The Breeders’ Cup is the World Championships of horse racing, but sometimes it can feel like it’s the Super Bowl of fashion as well. Dressing up for horse racing’s richest event doesn’t have to break the bank, however: in this blog I’m going to show you a few looks you can rock at the Breeders’ Cup on any budget.
The great news about holding the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. is that you’ll have a chance to yank off the winter boots and get back into warm weather gear. Florals, pastels and open-toed shoes are all in play, and it’s a great time to have a little fun with style at time of year that isn’t typically very fashion-forward.
Our first look is a take on chic, traditional horse racing fashion at three price points; I love that with the advent of the internet, buying inexpensive clothing doesn’t mean that the clothes have to look cheap. Here’s one take on a classic look on a smaller budget:
My idea for dressing for the races is to be coordinated without being too matchy-matchy. The hat and bag here all draw on colors from the dress’s print without using the dominant blue color. The hat is from Target and its listed price is $7.49; the dress is ChiaraFashion and is $28; the Aldo bag is $30; the Steve Madden shoes are $39 and the belt from House of Fraser is $14, bringing the cost of the entire look to $118.49.
For those with a bigger budget, the idea remains the same: traditional elements with modern touches to bring together a great Breeders’ Cup look. A good strategy for dressing for the World Championships is to pick some basic staples that will translate to your wardrobe for the rest of the year and add on a statement piece of jewelry to maximize the drama for a day at the races.
Here we have a J. Crew dress ($50) paired with an equestrian-inspired belt from Macy’s ($22) as well as a Nordstrom hat ($32), River Island shoes ($80) and a Betsy Johnson bag ($50) accented with an awesome necklace from Zara ($30); that brings the total for the outfit to $264.
The outfit below gets a little pricey due to some of the accessories, but the overall look pulls together that classic racing vibe I’ve been talking about. Plus, fascinators are awesome because they lend a whole British Royal Family air to any outfit; also, they don’t impede your view of the races at all. Win-win!
Here we have the focal point of the outfit, the dress, coming in at $64 from FeelLuxury.com; the fascinator from Debenhams.com is $47; the shoes, which play on the blue elements of the dress’s pattern, are from Zara and are $100; the WallisFashion.com bag is $98; and the StellaDot.com cuff bracelet is $79, bringing the total for this look to $388.
It’s also fun to embrace current runway crazes for Breeders’ Cup; after all, this is a once-a-year event, so you might as well flaunt fashion’s trendiest styles! The look below embraces the tribal print trend that’s so big right now; the hat is neutral since the dress has so many elements going on; and the forest green bag pulls some of the more subtle color out of the pattern. The watch and booties lend themselves to the more rugged feel of this look without toning down the glam. A cocktail is optional but recommended!
The hat for this look is $36 from Zappos.com, the bag is $36 from Zara, the NewLook.com dress is $40, the booties from Forever21 are $37 and the ModCloth watch is $30 to bring this entire look to $143.
Below I’m combining two trends that were all over the Fall 2013 runways: punk influence and plaids. The two can go hand in hand very easily, and the look can translate to the racetrack in a fun, unexpected way while still being totally Breeders’ Cup appropriate.
The centerpiece of the outfit is the $24 Boohoo Laura skirt paired with a $44 Dorothy Perkins cropped blazer and $40 Oasis T-shirt with a crocheted lace collar; I added a groovy pair of black suede Wallis Fashion studded boots for $96, a $19 River Island bag and a set of rings that kind of look like brass knuckles from nastygal.com for $28. Add on a vintage-inspired set of shades from ShopZeroUV.com for $11 and you have an on-trend outfit for $262.
Peplum is also everywhere right now, and I love the vintage 1940s-inspired feel the detail lends to dresses. To keep the look from getting too costume-y, it’s vital to add modern touches to keep the ensemble current. I like the contrast of the coral fascinator with the rich, jewel tone of the dress; and the shoes add a fun punch of pattern and incorporate the colors of the dress and headpiece.
The Breeders’ Cup-purple dress above is $79 from dorothyparker.com; the fascinator is $74 from hats.com; the quilted handbag is $25 from Forever21; the Michael Atonio shoes are $30 from DSW.com; finally, the bracelets are $70 from Macy’s – this brings the whole look to $278.
Dressing up for the races is one of the things that makes a trip to the track so much fun. When a huge event like the Breeders’ Cup is on the horizon, it makes a little planning (and, occasionally, a little splurging!) all the more worthwhile. So have fun, spend responsibly and get excited to be the most glamorous person at the Breeders’ Cup this year!