Royal Ascot has had its fill of the current less-is-best fashions. After years of hemlines creeping ever upward and hats shrinking into little more than feathered pompoms, the taste arbiters at Britain’s grandest racetrack are getting out rulers to enforce more conservative clothing requirements at the five days of racing in June that is Britain’s top social event.
Now fascinators, those tiny head-top confections so beloved by Kate, duchess of Cambridge, are strictly verboten—headpieces have to have at least a 10-cm base to be allowed into the exclusive invitation-only royal enclosure. In addition, all dresses and skirts are to be of “modest length, defined as falling just above the knee or longer.” Even tops and dresses concealed by jackets have new rules: they can’t be strapless, halter-neck or have a strap of less than 2.5 cm. And Ascot’s fashion police will also be casting their critical eyes over the men—cravats are banned, as are coloured bands on top hats and any shoe colour that isn’t black.