By Alex Jones


LADIES Day at Royal Ascot is in full swing today with thousands of attendees dressed to impress – but which looks stole the show in previous years?

ASCOT: Ladies day in 1938. A halo hat and sheer jacket combine beautifully in this ensemble. Mediadrumimages/Topfoto/Retronaut

Remarkable vintage photos capture the floral, fabulous and downright freaky dresses that have graced the royal race over the last century. Striking shots include a dark-haired woman sporting novelty ‘Ascot’ spectacles, three women cheering on their horse in their 1930’s finery, and ITV Playhouse star Tandy Cronyn being ‘watered’ by her co-actor Simon Gough to prevent her all-flower dress from wilting.

ASCOT: An array of exotic dresses on display in 1936. Mediadrumimages/Topfoto/Retronaut

Another incredible shot shows socialite Jayne Harris looking fed up in the Royal Enclosure after she was initially refused entry for turning up in a trouser suit. Fortunately, her millionaire father, property tycoon William Harris, had a ready supply of dresses in one of his nearby premises.

ASCOT: ITV Playhouse actor Simon Gough sprays the all floral outfit of co-star Tandy Cronyn with water to prevent wilting in 1968. Mediadrumimages/Topfoto/Retronaut

Famed for its strict fashion guidelines, women are expected to meet certain criteria if they wish to be allowed into the Royal Enclosure; including ‘modest length’ skirts, dress straps of one inch or greater; and absolutely no exposure of midriffs or fascinators without a base of four inches.

ASCOT: Tigh-high fashion in 1967. Mediadrumimages/Topfoto/Retronaut

Men are expected to wear a black or grey top hat and a waistcoat and tie (no cravats).

Each year Ladies Day is held of the Thursday of the Royal Meeting, which is also the day of one of Britain’s most prestigious events – the Gold Cup.