I was recently invited by Swarovski to attend the Royal Salute Coronation Cup as the jeweller was sponsoring the England women’s team for the prestigious event. And as the familiar feeling goes, after the excitement at being able to attend my first polo match – the nervousness that comes with the question of what to wear to a polo match swept in swiftly afterwards. And I’m sure that if you find yourself in a similar position to me, you’ll be experiencing the very same thoughts. So having finally attended, here are a few pointers to help you figure out what’s appropriate attire for a formal game.
1. Wear a dress
It’s not the patriarchy it’s just what people wear. I’m all about not playing the girly girl when it comes to black tie but for the polo its different. I would suggest that guests opt for a skirt in the very least and that’s not a mini by the way.
2. Wear a hat
Often a hat is optional and it very much is. However, by the end of the long day, whether the weather is in your favour, I found that almost all the ladies that had arrived without now were donning straw ones with a ribbon and fresh flowers. There was a hat stall supplying these beautiful creations so don’t worry if you only have berets or Ascot-ready fantasies, the polo has you sorted.
3. Don’t wear stilettos
Stilettos are Tom Ford’s favourite shoe but he’s also a fashion purist and cares more about appearance than comfort. If you’re not as orthodox as that (and I am certainly not) go with an elegant pair of flats or a chunky heel. I’m still debating how I feel about wedges on account of how few are actually cute but if you happen to own a pretty pair go for that over thin heels, as those will leave wounds in the grass and that’s best left to the ponies.
4. The fashion crowd do as the fashion crowd does
On my invitation, the dress code was ‘cocktail’ but obviously there is a difference between a daytime black tie look and an evening one. I went for something in between and personally felt slightly overdressed – however, in my opinion that’s probably better than underdressed. For that perfect balance I will share this tribal knowledge: it is so obvious who’s in fashion and who’s not at the polo. Society girls (the very kind you find in the party coverage section of Vogue) like Candice Lake will be wearing ornate, beautiful maxi dresses. Industry people will be in suitably practical yet smart dress that is quintessentially summer. Everyone else will be wearing in a range of preppy to simple and business casual. Find yourself on the scale and have a look at my suggestions below!
5. Layers, layers, layers.
Unless you attend the polo during an exceptional heatwave don’t be fooled by the British summer. Layers are key to being comfortable. Even in the clubhouse, things were getting slightly chilly (it was raining for hours on end) and the liberty of shedding shawls, cardigans, blazers and trenches was not to be underestimated.