How to dress for the polo

By Brigitte Topping

I grew up on a polo field. My father played the game and my mother would dress me in my best Oshkosh B’Gosh dress and mini RM Williams boots. I would run a muck hitting polo balls around with my mini mallet while mum would mingle with the high country society in one of the exclusive tents. Safe to say as I grew up I now absolutely love attending the polo and mingling in one of the elite tents where the champagne is flowing and there are canapés for days.

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The Australian Polo scene was once an event held in more regional areas and reserved for the country folk. These days the games are being held closer to the capital cities and is fast becoming the races way cooler sister event. Socialites and celebrities adorn the VIP tents frequently, however it also the perfect day out for anyone wanting to see a great game and, of course, be seen!

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Polo is fast becoming ‘new races’ for young Australians craving the social scene, however the dress code is far from the same and it easy to make fashion faux pars! The polo dress code falls somewhere between a race day and an elegant picnic with friends. I have put together some simple tips to ensure you nail the dress code every time.

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Lets start from the bottom and work our way up. First rule to take into account is that you’re going to be in somewhat of a paddock all day. Even if you have purchased a marquee ticket, these tents are usually still grass flooring. One of the highlights of the day will be stomping the divots, where guests are invited to cross the field and literally stomp the ground to ensure the field is flat for the main game.


Stilettos are a straight up no go for any polo event. Lets face it, no one wants to be ‘that girl’ wobbling everywhere, possibly even falling over because her 6 inch Louboutin is firmly embedded in the ground. A wedge or chunky heel is a good op for those short gals who need a little help in the height department. If you’ve got the height, play it safe with a flat shoe. Boots are an appropriate option for the winter events and glam sandal for summer.

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Before your brain even drifts to the thought of ‘short, flirty, floaty’ remember that paddocks, generally speaking, are somewhat windy. Let the game be the focus of the crowds, not your behind. Kaftans are always a popular option but choose a long one or wear tights. Another good rule for making outfit decisions is if you wore it da clubz the other weekend, never should it be worn to the polo. It’s a classy day event and far from Saturday night in Fotitude Valley ladies. A safe option is always a cute polka dot number, I think is due to too many people watching pretty woman and taking a tip from the polo scene.

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Alternative options to a dress, is to wear jeans, a crisp white shirt, cute belt and bright accessories. You will look like a seasoned polo attendee in this outfit that’s for sure.

Definite Don’ts

Head wear, always a tough one to master at the best of times. I can’t remember the last time I went to event the races and thought “she is nailing wearing that fascinator” I mean, even Lara Bingle has mucked it up. At the polo the atrocious fascinator is a straight up no go. If you have your heart completely set on wearing head gear, a cool and casual hat, possibly a fedora, can be fine. Please no mother of the bride fuchsia numbers thanks.

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Sequins and shiny jewelry isn’t appropriate either. It is a daytime event and whole idea is give off a cool, calm and collect vibe. Sequins and shiny jewels are not only too much for this kind of event, we don’t want your gaudy looking jewelry upsetting the horses so that cute polo player you have been eyeing off, falls off.

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The polo is an amazing event and I consider myself very lucky to of have it always be apart of it my life. The fact it is now becoming a main stream occasion closer to home is fantastic because I get to introduce my friends to a part of my life they may not know much about. I hope you enjoy your day at the polo people and remember, Keep it classy this polo season girls!