A few weeks ago, I wrote about my experience at the Virginia Gold Cup Races and, if you’re now thinking about planning a trip next year, you may be wondering, “What do I wear to Fall Gold Cup?”
When it comes to horse races in the spring, the obvious answer seems to be a sundress and a hat. But, fall can throw some people off (as evidenced by those women you’ll spot freezing in strappy dresses and the men wearing off-season seersucker). So, what do you wear for an afternoon out and about tailgating for an October steeplechase rase?
WHAT DO I WEAR TO FALL GOLD CUP?
Yes, this is your chance to bring out all of your hunt country favorites (I say that realizing maybe not everyone is obsessed with a British-sporting-equestrian look?). But, really, you’ll want to pull out your best autumnal wear. Now is the time to wear all the boots, hats, and scarves that you buy hoping they’ll someday see the fresh country air. When it comes to color palette, go for browns, taupes, olive green, burnt orange, oxblood. Think plaids, buffalo checks, and rustic paisleys. Again, you want to be Fall AF.
You also want to be practical. Practical means boots that you don’t mind getting muddy. This is a horse race, after all.
While my original plan included suede leggings, I opted last minute to go with a skirt. I wore an old J.Crew Factory black skirt, black tights, a striped turtleneck, a J.McLaughlin silk scarf, Barbour jacket, and old, old brown riding boots.
And, yes, wear that hat. Embarrassingly, this is the only fall hat I own. But, it’s a damn good one. I’ve worn it everywhere from the ranch in Texas to Middleburg. It’s from Tenth Street Hats and I love that it’s a bit more casual than your typical horse race frock — and way more versatile.
IF HORSE RACES AREN’T NORMALLY YOUR SCENE…
Okay, so you don’t have a closet full of riding boots and tweed. What do you wear? Here are a few ideas that work off of pieces you’re bound to have at least a few of in your closet:
- Suede leggings, black turtleneck, booties, a blazer
- Sweater dress, quilted vest, riding boots
- Jeans, chunky sweater, field jacket, booties
- Leggings, sleek turtleneck, blanket scarf, cowboy boots
- Quilted jacket, crewneck sweater, jeans, riding boots
LASTLY, DRESS FOR THE WEATHER!
I know you want to look cute, but, at the end of the day, dress for the weather. If it’s raining, throw on your bean boots or wellies and jeans — you won’t regret it (sure, the dress + rainboots look is cute in theory, but I’ve never found it to be practical in execution). Similarly, if it happens to be unseasonably warm, abandon the sweater dress and Barbour jacket. You want to be comfortable and there’s always a way to do that while still looking perfectly autumnal.