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What To Wear On Opening Day At The Del Mar Races

If you’ve postponed your Del Mar Races Opening Day outfit until now, you’ve got a major problem at hand! Just kidding. Sorry, not sorry! Below, we show you what to wear to Opening Day at The Del Mar Races, whether you’re in the Turf Club, stomping around at the Winner’s Circle, enjoying lunch at Veranda Cafe or Il Palio, making bets at the betting box, and/or if you’re enjoying the races down at Stretch Run. Read on for Opening Day outfit ideas, hat and fascinator tips, beauty advice, men’s style tips, and more.

After you pick out your “cool as ever” (that’s the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s motto) Del Mar Race Track dress, be sure to purchase your Opening Day After Party ticket to L’Auberge Del Mar before they sell out.  See you there!

Editor’s Note: join us for the biggest and best Opening Day after party at L’Auberge Del Mar on July 16th — following a day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.  Purchase tickets here, prices go up at the door.

Photo Credit: Michael DiDia

All hats pictured are by Carol Bader Design at Del Mar Hat Company located in the Del Mar Plaza


What To Wear On Opening Day At Del Mar

1. What’s All This Hoopla About Hats?

Your hat is where it all begins.  They say to design your hat first and then look for the right dress to match your perfect work of art.  While this sounds like a fabulous idea in theory, if you’re only starting to put your look together now (ahem, me), you’ll not have time for a custom hat.  That being said, your headwear is uber important and should not be taken lightly.

  • Coordinate your hat or fascinator with your dress, but duh
  • If you choose not to coordinate your headwear with your dress, make sure the palettes you choose look pretty together. For example, a bright blue Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hat with a yellow dress will look fabulous, but with an orange dress…well, not so much.
  • If wearing a printed dress, wear a hat or  fascinator in a tone that matches one of the colors in your dress.

Shop Carol Bader Design hats at Del Mar Hat Company located in Del Mar Plaza or visit

Use code “Nubry10” for discount on Hermes, Chanel, Valentino and more at

Shop our Bellami Hair Extensions. Use code: nubry for discount

Carol Bader of Carol Bader Design and Del Mar Hat Co.

2. And What Will You Wear?

Historically, the horse races attire have always been a classy, ritzy daytime event.  Well, nothing has changed! Of course, style has evolved since 1920, but style at the racetrack still has that air of sophistication and elegance.  When choosing what to wear to Opening Day at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, be sure to go with something that will make you feel confident, beautiful, and proud.  Yes, some will show up in the bandage dress, some will wear maxi dresses, and others will enter in satin cocktail dresses, but you shouldn’t! Men, most important thing, you must wear a sports coat if you wish to hang in the Turf Club. THat’s a MUST! For men’s style tips, click here and to see last year’s women’s style guide, click here.

  • Choose elegance and sophistication over after party goals, you know what I mean?
  • This is a daytime event, so wear something that you’ll be comfortable in from all angles…there’s no hiding in the Turf Club!
  • Wear materials that breathe as it’s hot under the summer sun (which means you will sweat)
  • You’ll be eating and drinking all day, keep that in mind when choosing how tight your dress should be
  • Additionally, your body will naturally expand (or swell) in the heat, so keep that in mind too when choosing the tightness of your dress

Shop Carol Bader Design hats at Del Mar Hat Company located in Del Mar Plaza or visit

(left to right): Britt Hackmann, Amy Renda, Sandy Callan, and Carol Bader

For men’s Opening Day style tips, click here.

Dapper Males (left to right): Sean Zanganeh of My SD Dream Home and Eric Adler, Puesto Tacoteur

For men’s Opening Day style tips, click here.

(left to right): Britt Hackmann, Amy Renda, and Sandy Callan

4. How To Beautify For Opening Day:

Your whole look finally comes together and looks like perfection with a beautiful hair style, flawless skin, and happy feet.  For more details about how to look beautiful for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racing season, click here.

  • Get the pedicure you deserve with all the strings attached so that your feet are feeling their best and ready to carry you in your best high heels all day-to-night long. Try the “Summer Pedi” at Spa L’Auberge.
  • On Opening Day, spritz your feet with Still Standing Foot Spray to ensure pain-free feet
  • If you’re wearing a large, round brimmed hat, you’ll probably be wearing your hair down.  Be sure to spend time blowing out your hair, curling it, and finishing off the look with workable hair spray to ensure it stays
  • If you’re wearing a fascinator, know in advance what type of up-do (or down-do) you’re doing.  If you plan on getting your hair professionally done, schedule your appointment now and bring your fascinator with you to the salon!
  • The Del Mar Thoroughbred’s colors are yellow and blue, try painting one of your fingernails in this color combo for extra pizzaz and cheer!
  • Start prepping and cleansing your skin today with the Pulsaderm, as it will remove all impurities and create a canvas for flawless makeup application on Opening Day
  • Keep the Evian Facial Spray in your purse so that you can constantly have a refreshed face on Opening Day

Shop our Bellami Hair Extensions. Use code: nubry for discount

(left to right): Gretchen Hackmann, Carol Bader, Andrea Naversen, and Britt Hackmann

Use code “Nubry10” for discount on Hermes, Chanel, Valentino and more at

Use code “Nubry10” for discount on Hermes, Chanel, Valentino and more at

For more about what to wear to Opening Day at Del Mar Race Track, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter in the sidebar above and we’ll send you tips, tricks, and giveaways you won’t want to miss!

About The Author

Gretchen is a plant-based, laid-back, spontaneous gal who loves discovering new cool things. Her mission is helping her fellow readers to improve their lifestyle through fashion, beauty, and health. Gretchen is the Editor In Chief and always loves to hear your thoughts. Follow her on Twitter: @nubry and Instagram: @nubry.

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