What to Wear to Breeders Cup

Del Mar November 3rd and 4th

This years Breeders Cup will take place just outside San Diego California at Del Mar racetrack. ‘Where the Turf Meets the Surf’ this track has a fun relaxed beachy vibe which will get a little bit more dressed up than usual with the Breeders Cup Festival in town. 

If this is your first time at the Breeders Cup, don’t fret! We are here to make it a fun experience and have you show up in your best fashions yet. 

We’ve already had a bunch of traffic to the site searching for ‘What to Wear to Breeders Cup.’ Unfortunately that is such a loaded question with so many different answers…you should wear what you want to wear! But I’ll give my personal advice if you are looking at being a race fashionista for the day. 

Racing Fashion is much different than everyday wears…you need a hat or fascinator, shoes to match, and of course a perfect racing clutch coordinated just enough to match your outfit as well as serve its purpose for the day. 

Although we are in the first weekend in November, expect the weather to be a nice and warm. You can dress for spring/summer but have some autumn colors in mind. 

Dress: Leave your nightclub wear and beachwear at home. You’ll want a cocktail type dress that hits

Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA. (Photo by Diane Bondareff for Longines)

right above your knee or tea length. Maxi’s end up either looking too dressed up or dressed down (trust me). I would wear a cap sleeve, off the shoulder (very trendy), or a wide strap dress. If you tend to be cold, feel free to wear a 3/4 sleeve just in case. You’ll want the dress comfortable but still form fitting. If you are running out of time or nervous to find the perfect hat, grab a solid color and you’ll have more possibilities to match. 

If you want to step it out, the more intricate detail or design in your dress will pop your outfit out. We can have a custom hat made to match (if you hurry and email us!). 

Hat/Fascinator: If you use the phrase: “hats don’t look good on me!” – throw that out the window right now! HATS LOOK GOOD ON EVERYONE! You just need to find which one you are comfortable wearing! Here’s my quick five tips:

  1. This is not the Kentucky Derby- leave the big brimmed pieces in Kentucky. 
  2. Find something that makes your eyes light up when you first see it! If you are a little nervous to wear it….its probably the perfect piece! 
  3. Make sure it is comfortable to wear. You’ll have this on for 8 hours or more- make sure it makes your head happy. 
  4. Be picky about how it is attached. A large fascinator that clips in with a small butterfly clip is not a well-designed piece. Go for a headband and an elastic band. Be careful of the skinny metal bands as they ended up digging into you usually. 
  5. Have fun with it! You will take a ton of fun photos- make sure you love to show this piece off! Plus- usually they aren’t cheap cheap- so make sure you are making a great investment in one that you are excited to rock! 

If you can’t find the perfect hat on our website- just shoot me an email (briana@fashionattheraces.com) or message on FB or instagram. I’ll get you the perfect one…promise! 

Also- don’t feel like you need to spend $1000 for a hat. There are beautiful pieces out there that fit your budget! You can by a horse for $1000…………………………and maybe win the Breeders Cup! 


Shoes: Yes you should wear heels! Only if you normally wear them when you get all dolled up. But -BUT – you need to be smart about it. Don’t wear ones that you know will hurt your feet. Don’t buy a pair and wear it for the first time Breeders Cup Saturday. And don’t wear a pair that you can’t walk in. Seriously. Don’t. 

I usually find a pair with some extra padding in its sole and then add Dr. Scholl’s on top of that just for added comfort. I live by the Solemate’s products (Blister Blocker is a must have!) and of course their main product that saves my heels from getting beat up when I’m walking all over the track. 

If you can, bring a pair of flats (ballet or flippies) just in case you really can’t take it after race 8. It is a lot better than trotting around barefoot. yuck!*

There are a lot of beautiful low block heels out there that will keep your feet happy and still elevate your height and outfit. Here’s a few of my favorites:

Clutch: I’ve seen so many ladies throw the importance of a clutch out the window and bring some big bulky shoulder bag or just their usual purse and it completely lets the rest of the outfit down. Put time and effort into this accessory. You want your entire outfit to stand out! If someone goes to take a picture and you say “hang on, let me put my purse down….” you’ve failed the outfit test. 😉 

Let your clutch be the cherry on top. We have some fun ones in our store that you can choose from or find a great piece that ties in some of the extra details of your outfit. 

Last year, I wore a hat that had pearls sewn in for details so I brought my white pearl clutch and even sewed some random small pearls into my dress. It was by-far the best Breeders Cup outfit I’ve put together and it was because of the extra detail I put into it. 


My overall advice for the perfect Breeders Cup outfit is: Have fun. Step out of your comfort zone. Be comfortable. …and show off a bit! 

It is such a fun day to experience and why not do it in high fashion?? 

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