We along with more than 40,000 race fans look forward to Opening Day at Del Mar Race Track all year long — and for good reason! Who doesn’t love people watching, mint juleps and flowing champs, betting on winners, fast horses, socializing with dapper folks at the race track, skipping work, and the after party?
The top questions we see leading up to this major day is what to wear to Opening Day at the track, what hats for Opening Day at Del Mar, and where’s the best Opening Day after party in San Diego.
Below, we guide both men and women on what to wear to Opening Day at Del Mar as well as how to choose your Opening Day hat.
How To Choose Your Opening Day Hat
~ Women’s Style Advice ~
It’s all about the hat! While some fashionistas will custom design their Opening Day hat months in advance–even before finding a dress–most will choose their hat right about now. Procrastinators!
Hey, I get it. So here’s how to go about choosing your spectacular hat or fascinator for Opening Day at Del Mar Race Track. Scroll down to shop some of our favs or visit delmarhat.com.
Women’s Hat Tip #1: Make sure you love your hat and feel comfortable in it. You’ll be wearing it all day long, at times in the sun and heat, which means you don’t want it to be squeezing your head too tight or covering your eyes too much.
Women’s Hat Tip #2: Coordinate your hat with your dress, but if you choose not to coordinate, then make sure the palettes you choose look fabulous together. Sorbets and pastels, black and white, or cream and neutral tones for example all go nicely when paired together.
~ Men’s Style Advice ~
A well styled man will wear a quality hat that’s timeless. Unlike a woman’s hat on Opening Day, the gentleman’s hat shouldn’t grab too much attention, but rather be another outfit detail, like the pocket square, the belt, the socks, and the cuff links. Here’s how to go about choosing your hat.
Hat Tip #1: Opening Day falls during July which means you’ll want a hat made in a summer material. Choose straw over felt! And please, just don’t wear felt.
Hat Tip #2: Coordinate the band on your hat to something in your outfit like a shirt stripe or your tie.
Men’s Hat Tip #3: Invest in a high quality hat, treat it right, and it will serve you for many occasions to come.
What To Wear On Opening Day At Del Mar
~ Women’s Style Advice ~
Style at the racetrack will always be sophisticated and elegant, especially on Opening Day. Choose a dress that flatters your figure and one that would make your Grandmother proud. Many women will show up in dresses up to there and others will debut a satin cocktail dress, but really, you shan’t! Shop some of our favorite options for Opening Day dresses below.
Outfit Tip #1: Wear a dress that you’ll be comfortable in all day. When you’re not comfortable and your tugging and pulling, it’s not pretty! Additionally, you’ll be drinking and snacking all day, so if you’re worried about how tight the dress is, you may want to look at other options.
Outfit Tip #2: You’ll want to make a statement on Opening Day, but not for the wrong reasons. Strive for chic, dashing, and dressy.
Tip #3: There’s a lot of standing on Opening Day that will follow you late into the evening at the Opening Day After-Party at L’Auberge Del Mar. No matter what, your feet will hate you, but try not to have them kill you! Choose a heel that you can somewhat comfortably stand and walk in all day and night. It’d be a shame to call it a night early due to blisters.
~ Opening Day At Del Mar: Men’s Style Advice ~
Okay gentleman, you’ll want to look dapper! And if you’re going to be socializing in the Turf Club, you’ll definitely need a sports coat. If you don’t have one, they’ll be forced to provide you with one of their own (and it ain’t pretty). Shop some of our favorite options for Opening Day looks below.
Outfit Tip #1: Choose a summer weight suit or jacket or you’ll melt and look like you’re melting — not so “hot” if you’re going after the ladies in the Turf Club 😉 For pants, opt for seersucker, linen, khakis, or colored pants and pair with a crisp white or pastel shirt.
Outfit Tip #2: Make sure that your suit fits you. Seriously! Head to the tailor to have your pants, jacket, and shirt perfectly fitted to your body. You’ll leave looking like a million bucks.
Tip #3: The ladies love your pocket square, tie pin, cuff links, fancy shoes, and fun socks. They notice when you try to match a jacket to pants that don’t go together and when your watch band and belt don’t match your shoes. See more Del Mar Races Opening Day style tips for men here.
Tip #4: Attending Opening Day at Del Mar with a date? Coordinate your look with her outfit, even if its just a pocket square or bow tie.