While Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is a utopia for horse lovers, it offers a lot in the style department as well.
Take a stroll down Broadway and you’ll be hard-pressed to come home empty-handed. We spent an afternoon with Ciara Austin, Ashley Johnson, Danielle Patane, and Nick Treffiletti, four locals who showed us how to enjoy a day in Saratoga before the races. Read below to see where they got their gorgeous dresses, unique hats, and delicious food as well as some A-list hair and make-up styling.
You’ll want to take notes because these four know the must-stop destinations for any stylish (and delicious) trip to Saratoga.
Danielle from Encounter Boutique
If you’re looking for an epic hat to wear to the races, you don’t have to look beyond Encounter Boutique on Broadway. Alongside an impressive array of hats by milliners Christine A. Moore and Nancy Matt-Le Beau Chapeau, Encounter also offers a well-curated selection of high-end labels like Diane von Furstenberg, Alice + Olivia, Citizens of Humanity, Elizabeth & James and Rachel Zoe, among others.
For the men out there, Encounter has something for you, too. Stop by to browse through their men’s selections from Citizens of Humanity, Tailgate Clothing, Out of Print, AG Mens, and Paste T-shirts.
Danielle, a student in Fashion Merchandising at The State University of New York (SUNY) - Oneonta and scheduled to go to Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan next spring, has been working at Encounter Boutique for the last two years. Her outfit comes entirely from Encounter Boutique with a dress by Diane von Furstenberg, hat by Christine A. Moore, and earrings by Charme Silkiner. The intricate lace detail in Danielle’s dress shows subtle hints of skin, while the solid tone and classic silhouette provide balance for her elaborate hat.
As for Danielle’s hat by Christine A. Moore - talk about angelic! The hat’s glowing halo of transparent material allows Danielle to see the world around her as she enjoys a day at the races. It’s the perfect marriage of style and function in one very large and fabulous hat!
Hat: Christine A. Moore
Dress: Diane von Furstenberg
Earrings: Charme Silkiner
All items worn by Danielle can be found at Encounter Boutique
Ciara from Piper Boutique
Do you remember the uber-stylish college roommate you always wanted to borrow clothes from because everything she owned seemed more fun? Walking into Piper is like walking into that girl’s closet and seriously wanting to scoop up every article of clothing.
With the majority of dresses and tops under $100, it’s easy to end up walking out of Piper with at least one item, even if you didn’t intend to purchase anything.
Ciara Austin whose blog, Ciaratoga, explores Saratoga’s social and fashion scenes, wore a flirty mint green dress with navy trim from Piper and a navy fascinator with feather accents by Christine A. Moore. Her drop-dead gorgeous bling also came from Piper.
Ciara, a theatre graduate from Skidmore, is highly knowledgeable about all aspects of Thoroughbred racing, especially the ins and outs of Saratoga Race Course. Make sure to check out Ciara’s blog for everything from handicapping picks to coverage of Saratoga’s social scene.
Hat: Christine A. Moore (can be purchased at Encounter Boutique)
Dress: Piper Boutique
Necklace: Piper Boutique
Ashley from Violet’s & Stella’s Boutique
Now, if you’re looking for variety and selection, Violet’s & Stella’s is for you. With the best women’s shoe selection on Broadway, you’ll be able to pick up a classic pair of Jack Rogers, some fun heels by Vince Camuto, or sturdy boots by Frye. Violet’s & Stella’s also has an impressive array of designers such as Free People, BCBG Generation, Max and Cleo, True Religion, Velvet, Frye, Nina, Cole Haan, Sam Edelman and French Connection.
Ashley Johnson is a Saratoga local entering her last semester as a student at SUNY Oneonta. She will also be student teaching in second and fifth grade classrooms in local school districts while continuing to work at Violet’s & Stella’s of Saratoga. Once she graduates in December with a degree in childhood education she hopes to find a teaching job in the area and continue living in lovely Saratoga.
Ashley’s fitted, pink French Connection dress from Violet’s & Stella’s pairs beautifully with a statement hat by Christine A. Moore. The dramatic feather accent and voluminous bow in the hat create a show-stopping look that definitely turned some heads as Ashley walked around the racetrack. Ashley also wears a bright necklace from Lola’s Boutique that incorporates complimentary shades of blue and orange.
Hat: Christine A. Moore (can be purchased at Encounter Boutique)
Dress: French Connection from Violet’s & Stella’s
Necklace: Lola’s Boutique
I don’t know where this place has been all my life but these ladies are serious miracle workers. In under an hour, they can take you from a disheveled, bed-hair monster to a glamorous bombshell. They worked their magic on Ciara, Danielle, Ashley and Nick before they went to the races and even the “Real Housewives of New York” were pointing fingers in an “Oh my god, they look amazing!” kind of way.
Daneille, Ciara, and Ashely pose with Marilyn Ponce and Jen Levine from Pin Up’s Blow Bar
If you are searching for the perfect statement necklace, then Lola Accessory Boutique should be your first stop in Saratoga. With everything from bold, statement necklaces like the one worn by Ashley to subtle bracelets modeled after the Cartier love bracelet, there is something for everyone at Lola’s and at a price that won’t break the bank. Owner Megan Druckman, opened the store after spending 11 years living in New York City, including earning her bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology, interning at Vera Wang and working for Coach and then Bloomingdale’s. Megan will be opening an online component of the store soon, too, so you can get your Lola fix from anywhere in the country!
