With the opening weekend of Bridgehampton Polo's Mercedes Benz Polo Challenge fast approaching, it's time to focus on the most important aspect of the event -- your outfit.
Assuming you've briefed yourself on our quintessential guide to polo, you know that watching the game is the merely an excuse to drink during the daytime while wearing a fabulous getup. But the challenges of coordinating an ensemble that will hold up in the face of treacherously soft grass, enhanced levels of inebriation and stylist-blessed celebrities have toppled more than a few fashionistas. With this in mind, we present the GofG guide to dressing for polo.
First of all, less is more. You're not going to a club, so put that Hervé Léger bandage dress back in the closet and opt for a more casual sundress. You can never go wrong with white, pastels or Diane Von Furstenberg. Hermès is also a classic fallback for the more conservative set. Personally, we're loving this season's bright prints, and we've spotted some really cute dresses for those on a budget, and well, those who aren't. Of course, dresses aren't your only option. Jumpers are still in, and paired with the right wedges, you should be good to go. More casual stylistas can also opt for a preppy tailored shorts or the classic Hamptons fallback, white jeans, which tend to work best paired with a bright top and a neutral Hermès belt.
But no matter what your style, if you plan on attending the rest of the summer, you're going to need a lot of new gear -- seasoned polo attendees know better than to repeat an outfit or sport something from last season. If this causes trepidation, we recommend checking out Rent the Runway, a membership-only website that rents out designer duds and even suggests jewelry to complement your selections.
Once you have your outfit picked out, it's time to accessorize. Choosing footwear is tricky for polo -- we've lost more than a few pairs of Louboutins to mud and grass, and it's just not worth it to rock those stilettos unless you're realllllllly good at walking on your toes. Lucky for all you ladies, wedges are big this summer. If you're looking for a designer pair that will go with everything, we suggest Stuart Weitzman's crocheted espadrilles, which, unlike high heels, won't create more divots than you can stomp out. But if you just have to sport those YSL Tributes, protect yourself with SoulMates, a genius cap invented to protect heels from pesky trip-ups like grass and cobblestones. For those afraid of heights, flats are also an option, but keep it classy. Leave the Havainas at home and sport something leather -- and if you haven't gotten a pedicure, you might as well stay home too.
Of course, you can't forget a hat and sunglasses. At polo, bigger isn't necessarily better, and you want to aim to be more like Beth Ostrosky at last year's opening day and less like Aretha Franklin at Obama's Inauguration.
As far as eyewear goes, you can rock pretty much anything so long as your frames sport a designer logo. If you're young and hip, Ray Ban Wayfarers usually work (although if you don't already have a pair, you're probably not young and hip). Jimmy Choo's elaborate JJ frames can help tie an outfit together (or hide your bloodshot eyes).
And men, we didn't forget you. Dressing for polo is much easier for the boys -- rock a polo (Ralph Lauren sponsors Black Watch and designs their uniforms) or button-down with shorts or khakis. If you're brave of heart, don that seersucker suit or paisley get-up, as Justin Ross Lee suggests, and get out there, grab a drink and people watch! We'll see you there.