Royal Ascot 2019 Style Guide; Dress to Impress

Apr 21, 2019

Hem lengths and fascinators and champagne – oh my! This just in: the Royal Ascot 2019 has released its Style Guide and there are some new rules to wrap our heads around.  ‘Dress to Impress’ is this year’s theme with British luxe glamour at the forefront of everyone’s minds. This is the perfect opportunity to do something that Ellis Bridals wholeheartedly advocate; embrace old-school Hollywood glamour, dress up and be reminded of a more sophisticated time of chic tailoring and timeless silhouettes.

From 18th June there will be 5 days of races, royals and style rules that, when examined closely, can make the day stressful for the ill-informed or incredibly exciting and fascinating for the life-long student of fashion. But don’t worry, Ellis Bridals has put together a style guide for how to ‘Dress to Impress’ this year at Ascot with gorgeous couture from our occasionwear brand, John Charles.

Not only does the style guide for Royal Ascot uphold respectful adherence to the race’s tradition and origins in high-society and the utmost couture style, it also plays an important role in influencing the style trends for the rest of the year! That’s why it’s so important to follow this simple guide from Ellis Bridals to this year’s Ascot Style Guide, its rules and stipulations combined with its impressive haute couture and make a big splash at Royal Ascot 2019 with elegance and grace that will carry you through the rest of the year. Ellis Bridals is a heritage brand that is proud to be associated with Ascot, the epicentre of tradition, style and etiquette.


(Royal Ascot) Royal Enclosure Dress Code for Ladies

Ladies are kindly reminded that formal daywear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:

Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.

Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater.

Jackets and pashminas may be worn, but the dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code. Made popular by the iconic Princess Diana and the Queen, jackets have been a staple of the Royal Enclosure.

Trouser suits are welcome. They should be full length and of matching material and colour.

Fascinators are no longer allowed in the Royal Enclosure! Hats should be worn; however, a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. In case you were wondering, Kate Middleton is the Queen, or Duchess of getting this spot on every year:

Style Guide for Ladies Day

Skirt Lengths are Mid-Length and Sophisticated … Dresses and skirts should be of modest length, falling just above the knee or longer, this is how you can channel classic Hollywood glamour and recall a time of refined taste and style with John Charles! Our favourite styles are sophisticated and chic and are perfectly refined for Ascot; we focus on creating the perfect silhouette so that women feel feminine and beautiful. We love this fluted silhouette, it softly contours the figure and the bodice is adorned with tonal diamond beading, further embellished with beautiful pearl details. Crafted in chic crepe, the dress features flattering half sleeves and a belt waist detail.

Shown in Blush. Available in Ivory, Lavender, Silver, Taupe.

John Charles Crepe Dress | Style 26595

  • Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater… This means bardot and off the shoulder necklines are out! Strapless, off-the-shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted.
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code
  • Trouser suits are in! They should be of full length to the ankle and of matching material and colour.
  • Jumpsuits are the new knee-length dress (Hooray!). They should be of full-length to the ankle, with regulations matching that for dresses.

John Charles SS 19

Last year Ascot loosened the reins and allowed jumpsuits for the very first time, they had to be full length and adhere to the same neckline and strap rules as dresses. They were a smash hit and were drop dead gorgeous. If you’re looking to try out sophisticated power-woman style with a jumpsuit this year, check out this John Charles pink lacy jumpsuit; its wide, full-length trouser make it the most flattering shape for all body shapes and has an elegant style with its sheer lacy sleeves and bodice – perfectly adhering to the Ascot Style Rules. Pair with a bold wide brimmed hat (see hat rules below) to complete your Ascot look and stun everyone at the races with your poise and grace.

Hats should be worn; hats are an iconic staple of Ascot and they look fantastic – instantly elevating any outfit. John Charles take great pride in their wide range of stylish hats that are all perfectly suited to a day at the races! Try on this gorgeous head piece that offsets a gorgeous silhouette! We love it particularly with this structured crepe dress, it’s asymmetrical design perfectly complements the shoulder details of the dress.

This is truly a dress to be remembered. In immaculate crepe, this style is of a modest length with sleeves that comply with the Ascot style rules, and yet has a little surprise at the back that will set you apart from the crowd. Featuring a low cowl back in crepe over a beaded illusion detail, the detailing is divine. Beautifully beaded leaf shapes adorn the shoulders, before flowing into the fitted shape.

Shown in Blush. Available in Ivory and Lavender.

John Charles Cowl Back Crepe Dress | Style 26586

However if a hat isn’t to your taste you can also wear a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (see our gorgeous headpiece above) (10cm) or more in diameter as an acceptable alternative to a hat. Fascinators are not permitted; neither are headpieces which do not have a solid base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches/10cm).

Midriffs must be covered.

Click here to view all John Charles stockists and retailers

Click here to view the new Ellis Bridals Belgravia Collection and all wedding dresses by Ellis Bridals

Click here to view all Ellis Bridals stockists and retailers

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