Putting together a fantastic ensemble like the ones above takes some thought and creativity. (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)
There’s nothing I dislike more than seeing a woman at the races wearing an ill-fitting and/or inappropriate ensemble. There she is, in a tight strapless dress made of jersey or spandex material. What’s worse is that she’d top it off with a big ole’ (mismatched) hat because someone told her to.
It pains me to hate on the sisters who screw up the dress code, but this is a horse race. There are plenty of other occasions that call for such a look, but on race day, you really have to go “varsity” with your look.
Think the country club times five.
At what other event can you get away with wearing head-to-toe pastel, bold prints, voluminous skirts and hats that – if you’re not careful – could take an eye out?
Don’t say your British cousin’s wedding.
The fabric you wear should be breathable and allow you to cheer on your horse. In such instances, cotton or a cotton blend is always your best bet. If you do opt for a skirt or dress, please make sure the hemline is appropriate.
We don’t want the jockeys talking about you afterwards, hmmm.
Though you’re certainly not limited to just a dress, I’ve selected a handful that will no doubt land you a spot on your local paper’s best dressed list (you keep that blue ribbon, I insist. It’s reward enough to see you win).
These price points are fair and the looks are fun, feminine and flirty. Don’t want to show your arms? Pair the dress with a fitted cardigan or denim jacket. Better yet, try on Zara’s linen blazer in off-white ($89.95).
Okay, which dress to choose.
If you’re not afraid of stripes, might I suggest Zara’s striped combination dress ($59.90)? This is actually the Diet Coke version of a striped dress, since you’ve got a solid skirt to work with.
If you’re looking for something a little more on the girly side, go for Lily Pulitzer’s Brielladress ($178).
If you aren’t afraid of color, and like your racing style to be more modern than classic, than take a look at Zara’s dress with shoulder pads ($89.90).
Bloomingdale’s private label, Aqua, is one of my favorite brands. There, you’ll find a piece for every occasion, be it the Kentucky Derby (G1) or a meeting with Anna Wintour.
If you’re looking to go more casual, then take a look at Aqua’s stripe pleat front shirt dress ($98). The painted floral design makes it a standout look at the races.
Other favorites include Diane von Furstenberg’s Jeanie fit and flare dress ($375) ...
and Kate Spade’s Terri Dress ($448).
While selecting the dress, make sure that it compliments your headpiece. If the hat or fascinator is multi colored or chock full of jazz, you’ll want to stick with a solid colored dress. If not, then go for that pattern, sister!
So you’ve got your frock, a great pair of oversized sunglasses and your hat/fascinator.
Give us a twirl, then get to the races!