Stylists offer tips on race day fashions

Stylists offer tips on race day fashions
Carol Bader (left) hatmaker and owner of Del Mar Hat Co. is busy at her shop before race season begins. Photo by Promise Yee

COAST CITIES — Opening Day of Del Mar Horse Racing will be celebrated in high style July 18. 

From extreme hats to classic looks and bold colors, racegoers will make their fashion statements.

Stylists agree that what you wear to the races is a matter of what you want to express.

Always on trend are classic neutrals, well-tailored fashion and linen suits.

The benefit of wearing a classic look is that your hat can make a louder statement and be more ornate.

On trend colors this year are tangerine and turquoise as well as brighter yellows and reds.

For women the style is flowing and feminine. Color can be worn head to toe in hat and dress or as an accent in hat, handbag and shoe.

“This year dresses for the races are nice summer colors like yellow, salmon, purple, pink,” Maggie Bobileff, professional stylist and owner of Mister B Men’s Clothing and Maggie B clothing in Rancho Santa Fe, said. “Dresses are shorter, more over the knee than below the knee and have a flirty swing and ruffles.”

For men a pop of color in their shirt, tie or pocket square can say enough. Men can be fashionable in a lightweight summer suit with a shorter jacket length than last year. Bright jeans are also on trend.

“Linen is the big fabric for summer,” Bobileff said. “Pinstripe suits are also proper attire.”

Hats are truly the focus of Opening Day.

The right hat choice achieves balance and proportion in the overall look.

The shape of the wearer’s face and overall body frame needs to be considered when selecting the right hat design, brim size and decorative accents.

“Facial structure and stature need to be considered,” Carol Bader, hatmaker, professional stylist and owner of Del Mar Hat Co. in Del Mar, said. “The brim size needs to be balanced with the client’s height. I ask my clients what they want to communicate, a look that’s trendy, classic, edgy. A hat is a little bit of costuming.”

Fascinators and headpieces, which are less constructed than hats, are also popular choices.

“A savvy topsy is different than a fascinator,” Deena Von Yokes, co-owner of Studio Savvy hair salon in Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach and hat contest judge, said. “It is placed in tousled hair with feathers, flowers and a little bling. Hair is the best asset on Opening Day.”

For men, a derby is a classic hat choice as well as a fedora. A trendy look for men is a stubby brim pork pie hat.

For the whimsical racegoer there is the Opening Day Hat Contest. Categories include best racing theme, most outrageous, most glamorous, best use of flowers, and the new category of best fascinator. Competitors can take home from $100 to $300 for placing in the top three of a contest category.

“It is about a total look head to toe, shoes, accessory, hat coming together,” Von Yokes said. “For themes, go for all out fun.”

Great fashion does not stop on Opening Day. Racegoers often wear a tailored look and hat on race days when their favorite horse is running.

Other occasions hats are a must are formal weddings and polo races.

The key to wearing a hat is to be secure in your selection and wear it with confidence.

It is all about having fun with fashion and celebrating the moment.

“Opening Day fashion will have a lot of different variations,” Bader said. “Have fun with it. For great fashion you don’t have to overthink everything. Wear it well. Wear it with confidence.”


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