Elegant racegoers of the Royal Ascot will now be able to dress for the gender they ‘feel most comfortable with,’ it was announced today (5 March).
The policy is part of a diversity drive to be more LGBTI-inclusive, according to The Telegraph.
Visitors can dress according to their true selves, but must nevertheless not break any strict sartorial rules.
Women will be able to don their top hats to the races, which might make Cara Delevingne’s day.
The model stole the spotlight at the royal wedding last year when she broke tradition by rocking in a top hat and tails.
‘Gentleman’ and ‘ladies’
This year’s formal dress code states ‘Gentlemen’ in the Royal Enclosure must wear black or grey morning dress with a waistcoat and tie and a black or grey top hat.
But the caveat is that a cravat is banned.
For ‘Ladies,’ strapless and off-the-shoulder dresses are banned.
While midriffs must be covered and fascinators are also forbidden.
Therefore, attendees can dress according to the above, though, a non-binary gender option is not available.
In a statement, the racecourse added visitors would be ‘asked to comply with the Dress Code in which they feel most comfortable.’
Why are the rules so strict?
Royal Ascot has enforced strict dress codes since around the early 19th century.
The tradition is believed to have been started by Beau Brummel, a close friend of the Prince Regent.
However, overtime, organizers relaxed the attire rules.
For example, in 2017, jumpsuits were permitted for women, only if they were worn below the knee, rather than ankle length.
The rules for gentleman are vastly unchanged.
Royal Ascot horse races take place from 18-22 June.