Bow Ties and Horse Racing
Horse racing is huge, and the fashion — including for the gents — surrounding these equestrian events is also a big deal. All one has to do is watch Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing on TV to see ladies don over-the-top, yet gorgeous, decorative hats (like this giant rose derby hat by Brittany Watson Jepsen) to men dressed up like peacocks out to impress. The Triple Crown consists of the Kentucky Derby (first Saturday of May in Louisville, KY), Preakness Stakes (third Saturday of May in Baltimore, MD), and Belmont Stakes (third Saturday following the Preakness in Elmont, NY) races.
It is never too soon to get started on one’s outfit.
America’s Best Racing put together a nice Pinterest board with apparel options:
Even after considering the wide variety of fashion choices — according to Haley Hughes at South Carolina’s Aiken Standard — bow ties are considered top fashion at race events, including the local Steeplechase gala “Blossoms & Bow Ties” on Friday, March 21, 2014. The Campagna Center in Arlington, VA has a similar charity event with the same neckwear theme that serves as watching party for the Kentucky Derby in May.
So, why? Fashion at the Races explains that:
[Amaze-balls] bowties have become widely popular at the horse races. Its a cross between that vintage classic look with a little bit of risk. Best of all, if you’re also in a betting mood and regularly look for the best horse racing tips, a bowtie is the perfect way to compliment a winning horse – show your expertise of betting in style! Men of all ages from young boys to the fashionable seniors have embraced the little bow around their neck to bring their racing outfit to the next level. Many even match their bowties to their pocket squares.
Due to how bow ties fit into menswear catalog of the American South, they’re popular at races in the United States. However, they are also present at races around the world. For instance, The Australian‘s Glynis Trail-Nash reports for Executive Living that bows are seen at Australia’s Melbourne Cup (first Tuesday of November in Melbourne, VIC).
The key to race fashion is to go big (color-wise, pattern-wise, size-wise, etc.) or go home. Thus, horse racing is a great excuse to not only wear a bow tie but to have a lot of fun with one’s wardrobe while doing so. If you’re attending such a shindig, be sure to get some inspiration on how to dress with some flair.