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Formal dress codes are increasingly outmoded at most social occasions, but it is sensible to be aware of the parameters before attending certain events.
Although there is no formal dress code in the grandstand area at most race meetings, be aware that, during the summer flat racing season, smart attire is expected in the premier and members' enclosures on race days. On Ladies Days in particular, hats are worn - and while they are not obligatory, they add to the sense of occasion.
For men, jeans, shorts and sportswear are not acceptable. The safest option if you don't want to stand out from the smartly dressed crowds is a jacket and tie.
There are two occasions - both established events in the traditional Season - where dress is of paramount importance:
For general admission, smart attire is expected (no sportswear, beachwear, or overtly casual clothes). For ladies, hats are not obligatory, but they are the norm. Gentlemen are required to wear a shirt and tie, preferably with a suit or jacket.
In the Royal Enclosure, however, a much more prescriptive dress code comes into effect. Ladies are expected to wear 'formal day dress', with a hat or 'substantial' fascinator.
Royal Ascot's interpretation of formal day dress means that the following items of clothing are banned: off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps, dresses with a strap of less than one inch, mini skirts.
Midriffs are expected to be covered, and trouser suits, if worn, must be full length, and of matching material and colour.
Gentlemen are required to wear either black or grey morning dress, including a waistcoat, with a top hat.
Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal national dress of their country or Service dress.
Henley Royal Regatta
Membership of the Stewards' Enclosure is restricted to those concerned with rowing, for example those who have rowed at Henley in the past, and a dress code applies.
Ladies wishing to enter the Stewards' Enclosure must ensure their hemline is below the knee, and be aware that trousers are not permitted. Bare shoulders are acceptable, however, and hat wearing is not obligatory, although it is the norm. High-heeled shoes are impractical, as they will sink into the grass.
Men should wear lounge suits, rowing blazers (if you belong to a rowing club) or jackets and flannels, and a tie or cravat.
No dress code applies in the Regatta Enclosure, although many people still choose to dress up.