In the world of horse racing, fashion emerges as a prominent focal point and navigating the style landscape for race days can at times seem overwhelming.

With that in mind, we turned to the expert Daniel Fletcher, Creative Director at Ascot Racecourse, to curate a set of guidelines when it comes to race day attire at Royal Ascot. Spearheading the creation of the acclaimed annual Royal Ascot Lookbook and Millinery Collective, Daniel shares his expertise of dos and don’ts – from fashion faux pas to avoid to creating a standout race-day ensemble. With a keen eye for innovation, Daniel seeks to encourage racegoers to redefine racewear outfits and explore their unique style with boundless imagination. So, whether you’re a seasoned racegoer or a newbie to trackside, here’s your guide to effortless style on the big day.


Photography by James Robjant



Embrace your creativity
Royal Ascot gives us the chance to embrace our individuality and encourages freedom of expression through dressing. I want to capture that joy and inspire racegoers to experiment with their own unique style in line with the enclosure dress codes. There is no better place than to do it – especially with the opportunity to incorporate a piece of statement millinery into your look.


Photography by James Robjant

Start with neutrals
If you are struggling to pull an outfit together, start with a neutral base as your building block. Be it maximalist or understated, neutrals act like a blank canvas for adding some more maximalist accessories or vibrant pops of colour – and in its simplest form is timeless, sophisticated, and chic.


Photography by James Robjant

Experiment with accessories
Once you have the base of an outfit, whether that is a trouser suit or dress, one of the most exciting parts for me comes with the accessories and styling an inspired look that embraces your personal style. This doesn’t have to be limited to a bag or a hat – there are also ways to incorporate unexpected and playful elements such as ties with silk dresses as seen in this year’s Royal Ascot Lookbook.


Don’t be afraid to be bold
Be bold and creative with your outfit choices. Whether it’s a hat with an unexpected shape or trying out a new silhouette – this is the chance to step out of your comfort zone and push the boundaries by embracing your own sense of style. There are only so many occasions where you can really “go for it” when dressing up, and Ascot is one of them.


Photography by James Robjant

Don’t avoid classic styles
Being bold doesn’t necessarily mean ignoring the classics. You can never go wrong with a classic top hat and tails or a slip dress, so don’t be afraid to stick to what you know and use that as a base for adding some more adventurous elements. For example, you can create a sharp look by simply beginning with a traditional top hat and tails, and then incorporate a touch of individuality through contrasting waist coat, pocket squares, lapel pins, sleeve garters, socks, ties, and sunglasses.


Photography by James Robjant

Don’t dodge colour
Summer dressing gives us all the chance to experiment with colour, whether it be vibrant floral prints or just a pop of colour with a statement bag. If you’re a minimalist and generally stick to muted colours, this is your chance to switch it up. Think about Ascot as if it was a red-carpet awards ceremony – it as an opportunity to channel main character energy and walk the ‘red carpet’.

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Images: Supplied