Royal Ascot racing carnival officials order women to dress more elegantly

Royal Ascot racing carnival officials order women to dress more elegantly

Fearful of slipping standards, officials at Ascot, whose five-day racing carnival begins Tuesday, have told patrons to dress in a more elegant fashion. Women wearing skimpy dresses, strapless tops and short skirts will be barred from the Royal Enclosure at the upmarket Royal Ascot racing carnival this year under the new “specific requirements” of the dress code.

Organizers helpfully included a leaflet when sending out tickets and also has a photo guide on its website featuring ticks and crosses to denote approved clothing.

“There seems to be a growing lack of understanding about what morning dress means, particularly with respect to women,” Ascot's head of public relations, Nick Smith, told London's Evening Standard in Friday editions. “Our dress code has not fundamentally changed, but this year, we felt there was a need to spell it out and tighten up the specific requirements.”

The Royal Enclosure is the most exclusive section at Ascot – traditionally visited by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip during their visits to the carnival.

“Her Majesty's representative wishes to point out that only formal day dress with a hat or substantial fascinator will be acceptable,” Ascot said on its website Friday.

“Off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch and/or miniskirts are considered unsuitable. Midriffs must be covered and trouser suits must be full length and of matching material and colour.”

Men need to wear either black or grey morning dress, including a waistcoat and a top hat which must be worn at all times while in the Royal Enclosure.

Overseas visitors may wear their formal national dress of their country or formal military uniforms.

“Those not complying with the dress code will be asked to leave the Royal Enclosure and will be relieved of their Royal enclosure badge,” Ascot said.

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