I am born and raised in Southern California so I’ve been to the Del Mar Race Track numerous times in my lifetime. In my early twenties, we would skip the horse races altogether and just show up for the Friday night concerts. Then I got married and had my son and we somehow hadn’t been to the races in probably close to ten years! But then last year some friends of ours were nice enough to ask us to join them in the Turf Club on Opening Day and we had an absolute blast (check out my recap here)! We decided then and there that we would be going again the following year. And I was FOR SURE going to up my hat game. This year I was thrilled to have been invited as a guest of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and we had SO much fun viewing the horses from the paddock, running into friends at The Party tent and of course betting on the ponies. But my favorite part…THE FASHION. Obviously. Be sure and check out my tips for what to wear on opening day so you can be prepared next year (below):

WHAT TO WEAR TO OPENING DAY: It’s going to be HOT ladies…so long sleeves are out of the question. Even if you get seats in the shade, it will be warm. While you can definitely get away with wearing a maxi dress or romper, I would say above the knee dresses are most popular. Last year I wore a simple floppy hat but this year I splurged and got a custom hat designed by Carol Bader. And I have to admit, it made my outfit! But you can also find a little more budget friendly options here. Oh, and if you are a procrastinator like me, add Donna’s Tailor Shop to your contacts right now. I needed last minute alterations for my dress both last year and this year and they did SAME day alterations for me….highly recommend! Also, make sure you do the sit test and lift your arms test in your dress so you know you will be comfortable sitting and raising your arms in the air when you WIN! Last but not least…make absolutely SURE you throw several band-aids in your purse. I don’t care how comfy your shoes are…nothing is worse that hobbling along with blisters at the track. I SWEAR by these blister band-aids. They are LIFE-SAVERS.

My Outfit Details: Parker Layla Dress, Banana Republic Heels (old), Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody (similar), Carol Bader Fascinator, Tom Ford Sunglasses

My husband and I pre-gaming at Brigantine Del Mar. We had friends who got there early and saved us seats!

Mingling in the Paddock! SO FUN seeing the horses up close & personal.

We ran into SO many friends and had a blast dancing in The Party tent.

We got lucky this year and attended not one but TWO after-parties. The Hats, Heels & Hooves party was the official Opening Day after-party and was held at the beautiful Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. The food, music, photo booth & all around ambiance were amazing. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics at the 2nd party (L’Auberge in Del Mar) but it also did not disappoint! It is a young crowd but that didn’t stop us from kicking up our heels (again)!

Thank you to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for providing our tickets to this event. The 2017 season runs from July 19th through September 4th. To get more information and/or to view the full schedule of events, click here.


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