Royal Ascot starts this afternoon (Tuesday 18 June) and although the five-day meeting is ultimately about top-class racing, fashion is important too.

Ladies — and gentlemen — will have been planning outfits for weeks, and hats are high on the agenda.

Ascot sports a strict dress code, which varies between enclosures. To make sure your outfit complies, check our gallery.

Whichever enclosure, ensure your shoes are stylish but comfortable, your dress is modest and your hat is securely pinned down. And don’t forget an umbrella for the great British summer.

If you’re not at the Berkshire track, you can catch all the action on Channel 4 as it’s the first time every race in the Royal Meeting has been aired on terrestial television.

And now the Channel 4 team answer the vital question: “Which outfit have you bought specially for Royal Ascot…?”

Emma Spencer: “You wont be surprised to know that there has been more than one purchased for the occasion, but I particularly like an orange Roland Mouret dress — very much the colour of the season.”

Tanya Stevenson: “I’ve spent a fortune on five outfits, but at least one got a run at Epsom.”

Gina Bryce: “I have a beautiful red dress from Beulah which I will team with a Gina Foster hat. I just have to hope for good weather now!”

Graham Cunningham: “A new top hat. The old one disappeared last year…”

Mick Fitzgerald: “A couple of silk ties.”