In a city known for its unique characters and over-the-top party atmosphere, it’s only natural that the kickoff of the 142nd Thoroughbred racing season in New Orleans would be a wild night!
Traditionally, Opening Day at the historic Fair Grounds is on Thanksgiving, but this year the races kicked off a week early on a Friday night with the official launch of the fabulous “Starlight Racing” series.
In addition to live horse racing, Opening Night featured a special nine-race Exotic Starlight Racing card, including two ostrich races and a camel race (I told you it was wild!).
Starlight Racing is the place to see and be seen while enjoying live music, cocktails, dancing, and live racing under the stars. It’s truly a “must experience” for locals and visitors to New Orleans. My passion for horses and fashion brings me to this exciting event every year.
The drinks were flowing and the stakes were high at the outside VIP tent, a club atmosphere steps away from the racetrack featuring dancers in sexy jockey outfits, bright lights, a DJ and several bars. Of course, this is my favorite spot to mix, mingle and watch the races! Here I am with Fair Grounds Racing Analyst and Communications Manager Brian Spencer (who is mixing patterns nicely with his plaid shirt and tie, might I add!):
Now it’s time to focus on my favorite part: the fashion!
Opening Night in New Orleans drew an eclectic crowd of fashionistas and fashionistos, which is expected living in such a unique and diverse city. From traditional feathered hats and fascinators, to blazers, dresses, jeans and everything in between, the vast array of fashion choices made it hard to pick out a single fashion trend among those in attendance. But there were a few trends, and here’s a look at some of my favorites from the evening:
A true Southern beauty! I love the black tights and booties (which are a big trend this season) paired with a form-fitting and very flattering purple wrap dress. She ties the look together nicely with a big statement necklace and her hair up in a high bun. Tip: With racing outside, the bun is a great option to look fabulous while keeping the frizzies tamed.
I spotted a lot of light blazers. My friend Tim did a fabulous job with his Opening Night look. Doesn’t he look like such a Southern gentleman?! This look is easy to pull off for guys and only requires three basic pieces: A button up, dark pants, and a cream sports coat. You can even dress this down a bit by wearing dark denim jeans and a nice pair of cowboy boots … or dress it up with a bow tie.
Speaking of bow ties …
I saw plenty of dapper looking fellows donning colorful bow ties on Opening Night. Bow ties are a classic way to add a pop of color and personality to your outfit. This year, the bow tie is certainly back and a great look for the races.
Here are some other great looks from the evening, from dressy to casual:
A fashionably fun time had by all!
If you’re ever in New Orleans, make sure to check out the races and Starlight Racing at the Fair Grounds.
For the schedule and more information, visit: www.fairgroundsracecourse.com