The debut of Spring Polo in Queens Park on Toowoomba’s social calendar last year was such a success that it’s back again this year, on 23 September.
If you’ve got your tickets sorted, but not your outfit, the style team at Grand Central is here to help with decoding what to wear to a polo match.
Polo fashion differs from racing in that it’s more relaxed and casual. Think more Hamptons, less Ascot.
But just because you can leave your fascinator and heels at home doesn’t mean there’s an invitation to leave your style game there too.
The Royal Ascot, with its famously strict dress code, may have been started by the Royal family, but polo is called the sport of kings.
Savannah Barber, Grand Central Spring Polo fashion spokesperson, says polo is an elegant and refined affair, so you’ll want to put your best foot forward.
Let’s talk about the headgear – it’s a no to fascinators
This is a hard and fast rule. Fascinators equal faux pas. However, as you will be out in the sun all day (even if you’re in a marquee it’s likely you’ll see some sunshine) you might want to consider a wide brimmed hat. Straw hats are preferred for the setting.
What shoes do I wear?
In welcome news for those who are fans of flats, Savannah says they can be your go-to (all the better for divot stomping!)
“When looking at what shoes to wear – remember, you’ll be on your feet for a long time, so choose something you can commit to for a full day,” she says. “Leave the stilettos at home, or you’ll spend much of the day extracting yourself from the grass of Queens Park!
“Go for a block heel or wedge. A pair of ladylike flats, sandals or even brogues are also suitable. Check out stores like Wittner, Betts, Mathers, Airflex, Famous Footwear and Novo.”
How will I stay looking fresh all day?
You don’t want to be fixing your running makeup or feeling hot and uncomfortable all day, so the key here is to choose fabrics and products that allow your skin to breathe.
Go for relaxed and flowy natural fibres like cotton and linen for your fashion.
When it comes to makeup Christilee Wicks, Manager, Napoleon Perdis Grand Central, says preparation is key. Make sure you’ve primed and have a good base and pop some blotting papers and powder in your bag for touch ups.
When it comes to your look, go for glowy skin, a great lash, beautiful blush and a fun bold lip.
For eyes, think warm neutrals with soft brown definition around the lashes. For cheeks, soft pinks and apricots will work with most skin tones, and for lips go with a pop of colour such as a red or pink to instantly brighten up your look.
For your hair Hollie-Jay Taylor, Manager at Oscar Oscar says soft waves, textured buns and effortless ponies (not the ones on the field) are key. It’s all about movement!
Should I wear a dress or pants? Or a jumpsuit?
The answer is yes. To all of them. Well, not all at once, but the relaxed garden party vibe of polo means tailored pants are perfectly appropriate.
Savannah says dresses in mid and maxi lengths will suit, along with tailored trousers, jumpsuits and on-trend two pieces.
This event is a celebration of spring, so colour and pattern are encouraged, or consider a crisp white too. Just leave the sequins on the dancefloor.
Retailers like Seed, Country Road, Esprit, Blue Illusion, Trenery, Sheike, Jacqui-E, Witchery, Portmans, Veronika Maine and Myer have a great range of polo-appropriate pieces.
Don’t forget to accessorise – check out hats and bags from MIMCO, beautiful jewellery from Swarovski, Silver Shop and Pandora, and sunglasses from Sunglass Hut.
I’m a guy, what should I wear?
Don’t worry fellas, we haven’t forgotten you.
Tailored chinos, paired with a crisp, well ironed linen or cotton shirt are the way to go. Plain, light colours, stripes or checks. On your feet: boat shoes, brogues or loafers…all are winners!
You can add a slight polish to your look with a blazer or sports jacket.
If you’re keen to step up the style stakes, a fun pocket square tucked into your blazer will add the cherry on top.
For the guys, check out stores like Oxford, RM Williams, Rodd & Gunn, Peter Jackson and Myer.
I’m still unsure…
Savannah’s final tip: less is more!
And if you need extra help book a style session with Grand Central’s stylist Carolyn Taylor-Smith to pull of that polo-perfect outfit!
There’s more to polo than meets the eye. It’s considered a fun spectator sport because the audience is so close to the action – and they get to participate with the divot stomp. Here are five polo terms to make you feel like an expert in the field.
A period of play – like a quarter in netball or half in football. A chukker is seven minutes and there are six per match.
When a player rides into another to spoil their shot.
It may be a horse, but in a polo match they’re always called ponies.
A defensive block where you catch your opponent’s mallet.
Pieces of grass kicked out by the ponies.
Megan wears Veronika Maine dress and belt, Mimco hat, sunglasses and watch, Swarovski jewellery, shoes from Famous Footwear and bag by Sheike.
Reilly’s entire outfit from Peter Jackson.
Savannah wears shorts, jacket, shirt and shoes from Witchery, jewellery from Swarovski and the Silver Shop, sunglasses from Sunglass Hut and bag from Sheike.
Christilee Wicks, Napoleon Perdis Grand Central