The Queen’s Cup Steeplechase is a Charlotte staple known not only for the pedigree of the horses running the nearly two-and-a-half mile turf course, but also for the fanciful fashions of its 10,000 plus attendees. It only takes one look at the sea of hats, spring ensembles and seersuckers to realize this is no ordinary tailgate party.
Choosing an outfit for the Queen’s Cup can be a daunting task, so we’ve enlisted the help of two Charlotte style mavens to help pull together looks you can bet will land you in the winner’s circle.
Tell us a little about yourself and your personal style.
Kate: I’m a mom to two little girls and my three passions in life are simple: family, fitness and fashion. My blog The Chic Series celebrates all of my passions and allows my readers to access daily tips and tricks on how to live the chic life. My style has really evolved since moving here. I have embraced the colorful ways of the South while maintaining my love for an all-black ensemble from my days as a buyer in NYC. If I had to describe my style it would be classic and simple. As a working mom I look for versatile pieces that are also comfortable and can easily transition from day to night.
Bess: I am definitely a mixture of different styles; it sort of depends on the day! I can be super casual and even a little tom-boyish at times, but I love both an edgy look and even a super girly look at times! I think it’s all about just feeling good about what you’re in and feeling like yourself, even if that changes from day to day. I grew up an athlete; I played soccer and took ballet both from an early age so I think that definitely was the catalyst of that balance I strike between both more feminine things and edgier or more tom-boyish things!
What are a few of your favorite Charlotte shopping destinations?
Bess: South Park Mall has a ton of amazing stores so it’s sort of a one-stop shop, but there are also lots of great boutiques around Charlotte as well! Bevello, Vestique, KK Bloom… the options are endless.
What are some new style trends to look out for this spring/summer?
Kate: The peekaboo shirt trend is my favorite trend right now. Its like the updated off the shoulder shirt. I’m also a huge fan of rompers in the summer as they are an easy way to look chic with minimal effort.
Bess: Off the shoulder tops and dresses are super trendy right now, and one-shoulder styles are coming back in! I’m really excited about that. Blue & white combos will be really popular and you can definitely expect to see lots of stripes. Floral patterns are another big thing not just for spring but summer too, especially palm print!
Kate: I feel women sometimes shy away from bright color but a horse race is the perfect opportunity to embrace it. I have been to the Queen’s Cup twice and the first time I was there it was cold, rainy and muddy. A shift dress with longer bell sleeves is perfect for a chillier day at the QC. If red isn’t for you, it also comes in white and black! I incorporated sneakers because I love how sneakers look styled with dresses, plus it’s also practical! This tote is so cute and only $48 plus its reversible! It can easily hold a rain jacket and umbrella if necessary and any other race day necessities.
Bess: My first outfit is styled for the lady that wants to be just a little bit fancier for the occasion. The colorful maxi dress just screams southern prep to me and the matching pink fascinator puts it over the top with charm. I paired it with some tassel earrings because everyone needs a pair of those for the spring & summer! This dress is so flowy and the material is perfect for a day outside! If you want to be colorful and really stand out, this is definitely the dress for you! It also comes in other floral patterns so you can find the one right for you!
Kate: My second look embraces the sunshine. This bright sunny shift will allow you to look chic and feel comfortable throughout the day. Statement sunglasses are a necessity at an outdoor sporting event and you can’t go wrong with mirrored aviator Ray-Bans. Of course, don’t forget my signature bold lip. It is my secret weapon to helping you look polished throughout the day with minimal effort. Plus, it will look great in all of those selfies that you will take. 🙂 Finally, footwear. I LOVE these wedges because they are so comfortable and come in multiple color options and go with everything.
Bess: My second outfit is a soft blush wrap-dress with beautiful sleeve cutout detail. This dress is so whimsical and romantic and has a little bit of a vintage feel to it! The neutral straw hat goes with it perfectly! This outfit reminds me of something out of the movie “The Notebook”. Both outfits are worn with wedges. Flat soled shoes are highly recommended for Queen’s Cup! Stilettos will just sink right into the grass and you don’t want to worry about that!