POLO FASHION: Opening Day of Polo His & Hers Ultimate Style Guide

Just in case you haven’t heard all the hype yet, the 29th annual Opening Day of San Diego Polo Club summer season is only a couple of weeks away, on Sunday, May 31, 2015.

You know what that means, don’t you?  Well, for starters, Opening Day of San Diego Polo is an overall experience. It’s where chic meets sophisticated and trendsetting fashionistas; it’s the most adrenaline pumping and action packed spectator sport; it’s where family and friends reconnect and celebrate; it’s where the jet-setting, celebrities and elite social scene meet; it’s the food and libations (yes, plenty of sipping your favorite bubbly); it’s the divot stomping at half time (think Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”); but most of all,  it’s one of the most grandiose glam meets stylish fashion fetes of the summer in San Diego!

The hot topic of the moment for all of you glam and dapper polo-ites is “What to wear to Opening Day of Polo?  Don’t you fret, I’ve got your back!  I’ve put together the Ultimate Style Guide to ensure you’re looking sharp and classy at this fashion-forward affair.

Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista | 6 Tips for Her | Opening Day of Polo Attire

WEAR: Dresses, skirts, rompers, jumpsuits, palazzo pants and slacks

Ladies dresses should be classy and casually sophisticated.  Consider slightly above the knee, mid-length or maxi sundresses or skirts in solids or printed fabrics.  Fabrics that are cool and flowy are perfect for viewing a polo match on a sunny summer afternoon.

For a more playful and sporty frock try a fit and flare dress in a graphic pattern.  Cutout dresses add a peek-a-boo effect without revealing too much.

 Nothing echoes summer and femininity like a strapless dress or halter dress in a bright color.  A touch of shimmer fabric like his turquoise strapless dress will take you from polo viewing by day to the highly anticipated 7th chucker after party sponsored by Riviera Magazine at night.

If a fresh and flirty twist is what you’re looking for, choose a flowing dress, jumpsuit or floral romper in a lux fabric.  These are some of the selections by ASOS that would be a perfect choice for the younger generation to wear on Opening Day of Polo.  Just add a pair of sunglasses and a sassy hat for a look that’s whimsical and in vogue.

For a more refined and mature option try palazzo pants or slacks in breezy lightweight fabrics.  For a chic and classy look try something like these navy and white polka dot pleated silk pants available at Saks Fifth Ave., paired with a red or white blouse and coordinating hat and mini chain shoulder bag.

SHOES: Wedges, espadrilles, gladiator sandals or flat sandals

Remember to leave those stilettos at home ladies, not only are they a polo fashion faux pas, but they can turn your half time champagne sipping, photo posing and divot stomping fun into a hazardous experience!

Opt for a more practical and comfortable shoe like a wedge heel, espadrille or a pretty metallic or crystal embellished flat sandal.

If you want to get a little more creative and playful with your style you can add a pop of color with your shoes and accessories.  Try adding a shoe in a color that complements your attire, like I did by adding this chic lipstick red suede ankle strap wedge by Chloe to my simple solid navy cotton sundress.  Add a hat and a clutch in a similar shade of lipstick red to pull the look together.

Polo Grounds

You can refine your look even further with nails and toes that are polished to perfection in the same shade.  My favorite shade of red nail polish is Dior Vernis gel shine nail lacquer 999 Rouge 999.

If you’re looking for a wedge that will go with everything, start with a nude wedge.  These are my newest favorite wedges.  The Christian Loubitin Cataclou wedge in suede and embellished with gold studs.  It’s available in several colors at Neiman Marcus and Saks fifth ave.

COLORS: White, crème, pastels, bright colors, jewel tones, solids and prints

Now let’s talk about color…. soothing white, shades of crème, bright colors, rich jewel tones and light pastels are a staple for summer and polo because they help to keep you cool while looking fresh, and the jewel tones and bright colors look great on camera when your striking a pose. Pretty feminine floral prints, whimsical patterns and geometric patterns are current for polo.

Monochromatic is always an elegant look for polo whether your wearing a romantic silhouette like this ballerina inspired maxi column dress in ethereal white or this fluid fuchsia sheath.  If lady like floral prints are your thing this brush stroked oversized floral print body conscious dress in monochromatic coral red shades looks chic and is light as air in a mesh stretch fabric.

This white & vibrant blue floral dress is a great way to wear a floral print that looks elegant and will keep you cool in warm weather.

Gen Y Millennials may want to try a vintage romper in a playful floral print.  Floral print rompers not only embody spring and summer but they can add an eclectic style as alternative choice.

