Royal Ascot Horse Racing 2018

No socks, no entry: New dress code guidelines for Ascot 2018

There will be fascinators. There will be top hats. And by Jove, there will be socks.

Male Ascot-goers must be prepared to quite literally pull their socks up if they wish to attend the prestigious event this summer.

Royal Ascot updates its dress code every year in line with emerging catwalk trends and to maintain modesty and decorum at the world famous event.

This year, Ascot has targeted men’s cropped trousers, which, on par with a fashion craze sweeping the country, tend to be worn without socks.

However, the ankle-baring ensemble won’t make it past the starting barrier at Ascot this year, with the updated dress code requesting that all men wear socks – or risk being refused entry.

The decision to ban men going sockless has certainly stirred up some controversy. Is the move in keeping with the historic British event, or merely a dampener on a stylish and practical solution to dressing for summer?

One Twitter user commented: “Men’s dress code for Ascot, no cravats and wear socks. If you need to be told that for a formal event, you’re not a gentleman, irrespective of how much money you have.”

This unusual rule is accompanied by the news that Ascot will have “a selection of socks on offer to rectify the situation” should anyone turn up without a pair of their own.

With plenty of advance warning and spare socks to boot, bare ankles will not be tolerated at Ascot this year. Any complaints and you’ll no doubt be told to put a sock in it – before being handed a pair to cover up.

What other changes have been made to the dress code this year?

cropped trousers no socks

With what to wear being almost as important as the races themselves, here’s what you need to know to avoid any dress code violations and breeze through the doors at Ascot.


The strictest rules are reserved for the Royal Enclosure, which surrounds the Royal Box where Her Majesty the Queen will observe the racing (and her sock-clad subjects). Gentlemen in the Royal Enclosure are required to wear black or grey morning dress, including a waistcoat, tie and a top hat that must be worn at all times.

Colours and patterns are permitted in the other enclosures, on the condition that trousers and jackets match, and a shirt and tie are worn at all times. Note that cravats and bow ties are strictly forbidden.

If temperatures creep up to the point where a full suit would jeopardise the comfort and safety of guests, organisers may permit jackets to be removed.


The big change to remember this year is that fascinators will no longer be permitted in the Royal Enclosure. Instead, top-tier attendees should wear a headpiece which has a solid base of four inches or more. Ladies in the Village, Queen Anne and Windsor Enclosures are free to wear fascinators of any shape, size or colour – as long as it remains in place at all times.

As usual, skirts and dresses must fall below the knee, and strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti strap and sheer strap designs are not allowed. Trouser suits should be full length to the ankle and of matching colour and material, and jumpsuits – which were welcomed to the dress code in a surprise move last year – should also be full length.

Royal Ascot Fascinator

Planning your day

Royal Ascot runs for five days this summer, with the event getting off to a galloping start on Tuesday 19 June and leading up to the grand finale on the Saturday.

With races that will have you on the edge of your seat, exquisitely British Pimm’s and picnic traditions and hopefully some warm weather to look forward to, this year’s event is sure to knock your socks off (but do remember to put them back on again).

From the arrival of the Royal Procession at 2pm to six first-class races, all of which can be enjoyed in your choice of four enclosures, each of the five days marks a special occasion in Britain’s exciting summer events calendar.

The gates open at 10.30am, with the first race at 2.30pm. With gates opening well before the first race, there is plenty of time to enjoy the grounds, have a picnic and soak up the atmosphere before placing your bets.

How to get there

Turn Ascot into the event of the summer and observe the traditional nature of the occasion by booking a luxury, old fashioned Royal Ascot chauffeur service with Mercedes Chauffeur Hire

A deliciously British event, the Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne. While our own history doesn’t stretch quite that far back, we are proud to have transported thousands of satisfied racegoers from London and beyond to the magnificent Ascot Racecourse, and this year is no exception!

We cater for all party sizes, so no matter how small or large your group is, rest assured we have the perfect vehicle for you in our fleet of chauffeur driven cars.

With Mercedes Benz’s flagship saloons providing the ultimate in chauffeur driven luxury, our Mercedes S Class limousines are perfect for up to four passengers seeking a stylish and comfortable way to travel. Our fleet of Range Rover Vogue and Range Rover Autobiography long wheel base SUV models are equally luxurious modes of elite and impeccably stylish transport.

Group travel

Parties with up to seven passengers may wish to consider our Mercedes V Class luxury people carrier. Complete with a social seating arrangement allowing for smooth and effortless conversation, these elegant vehicles present the opportunity to spend some quality time together before and after your day at the Royal Ascot.

For larger groups, we have a range of coaches, from executive mini coaches seating up to sixteen passengers to full-size coaches which seat up to sixty people. Furnished with a range of luxury and executive gadgets and accessories, including leather seats, tables, DVD screens and tea and coffee making facilities, our coaches are designed to make your journey to and from the opera as comfortable as possible.

Travelling from afar

Covering all of the capital’s hotels, airports, bus and train stations, we also cater to clients who will be attending Royal Ascot 2018 from far-flung parts of the UK, and from overseas. For clients arriving into any of the London airports on the day of the races, your dedicated London chauffeur will meet you at the arrivals hall, transfer you to your hotel and wait for you to get ready before whisking you away to rub shoulders with royalty at Ascot.

Ready to book?

Whatever your requirements, Mercedes Chauffeur Hire is highly accomplished in the provision of bespoke chauffeur experiences.

Not only will you arrive feeling like you belong in the Royal Enclosure, but your chauffeur will also be happy to help lay out your picnic blanket and pour your first glass of champagne as you settle into the grounds and soak up the atmosphere.

Contact us today to find out more and make an enquiry about the finest Royal Ascot chauffeur service – we’d love to hear from you!