ASCOT Racecourse has made some big changes to its style guide for 2019 and organisers have released helpful images to give guests an idea of what is acceptable.

Royal Ascot, which runs from June 18-22, is once again at the forefront of fashion and style for the summer social season.

Under the changes, women will be allowed to dress like men and vice versa – as long as they stick to the new policy.

This year's Royal Enclosure dress code says gentleman must wear black or grey morning dress, with a waistcoat and tie.

Ladies are not allowed to wear strapless and off-the-shoulder dresses, while midriffs have to be covered and fascinators are also banned.

Here is how the style guide has evolved throughout history:

  • 1700s - Beau Brummell, a close friend of the Prince Regent, who decreed that "men of elegance should wear waisted black coats and white cravats with pantaloons" and this set the tone for the dress code that is still adhered to by men in the Royal Enclosure.
  • 1830s - Queen Victoria's visit to Royal Ascot saw her arrive in a pretty lace dress with a full bell skirt and shawl. She also started a craze for the porter bonnet, shielding the wearer from male eyes.
  • 1890s - As the dawn of a new century arrived, fashion took on an almost celebratory tone. Skirts were less full, but silhouettes made a greater statement with angular hips and puffed sleeves. Hats were large and full of feathers and adornments.
  • 1900s - One of fashions most iconic images; that of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady was inspired when costume designer Cecil Beaton saw images of Black Ascot, The 1910 Royal Ascot meeting was in full mourning over the death of King Edward.
  • 1920s - Hemlines were shorter and cuts were smaller in the 1920's reflecting a post-war generation's rebellion against old traditions. Pearls and furs were the accessories of the day.
  • 1950s - Christian Dior's New Look, a small waist and full skirt, was proving popular however it was when the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth and her stylish sister Princess Margaret wore the style at Royal Ascot that it was cemented in history.
  • 1960s - Royal Ascot's glamorous profile elevated when Italian actress Sophia Loren was photographed in the Royal Enclosure. In modern times some of the biggest names in Hollywood and fashion have attended.
  • 1970s - Trouser suits became more popular following their introduction to the dress code in 1971. Gertrude Shilling The Ascot Mascot delighted press with her extravagant outfits. One year, one of her son, David's designs outgrew the Shilling's long-wheel-based Rolls Royce, so the hat had to follow in a van behind.
  • 1980s - Sharp lines and bright colours took centre stage during this decade. With statement hats and pointed heels, there was little room for floaty florals in 1980's glamour.
  • 2012 - Royal Ascot officially launches its Style Guide to racegoers outlining dress code regulations for the Royal Enclosure and Queen Anne Enclosure (formally known as Grandstand).
  • 2017 - The jumpsuit is formally accepted in the Royal Enclosure dress-code and the Queen Anne Enclosure dress code is extended to the new Village Enclosure.
  • 2018 - Royal Ascot introduce Style Guides for the Village and Windsor Enclosures.

Juliet Slot, chief commercial officer of Ascot Racecourse, said: "Fashion and style are an integral part of the Royal Ascot experience for all of our customers.

"The annual Style Guide provides valuable support and inspiration when deciding what to wear for a day at the Royal Meeting. As the Style Guide enters its eighth year we continue to respond to our customers' requests for fashion-forward looks that work for each of the four Enclosures, ensuring every racegoer enjoys this special occasion with style.

"We are delighted to have worked with Prue White to curate an incredibly strong, and varied, selection of looks that are both representative of Ascot's fashion heritage and provide inspiration for how to wear the key trends for the 2019 summer season. We are equally thrilled to have Cunard involved with our iconic Style Guide for a second year."

Tickets start from £32 if they are booked before April 4, with further group discounts available.

Visit: or call 0344 346 3000.