Monochromatic dressing makes a simple and chic background to showcase any statement accessory. This wide brimmed hat in bright fuchsia adds a cheerful pop of color that takes this ensemble from elegant to game on!

Even against this basic black and white sheath a fuchsia hat makes a dramatic statement piece.

If you want to sport one of the hottest colors trending the runway for summer 2015, then try something in any shade of aquamarine like this hot little strapless number by Flavio Castellani.

Or this simple sheath in a shade of aquamarine by Nicole Miller.

Soft yellow custard and every shade of yellow in between are trending for 2015.  If yellow is what you desire, try anything in saffron and marigold to amber and lime.  To find the right shade of yellow for you find one that compliments your undertones.  This chartreuse dress is a perfect pop of color that’s sharp and vibrant and sure to make you stand out amongst the polo crowd.  A dark wedge and this chic wide brimmed hat add the perfect contrast and add depth to complete this look.

A graceful fit and flare dress with cut outs is alluring and elegant in this sophisticated chartreuse, black and white modern baroque print.

Nautical is in for spring and summer of 2015.  Lots of classic red, white and blue is popping up everywhere!  Since solid color jewel tones will keep everyone looking sharp and they’re the secret to looking great on camera, you can’t go wrong wearing a bright color or jewel tone on Opening Day.  Like these jewel tones in his and her styles.

Everyone will want to look especially polished too since the photo ops abound on Opening Day.  You’ll be taking picture everywhere from the step & repeat at the entry to the countless posings with your friends and the polo ponies and players.

This New Blue techno metal stretch dress with cut out waist by Nicole Miller will flatter the figure by accentuating the waistline and it will complement most skin tones to keep you looking great on camera.

Vibrant electric blue is always stunning especially on brunettes.

Black and White is another lively option for polo dressing; especially in a polka dot print lightweight knit dress or a tropical print sheath sundress. Or you can create a retro canvas for your pop of color accessories by choosing a simple black and white sheath like this one.

Fabrics: Cotton, Linen, Silk, Organic,Breathable, Lightweight

Ladies when you make a summer outfit you need to think about the colors, patterns, textures and accessories as much as you think about the textiles.  You want to look stylish while staying cool and protecting your skin from too much direct sunlight.  That means you should consider lightweight and breezy fabrics that are natural and breathe.  Some examples of light and breathable fabrics are:  Linen, cotton and rayon (even though rayon is a synthetic fabric it’s made from natural raw materials and resembles those natural properties).  Light colors will stay cooler than dark colors because they reflect the light.  Another consideration is natural fibers absorb moisture from the skin and allow it to evaporate while synthetic fibers will be water repellent and allow sweat to build up, reducing evaporation causing discomfort and irritation.  Cut outs, flared skirts, flowing dresses, strapless dresses, halter dresses and sleeveless options made from these natural fabrics are an even better summer outfit option.  Don’t forget your sunscreen, hat and sunglasses for a little extra sun protection.

As you can see from these crisp linen dresses and stylish linen jacket, linen is one of summer’s joys!  It’s light and breathable, and it has a unique lightly wrinkled texture that gives it charm and makes it stands out in any ensemble.

Hats: Structured Wide brimmed, Simple Straw, Floppy, Fedoras

Now you’re probably thinking…”Hey, wait a minute, what about the hats? Do we need to wear a hat to Opening Day?”

While hats definitely aren’t mandatory at Opening Day of Polo they are a great excuse to transform your outfit and add your own personal style and personality to your look while providing protection from the sun. Whether it’s a more casual sporty and polished look your wanting to achieve or an elegant garden party effect, hats can do the trick.

If you’re sitting in the VIP tent at Opening Day of polo, the dress tends to be similar to Opening Day of the races.  You will likely see daytime cocktail dresses with structured wide brimmed hats and color-coordinated hats like these.

Polo Grounds


Another very poloesque option, if dressy and sporty are appealing to you, is a wide brimmed straw hat with a solid color sundress or a sporty print with similar hues of a neutral colored wide-brimmed hat.

Polo Grounds

Fedoras and other casual but stylish chapeaus are another option, especially for the more youthful crowd.

Accessories: Big Sunglasses, Handbags, Wraps, Accessories

For show stopping style…don’t forget your sunglasses!  Whether you’re wearing over-sized sunglasses to create that mysterious movie star look or a crystal embellished classic style for a more glamorous touch, sunglasses will come in handy to keep you from squinting on a bright sunny day.

