuits — a new addition to the dress code — are still permitted, provided they are of appropriate length and “worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines.”
Off-the-shoulder dresses were popular last summer at both ends of the market and were made popular by designers Caroline Constas and Johanna Ortiz. There were Bardot necklines up and down the high street, which could have prompted Ascot organizers to take a stand against all shoulder-baring styles.
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Ascot also releases an annual style guide to provide racegoers with inspiration on dressing stylishly while adhering to the guidelines. This year’s guide includes suggestions for all four circles, and spotlights pieces by British designers such as Mother of Pearl, Emilia Wickstead and Roksanda, alongside upscale options by Asos, H&M, River Island and Karen Millen.