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Royal Ascot dress code: How to dress for the summer of sport

What to wear to Royal Ascot, Wimbledon and more.

Ascot dress code: grey waistcoat

The thing about the Great British Summer being so lacklustre weather-wise is that we feel the need to overcompensate with sports. Yes the skies may be grey and drizzly, but who needs sun when you have high-octane racing and heart-in-throat grand slams? Between Royal Ascot, Wimbledon, The Open and the British Grand Prix, the next two months are chock-a-block with major tournaments, the most prestigious of which put as many rules and regulations on what spectators wear as they do on the athletes. We’ve delved into a few of our most anticipated, with a few pointers about how to dress for each.


What to wear to Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot Dress Code: Waistcoat
19-23 June

Royal Ascot is undoubtedly the crown jewel of British sport (pun wholeheartedly intended), and not surprisingly for an event attended by the Queen herself, it comes with a long list of rules and restrictions on what you can and can’t wear. For those who've made it into the Royal or Queen Anne Enclosures, a morning coat, waistcoat and tie are mandatory, while those in the former must also don a top hat and smart black shoes. As strict as the dress code can be, it doesn’t mean that you should resign yourself to dreary grey formality. Choosing a bold, brightly-coloured waistcoat is allowed and – in our books – firmly encouraged. Go for pink, blue or yellow, and swap your usual formal trousers for a pair with a subtle pinstripe or houndstooth check.


What to wear to Wimbledon

Wimbledon Dress Code: Linen Suit
2-15 July

Wimbledon is another prestigious and incredibly popular summer staple; as anybody who has ever queued for tickets will attest to. Compared to Ascot, the dress code is much more relaxed. Unless you’ve found yourself invited into the Royal Box or some other VIP area – where a lounge suit, shirt and tie are a must – there are only four real rules. No torn jeans, running vests, dirty trainers or sports shorts are allowed, pretty reasonable requests if you ask us. Other than that, Centre Court is your oyster. Generally speaking a jacket and trousers are never a bad idea, like those from our Nehru suit separates range. Go full tennis-white with an oatmeal linen set, with matching grandad shirt.


What to wear to the World Cup

Wimbledon Dress Code
14 June - 15 July

Now before you start: yes, we realise that the World Cup isn’t taking place in Britain. But since when are the Russians the only ones allowed to interfere in the business of others’? Regardless of where it actually takes place, the World Cup dominates British summer each time it rolls around, with pub tables set to be fully booked from 14th June until whenever it is we’re booted out. What you’ll wear depends on where you’ll be watching, but for your average boozer we’d recommend a Cuban Shirt and as many crossed extremities as you can manage. If you absolutely insist on wearing a replica England shirt, omit the full kit and pair with Navy Chino Trousers.

Read more: Summer holidays - where to go and what to pack

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