I love the selection of trendy shades in every shape, style, size and color that I have found at Gaffos.com.


The Tom Ford oversized shade is super chic!  For those of you who want to take your style factor to a whole new level it comes in some extra sweet colors like pink, fuchsia and lilac!

Another shade I just love is the Prada Strass fashion sunglasses!  They have a thick rectangular ivory frame with whimsical black temples embellished with crystals.   They scream I’m a styleista!

High fashion round smoke glitter silver frames with wire temple .  Have just the right amount of retro.

Keep your styling simple by matching your accessories.  A small sophisticated clutch will take you from day to night, like this Prada nude snakeskin clutch from Neiman Marcus or this Chanel patent lipstick red clutch.  You can increase your glam factor by adding sparkling accessories like a ring, bracelet and earrings in gold or styles and colors that complement your ensemble and accessories.

When choosing your handbag keep in mind that most of the day you’ll be sipping a glass of champagne with one hand while holding your cell phone in the other, so a small hands free bag is a stylish and practical option to take you from day until night.  I love the new playful multi color paillette baguette shoulder bag by Fendi, covered in festive paillettes in turquoise, orange, white and yellow hues.

Another adorable option is the Givenchy Pandora mini box in exotic black and white snakeskin with orange color block.  It’s sure to standout against any white or coral ensemble like this color block tangerine and burnt orange linen sheath dress by Nicole Miller.


Add playful texture to your attire with a feather hair accessory that complements your dress.

Even though it will be warm and sunny during the action packed afternoon it could get a little chilly when the sun is setting and your dancing the night away at Riviera Magazines 7th Chukker After Party.  Don’t forget to bring a small complementary colored lightweight cashmere wrap, scarf, sweater or elegant jacket to throw over your shoulders at dusk to avoid the shivers.

 Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista | 5 Tips for Him | Opening Day of Polo Attire

WEAR: Sports Coats, Blazers, Patterned Shirts, Collared Shirts, Open Weave Twill Slacks or Chinos in white, khaki or colored and preppy attire

Opening Day of Polo is a festive affair and an opportunity for the well-dressed man to add a summer weight sports coats or blazer to his ensemble (jackets are optional) for a more refined style.

Summer-weave crisp cotton and linen button down collared shirts in both patterns and solid colors are a staple of a man’s Opening Day of Polo Attire.

The selection of pants worn to Opening Day of Polo range from dressy shorts in patterns and solids to Chinos in white, khaki and preppy colors.

White pants with a Glen Plaid sports coat in shades of blue will give an outfit a vacation look, especially when paired with a collared shirt in a complementary color like this tangerine mini check button down.

COLORS: White, Light Shades, Crème Nuances, Jewel Tones and Preppy Tones

For the ultimate cool factor during a hot summer day of polo viewing, go with light, off white and crème nuances for your basic pieces.

If soft colors like pink, lavender, yellow and blue are unexplored color territory that you desire to venture, Opening Day of Polo is a great time to try these fashion forward colors out as one of your basic pieces such as your jacket, shirt or bow tie in a solid or print.

Shades of blue, stripes, madras, glen plaid, gingham check, mini checks and whimsical patterns are often seen on sports coats and button downs.

Combining preppy hues like navy, lime green and pink in solids and prints is another common for Opening Day Attire.

FABRICS: Linen, Cotton, Seersucker, Open Weave Twill and Poplin, Chambray and Madras

The well-dressed man must consider several essential components when selecting fabrics for the attire he will wear for viewing polo on a warm sunny day at Opening Day of Polo.

First and foremost, the fabric should be lightweight.  The finer the thread, the looser the weave, and the more porous the material is the more the fabric breathes and the less work your body has to do to stay cool.   An open weave fabric made from natural fibers vs. synthetic fibers is preferred.  Synthetic fibers are typically non-breathable and are more likely to hold sweat and air in.

Cotton is the most common staple textile in most men’s summer wardrobe.  It’s light and breathable and it’s less expensive than linen.

Linen on the other hand is also a light and breathable fabric but it has a texture that gives it character and charm and makes it a unique choice for a button down shirt or sports coat.  Some men dislike linen because it wrinkles too easily.  This cornflower blue linen and cotton blend sports coat is an example of a blend of cotton and linen that has a hint of the composition of linen without all of its inherent wrinkling.

