Many across the nation are gearing up for a very equestrian weekend and have begun descending on the Bluegrass State for “the greatest two minutes in sports.” But if your plans do not include a visit to Kentucky for the Derby (oh, we do love a mint julep), there may be a chance you sojourn in The Plains, Virginia, for Washington’s favorite annual steeplechase fixture: Gold Cup. The pageantry and tailgating at the Virginia Gold Cup races are time-honored traditions. Ladies in crisp hats and pearls, gentleman in gingham and bowties – Gold Cup is a refreshing salute to the approaching summer season.
With this, the 91st running of Gold Cup, the festivities are sure to be ripe with merriment. Whether you are a Washington, DC native or a weekend guest, the thoroughbreds are a perfect excuse to pepper your wardrobe with a little Southern charm. Much as in the race, the fashion stakes are high. From the paddock to the grandstand, the Gold Cup grounds will be speckled with whimsical hats and seersucker suits. How do you strike the perfect balance of elegance and function? Three considerations are key: the weather, the tradition and the pearls.
Luckily for the DC region, the weather this weekend promises to be perfect – warm with just a slight overcast. The daylong list of events and activities means that comfort should be kept in mind when dressing. Remember a light sweater or wrap for fighting off the chill of the late spring morning and evening; grab a hat or sunglasses to protect from the sun on the open fields; and wear flats or wedges to help navigate the uneven terrain and grounds. History tells us that a hat or fascinator is non-negotiable, a sweet sundress is de rigueur, and the pearl is the be-all and end-all accessory.
Channel the belle within you and style with the refinement and ease of pearls. A Spey pearl cuff would add just the right amount of bling to an outfit, or a Spey pendant would lend the perfect bit of luster to your décolletage. For earrings, the classic stud is the unquestioned favorite. The only thing left to do? Strut your stuff across the green and pick your horse. A lady can always choose a winner. Just remember when the sun goes down and the gate closes to hurry back to the city and spend some time with mom this Mother’s Day.