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The polo is coming to town

28 May 2021
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 09: Glenn Sherriff of New Zealand is seen during the International Polo Test between New Zealand and Australia on December 9, 2017 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

The polo is coming town, but just what should one wear?

Words Ella James

In November I survived my first spring racing carnival. I educated myself on all things fascinators, dress codes and racing lingo to ensure I blended in with all of the fillies.

Having grown rather fond of my racing headwear and dress selection, I wondered if I could just reuse these outfits for the polo? Absolutely not, I’m told. It would appear polo is an entirely different ball game, so this novice had better head back to the drawing board.

I’ve been informed that although we’ll all be dressing to impress, the dress code for the polo is less structured than that of the races, with more casual attire being encouraged. Casual yet still absolutely charming, that is. Let’s start from the feet up.

It wouldn’t be a day at the polo without participating in the age-old tradition of ‘stomping the divots’ and doing so effectively requires a rather particular type of footwear. Stilettos will only create further divots, and while I encourage you get stuck in, I certainly don’t mean literally. So, when booting up, I suggest a wedged heel; they’re the epitome of summer footwear after all, and they’re so well suited for a day on the lawn.

Actress Sienna Miller attends the 11th annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

Now, let’s talk about the dress itself. Much to my delight, it would appear that looser, sun dresses take the place of the tight, sophisticated dresses spotted at the races. So, I can go tremendously hard on the canapes without the fear of my zipper popping. Given that this is a most joyous affair, I’ll be opting for a dress in white, pastels or a seasonal print over darker dresses. Actress Sienna Miller has hit the mallet on the head with her polo attire, should you be lacking inspiration.

Next stop, headwear. You needn’t dust off your fascinators for a day at the polo. Boater hats, wide-brimmed sun hats, statement headbands and head wraps will most definitely suffice. Many guests will ditch the headwear altogether and see the event as the perfect excuse to experiment with a different hairstyle, such as a thick, messy braid. Complement your relaxed headwear or up-do with a pair of statement earrings and you’re sure to be turning heads all day long.

I’m almost ready for the polo, but forgetting my accessories would be a travesty. Do not, I repeat, do not leave your sunglasses at home. After too much sun and too much G.H. Mumm, there’s nothing more comforting than knowing your blurry eyes are being shielded by rose-tinted glass. You may be feeling the effects of one too many bubbles, but the rest of us will be none the wiser. Another flute anyone?

So, there we have it, a quick and concise guide to dressing for the polo. All that’s left is to school ourselves on the game itself…

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