Other open weave fabrics which are a smart choice for keeping cool and looking good all day long at Opening Day of Polo, are other light weight open weaves such as; seersucker, twill, poplin, gingham, chambray and madras.  These fabrics are a popular choice for everything from sports coats to collared shirts, dressy shorts and even some trousers.

SHOES: Driving Shoes, Boat Shoes, Loafers, Oxfords (light in color)

Men, leave your jeans and sneakers at home on Opening Day (unless you’re tailgating, that is).  Your shoes can literally make or break an entire outfit, so be diligent on selecting what to wear on your feet.  Nothing says classy summer style more than a pair of suede loafers or driving moccasins in a light color.  Match your pants and shoes for a lengthening effect and overall summer style, like this white Ferrigamo suede loafer and putty chinos.

Want to have your own stand out style on Opening Day?  Why not try on a colored suede shoe?  Try it in a shade of blue similar to your jacket.  Then use a neutral chino and a complementary colored cotton button down, like this mini check tangerine shirt, to break up the blues and avoid looking overly matchy.

ACCESSORIES & HATS: Bow ties, Cuff links, Straw Panama Hats, Fedoras and Boat Hats and Sunglasses

Want to create a signature look on Opening Day that will ensure you will be remembered?  Then try on a bow tie for style.  Jill Courtemache in Solana Beach carries a wide range of bow ties and hats for every guy.  You can even get a bow tie and a boat hat with a color coordinated ribbon band from her store.

Remember when choosing a bowtie size that it should fit between the outside of a man’s eyes and the edge of the head to be well proportioned.   When choosing a color or pattern of bowtie remember to use different sizes and types of patterns like this yellow mini check patterned collared shirt, navy polka dot pocket square and tri-color shadow stripe bow tie that pulls all three colors together.


Cuff links are hip and they look stylin’ when used in place of buttons to hold a man’s French cuffs around his wrist.  Cuff links add an element of elegance and style to any man’s outfit.  What better occasion to transform your ordinary outfit into something suave and debonair than Opening Day of Polo? Remember to match your cuff links to something in your outfit and to wear a blazer or sports coat that complements the ensemble for a polished appearance.

Opening Day of Polo is the perfect time to wear a hat.  A hat not only provides protection from the sun but it’s the ideal accessory to help to finish off an outfit, adding a sartorial statement piece.  Add a Fedora, Panama hat or other straw hat to achieve the look that’s the epitome of a well-dressed man.  A straw hat with a band that complements your attire or a hat in a complementary shade of your ensemble is the key to wearing a hat well.  If your attending Opening Day with a date and want to score a few extra points in style and with your date, add a pocket square that compliments your dates outfit.  This is how the stylish man rolls as you can see:

If you want to look like a rock star and you don’t want to be squinting in the sun all day at Opening Day of Polo, then don’t forget to wear a pair of superfly sunglasses!  Stylish sunglasses will keep you looking sharp while staying focused and avoiding the glare of the sun.  The following are some of my favorite summer sunglasses for men in 2015:

These sunglasses add a little mobster style film producer

Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista | Style Tip for Tailgaters | Opening Day of Polo Attire

WEAR: Casual, Relaxed attire

For those of you who have decided to enjoy Opening Day of Polo in a more informal setting while tailgating from the back of your car and picnicking with family and friends, the dress is more casual and relaxed.  Women will often wear casual sundresses, rompers or shorts in light and graceful fabrics and wear a fedora or simple straw hat for sun protection.  Men may opt. for khaki shorts or jeans and a polo shirt in a light color.  Simple leather sandals are a comfortable shoe option that works well for polo spectators who are tailgating.

Now that you will all be dressed for the occasion, the most important part of the day is to have fun and celebrate, enjoy your time re uniting with family and friends, make some new friends and enjoy the adventure of action packed polo and a festive social scene at Opening Day of Polo 2015!

Thank you to our vendors:

Women’s Dresses: Matti D Clothing, Del Mar (turquoise geometric patterned dress, navy blue cotton dress, aquamarine strapless and vibrant blue strapless dresses) & Nicole Miller, at The Forum in Carlsbad (remaining dresses).

Women’s Hats:
Jill Courtemanche Millinery, Solana Beach, CA (turquoise with black and navy accents formal wide brimmed hat, off-white structured with off white ribbon shown with navy cut out dress and black wide brimmed hat with baroque print dress) & Del Mar Hat Company, Del Mar, CA (remaining hats)

Men’s Clothing: Nordstroms Fashion Valley

Make up: Rene Gonzales www.candemakeupartistry.com

Original post can be found on San Diego Surf Polo Club.

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