We are fortunate to attend so many racing events each year and love to report back on the lifestyle and fashion! This year we attended Pegasus Cup 2017, The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, many Saratoga racing events, Keeneland Racing events, Arlington Million, Jim McKay Maryland Million, Iroquois Steeplechase, Caribbean Classic at Gulfstream and of course Breeders’ Cup! So, break it down and you have: Florida, Kentucky, Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Nashville and California! Each region of the country and event has their own look, style and feel, and each should be experienced! Spring and Fall racing in America means straw and wool felt, and of course fashion! Here is some of what we saw!
Pegasus Cup 2017 at Gulfstream Park in Florida, the inaugural one! World class racing meets world-class style with chic, sleek and classic dresses, hats and accessories. Although it is Florida there were lots of dark winter colors that met up with light and airy fascinators to create perfectly polished looks for the “richest race in the world”!
The Bluegrass Stakes and other great races including opening weekend at Keeneland brought southern preppy charm to the race track with suit separates and soft floral accents in hats and fascinators. A great pre-derby fashion event, we usually see similar color pallets and textures that will carry on throughout the spring racing season. We love Lexington and this track, so many of our customers who attend many races are always at Keeneland.
The Florida Derby – More fashion in Florida, as Gulfstream brings their winter racing to a bold close with bright colors and soft touches, all of which dominated this early spring race! This isn’t the end of color though, we will see it shine again beginning with the Triple Crown races!
Oaks Day at Churchill Downs, the day before the Derby! - Pink rules the day from soft baby pinks to popping fuchsia. The ladies are in the forefront for this fillies’ race day for sure. The fascinator is the preferred style, saving the “go big or go home” theme for Derby day!
Speaking of Derby, Louisville kicks off the Triple Crown Races with the biggest fashion event of the year every May with the Kentucky Derby. As we move up the coast from Florida we see a transition from lavish spare-no-expense at the Kentucky Derby to NYC chic at the Belmont Stakes. Tradition at the Kentucky Derby dictates the custom of one-of-a-kind dresses and hats! The place where larger than life is the norm. Everyone wants to be seen and it is a huge wonderful fashion party!
Two weeks later everyone heads to Pimlico in Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes, and as the world watches for the next potential triple crown winner to emerge, the Baltimore fashion gets it’s due. We love Baltimore and more and more Men are getting into this fashion day with fedoras and classic boaters – gotta love that look with a bowtie! For the women it is bright sundresses and fun and elegantly styled hats. I love that Baltimore women wear hats to this event, although you cannot go wrong with a fascinator either! You will see plenty of yellow and black Preakness Pride colors this day!
Three weeks later everyone heads to New York for the Belmont Stakes where the Triple Crown rounds it all out with New York style, always with dark colors, sleek fascinators and many jumpsuits – all of which exemplify New York chic! Don’t miss this year’s party for the 150th Anniversary!
In between the Derby and Preakness is the Iroquois Steeplechase at the beautiful Percy Warner Park in Nashville. This coming year will be their 77th. Fashion here is southern belle elegance crossed with a hip Nashville style! I love this event! Everyone dresses up and you will see the finest ladies’ hats and boots, and the best jackets, bowties and fedoras for the men! A family friendly day with plenty of style and elegance.
Just before the northeast east goes into their summer racing, out in California Del Mar has their opening day, where bold and lavish is the way to go! Remember this is where the surf meets the turf. Lots of light dresses, bold heels and extravagant accessories create the perfect race day look. Lots of textures and colors paired with glitz and glam round out the fashion scene at this Southern California track in the sun!
Back up north - everyone goes to Saratoga during the summer for many reasons, the track is historic and beautiful, and the town is hopping and a hot summer vacation spot! This picturesque racetrack exudes classic elegance, which is reflected in the dress and hats throughout their racing season. Considered to be the oldest thoroughbred racetrack in North America, its style has stood the test of time.
Out in Chicago in August for the Arlington Million a vintage vibe fills the racing season at this beautiful clean Midwest racetrack. The Million takes place each August and this past year I was fortunate to design the official 35th anniversary hat! This past year fans could be seen sporting lots of green and white, vintage inspired dresses and footwear.
Then off to Keeneland for Fall racing – Who does not like beautiful Lexington in the Fall? All the beautiful fall colors and the white fences of the sprawling farms – a great trip for sure! Fall racing styles are rich colors and textures, beautiful suits and clean classic preppy dresses adorn this timeless racecourse. We have really grown in our fall fashion branding, especially at Keeneland where they do it best. Thanks, Keeneland!
The Maryland Million in October! This beautiful gem at Laurel Park packs some fantastic fashion, mixing fall textures with light layers for this early fall racing event. Fans sported both straw and felt, which helps grow this race into a great fashion transition event! The mayor of Baltimore was there and even won their first hat contest with a beautiful red straw hat!
The year ended with the fabulous Breeders’ Cup! Fascinators are everything at this two- day event that brings the best in racing together at some of the most glamorous tracks in the country. This year at beautiful Del Mar, couture elegance was expressed head to toe with one-of-a kind headwear and eye-popping shoes. Breeders’ Cup is a fashion chameleon, always taking on the look and feel of the culture that surrounds the hosting track. Follow it like a rock concert tour and experience some of the best fashion and racing in America!
More from America's best tracks, paddocks and parties coming soon!