Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What to Wear to a Polo Tournament

I attended the St. Regis International Cup polo match on Saturday. The first thing I thought once we booked the train tickets was "What on earth should I wear?" I googled like a mad woman, asked several British pals, consulted with Twitter pals and eventually took the advice of a friend. I opted for a floral day dress with a cardigan, pearls and Tory Burch Reva's. Since it was a little chilly, I also wore tights.

While I was dressed appropriately and there were several people around wearing similar outfits, I felt a little overdressed. I always stand by the old adage that it's better to be overdressed than the alternative, so I was fine with that, but I couldn't help notice that the majority of the people in the spectator's section were dressed in a more casual trad way than I was. Everything from boots and jeans to blazers and Barbour jackets... Looking around, it seems there's a way to dress at a polo tournament depending on which section you're in. Having never been before, I had nothing to rely on other than paparazzi shots on the internet and the advice of friends so how could I have known? There weren't any articles online to offer guidance of much use so I thought I'd share some insight for any of you that might be planning a trip to the polo grounds this summer.

It appears that some polo events are bigger than others. Some would only be available to members, while others would allow the general public to watch. For a large tournament with sponsors, there is usually a separate area for guests of the sponsors. Here's what to wear...

Spectator Sport:

If you're a member of the general public picnicking and watching from the sidelines, you can be a lot more casual than you might think. Most of the photos we see of celebrities on the internet or in glossies are from the Members Enclosure or sponsored tents, but in the picnic areas along the sidelines, things are a little more laid back. Comfort is key if you're sitting on the ground and you need good, solid shoes for 'treading' during the break. A traditional preppy style, a classic British country look or even a slightly Boho-chic ensemble will work and if you can find a way to work a little horsey reference into your ensemble, then all the better!
  1. J. Crew Shirt
  2. J Brand Skinny Jeans
  3. Grevi Hat
  4. Giles & Brother Horseshoe Earrings
  5. Rayban Wayfarers
  6. L'Agence Cired Pebble Jacket
  7. Frye Phillip Harness Boots
  8. Marc by Marc Jacobs Bag
Though you can be more casual as a general spectator, you must stay chic - polo is a classy sport! Skinny jeans and riding boots are a fantastic option, but top it off with a cute top or classic shirt and a blazer to keep warm when it gets breezy. You'll most likely be exposed to the sun, so a cute hat will help to protect you from sunburns and classic Wayfarers are the trendy choice for shielding your eyes! A cute little cross-body bag to hold your essentials is ideal since you'll also be toting around your picnic gear. Top off the look with a piece of equestrian flare like a pair of horseshoe earrings! When in doubt, look to Ralph Lauren for inspiration... He didn't name the iconic brand Polo for nothing!

Members Only:

When attending a polo match, usually the grounds are on club premises, meaning of course that there are members, just like a country club. As such, there is what's called the 'Members Enclosure,' which is the area where members watch the event. If you're sitting in the Members Enclosure at a polo match, then chances are you're either the guest of a member or you've paid a hefty sum to dine in the members enclosure in addition to the non-members fee. Since you'll be either enjoying champagne & canapés or sitting down to a 3 course meal under the shelter of tents or umbrellas, it's only appropriate that you dress a little more formally and you won't be needing a hat. It is possible that people will be quite casual in the Members Enclosure, so it's important to be chic, but not over-the-top.
  1. Jaeger Jacket
  2. Jaeger Trousers
  3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Blouse
  4. Vintage Chanel Earrings
  5. Alex Monroe Lucky Horseshoe Ring
  6. Aspinal of London Mayfair Bag
  7. L.K. Bennett Zahara Wedge
Here I've chosen a classic neutral pant suit with a polka dot pussybow blouse. Wedges are the best option where shoes are concerned because you'll be in a field and heels sink into the grass. Add a pop of colour with a classic red bag and finish the look with some classic gold accessories. 

You may be thinking this look is a bit bland for summer, but trust me when I say it's classy and appropriate - also, the polka dots give it a light-hearted whimsical feel (not to mention that it's taking a note from the classic Pretty Woman polo scene) and wearing something light will set you apart from the sea of bright and sometimes tacky florals you're bound to encounter.

Step and Repeat:

There may come a time when you're invited to a polo event by the sponsors where you'll have access to the exclusive tent for mingling with celebrities, titans of industry and professional polo players while you watch the game. Your invitation may come because of business, your personal association with the sponsoring brand or perhaps you'll be the guest of someone else who was invited. Regardless of how you get there, you'll need to be prepared. Because it's a press opportunity for the sponsor, there will undoubtedly be press at the event along with photographers and it's entirely possible that you may be photographed on the step and repeat. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's the logo covered backdrop you often see on a red carpet where celebrities are photographed at an event. If you're not a celebrity or otherwise notable, your photo probably won't appear in the press, but in this day and age of technology and social media, it's more likely than not that your photo will appear in the Facebook album for the event which could be seen by thousands of people. Obviously you want to look your best and be dressed appropriately!

This is a great opportunity to pull out that amazing summer dress that's been taking up valuable real estate in your closet. Don't wear something too short or revealing - you'll regret it later! Choose a knee-length or maxi dress in a bright colour or print that you feel confident and pretty in. Since you may be photographed, it's important that you wear something you're comfortable and confident in. Steer clear of red as it won't show up well if there's a red carpet, but otherwise keep it bright!

  1. Moschino Cheap & Chic Printed Bow Dress
  2. Oscar de la Renta Necklace
  3. Monica Vinader Isla Earrings
  4. Dior Wedge Sandals
  5. Ralph Lauren Collection Woven Straw Bag

This yellow and white print dress by Moschino Cheap & Chic is perfect for an afternoon polo match and it's shape is very flattering for most body types. Again, wedges are perfect for the terrain, but since you won't be near the horses, go ahead and wear open-toe sandals. Just make sure you have a pedicure and that your toenails are painted in a neutral shade or a complimentary colour. A statement necklace and stud earrings tie it all together and keep the look interesting. When it comes to choosing your bag, stay away from anything too big - it will only get in your way and obstruct the view of your beautiful frock!

Obviously every club and event is different - having only been to one tournament, I couldn't possibly know it all, but this should be a good guide for what to wear if you ever find yourself looking forward to a day of polo!

Are you a polo fan? What do you normally wear to a match?


  1. Love these outfits!! That Oscar de la Renta necklace is amazing!

    Jayme @ Her Late Night Cravings

  2. Love your choices for the various levels of engagement!

  3. Love your outfits, especially the members only choice.

  4. I like all your outfit choices. Great post! I'm sure a lady would get a lot of compliments in any of these ensembles.

  5. Thank you for your sweet comment! Would you like to follow each other?

  6. Love these outfits, great choices! Would love to hear what you think of my outfit for Polo in the Park in London next weekend?


    Thanks x


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