Ashley wearing a statement necklace from Lola Accessory Boutique
Putnam Market is one of those quintessential spots along Saratoga’s Broadway where everyone has to stop by for lunch at least once; but believe me, after one taste of Putnam Market, you’ll be back for more. Whether you stop in for a delicious sandwich during lunch or you pick up food for hosting a party, Putnam Market has everything you will need. Dainty macaroons, caprese salad or hearty sandwiches from Putnam Market are all fresh and hand-crafted to perfection. A trip to Saratoga is not complete without a stop at Putnam Market.
Putnam Market also has a wine store conveniently placed next door to the market portion of their store, so don’t forget to pick up a few bottles of bubbly to celebrate your winnings after the races!
Danielle, Ciara, Ashley and Nick enjoyed a spread of food from Putnam Market, including sandwiches, salads, and delicious deserts. You can’t forget a few bottles of Saratoga water! Packaged in iconic deep blue glass bottles, the bottles contain the Spa’s famous healing waters.
We also made Saratoga Sunrises, which are the official drink of Saratoga’s summer meet. They are extremely delicious and remind me of the classic screwdriver, except infused with a gorgeous pink hue from a splash of grenadine.
Vodka - one shot
Orange juice - fill glass
Grenadine - to taste or until it mixes to a subtle pink color
Mix all in a glass. Bottoms up!
After enjoying lunch from Putnam Market, the crew finished up our Saratoga Sunrises, made a few last minute handicapping efforts, and gathered up our things. We were within walking distance of the track, so after a short 10-minute walk we were at the track and able to enjoy the excitement of the races.
Ashley and Danielle strike a pose at Saratoga Race Course
We had such a blast getting ready for the races that by the time we were at the track we were as giddy as little kids on Christmas morning. While we were walking around in Christine’s hats, almost every passerby did a double take. The “Real Housewives of New York” were also at the track that day and when our group walked into the paddock the “Real Housewives” pointed at us. After a few minutes they walked up to us in the paddock and inquired about our hats and gorgeous outfits. Bravo Network cameras filmed the entire interaction, so look for us on the upcoming episodes of “Real Housewives of New York!”
We’re pretty pumped about being on Bravo (fingers crossed it makes the final cut for the actual episode)!
Danielle, Nick, and Ashley with the “Real Housewives of New York” in Saratoga’s paddock
Must Stop Destinations in Saratoga (listed in order of appearance in the blog post)
482 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866
Phone: (518) 450-1450
Make sure to stop by Encounter for the epic hat selection from milliners Christine A. Moore and Nancy Matt-Le Beau Chapeau. Also, make sure to browse their well-curated designer offerings - a definite must for any fashionista looking for well-known, higher end designs. Also, check out the vintage-inspired sunglasses from Elizabeth & James, the line launched by the Olsen twins. Their eyewear is surprisingly affordable and very chic.
441 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866
Phone: (518) 450-1152
This is the party girl’s paradise. If you’re looking for fun dresses and accessories, make a stop to Piper. With stylish offerings geared toward 20-somethings, Piper’s dresses and jewelry are irresistible.
494 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866
Phone: (518) 584-4838
If you’re looking for variety, then come to Violet’s & Stella’s. They have a nice assortment of shoes, from heels to boots, and they have a dress for every occasion, as well as essentials like blazers and shorts. Make sure to check out their sales too, they are often very good.
57 Railroad Place, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866
These ladies are serious miracle workers. Owner Marilyn Ponce and Jen Levine are not only some of the nicest people I have ever met, but they are also insanely good at their craft - transforming women into bombshells. You have to stop by for a blowout while in Saratoga, you won’t be disappointed and will probably end up feeling like a 1950s Hollywood screen siren. Seriously - go there!
454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866
Phone: (518) 306-5250
Come to Lola’s and be prepared to leave with at least one thing. The jewelry is completely on point - in both the style and price categories. From gorgeous staples like chunky gold bracelets to more unique pieces like Lucite and rhinestone statement necklaces, Lola’s has something for every occasion and at a reasonable price.
431 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866
Phone: (518) 587-3663
From delicious gazpacho to decadent deserts, Putnam Market offers a selection of mouthwatering options. Stop in for one their custom-made sandwiches or salads while browsing shops on Broadway or order ahead and have Putnam Market cater your pre-game party for the races.
Their grocery portion also has a wide selection of local and boutique food offerings, including some delectable local cheese. Pair with one of some vino from their wine store next door and you’re set.
267 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866
Phone: (518) 584-6200
The heart of the city, Saratoga Springs’ historic racetrack is the ultimate destination for any trip to the Spa and probably my favorite track in the country. This venue literally has something to offer everyone: world-class racing, an assortment of delicious food trucks (many from local restaurants), and pop-up boutiques and vendors throughout the track. You’ll have no trouble finding something to amuse everyone in your group.