I have attended the Audi Polo Challenge for the past three years now; it’s a very smart invitation-only affair with cocktails and champagne and, of course, the high-octane, thundering-hooved spectacle that is a polo match. But this year there’s also the Audi International, an equally smart affair that’s taking place at Guards Polo Club near Windsor. It’s on Saturday 26th July and it’s open to all!
There are different types of ticket, depending on whether you want a full three-course meal and champagne kind of experience or a more relaxed picnic to see you through the day – there’s even a Buddha Bar after-party if you want to make a day and a night of it. Whatever floats your boat – whichever way you decide to soak up the atmosphere will be extremely enjoyable! The game is England v Argentina, so it’ll definitely be an exhilarating one – it’s a hugely prestigious occasion with both countries competing for the Coronation Cup. And what does one wear to such an event, I hear you ask?
Good job I’ve put together an outfit – also suitable for any swish summer event you may be attending. Let’s start at the top, shall we, and work our way down?
1. You’ll notice that I’m not wearing a hat. Polo is not Ascot. Nobody wears a hat. Do not wear a hat. I hate to repeat myself, but equally I’d hate for someone to go wearing a hat – it would be as conspicuous as turning up to a wedding wearing a black mantilla and chanting mourning songs. If you want to do something courageous with your hair then be my guest but remember; you’re spending the day outside. Whatever you do has to be easily maintained, so I prefer easy, soft styles that won’t look silly if they suddenly get knocked off-kilter by an enthusiastic gust of wind. I always think that a pony tail is very appropriate, though I draw the line at plaiting it up and finishing it with a ribbon…
2) My makeup here is quite natural-looking but I’ve actually got quite a few layers of it on. I used Dior’s AirFlash CC Primer and then the spray foundation. I find that these last really well for an entire day without slipping or wearing off, but just to be sure I use a very light powder, too – something that doesn’t look flat or dry. I really like Max Factor’s Creme Puff in “Translucent”. I’ve focused on my lips rather than eyes – the bright orange-red shade is Matte Mandarin from Clinique. It does tend to feel a little dry towards the end of the day, so I’d recommend taking a lip balm with you.
3) Now for the main event; the dress. I would tend to favour something very lightweight so that you stay cool and this silk Acne number is almost weightless. The Audi Polo is a very chic and all about understated luxury, so it’s not the place to give your new bandage body-con dress an airing. Think cool and modern and perhaps look for something in a bright colour or with a bold print. And in terms of bared flesh? I’d say that – for this, at least – legs are in, cleavage not so much.
4) I’ve accessorised with gold jewellery as I’m having a bit of a gold jewellery revolution this year. (Unfortunate that my wedding rings don’t match – I may have to spray-paint them!) I think that gold looks great with summer skin but it really depends on your colouring and the outfit, I suppose. With a boldly patterned dress you might not need any jewellery at all, but I think that the large expanses of bright colour here require some accessories to balance things out.
5) Bags are an important consideration when you’re out all day. I think that clutches are a chic way forward – this foldover one from L.K. Bennett has seen me through most of my events this year! But you need to be able to tuck it under your arm to leave your hands free – and it needs to be large enough to hold the essentials. Avoid those tiny boxy clutches that are awkward to grasp – there’s nothing worse than having to cart a silly bag with you as you try to enjoy yourself at an event or a wedding or a garden party. You inevitably end up getting sick of it and leave it in a “safe place” and then promptly forget where that “safe place” was.
6) Shoes! Now I’m not normally a big fan of wedges, but for a day spent on the grass? They’re an absolute must. I wore normal high heels the first time and you spend your time sinking into the ground or getting stuck in the gaps in the outdoor decking. There’s also the matter of the great polo tradition of Divot Stomping. Divot Stomping happens at half time; all of the spectators are invited to come onto the field and stomp down the torn up bits of turf that have been kicked up by the horses’ hooves. Let me tell you something: you cannot divot stomp in stilettos. It’s virtually impossible. For my outfit, I’ve chosen a pair of Tori Burch wedges with wooden heels that look very suited to a bit of a stomp. I impressed even myself with the fact that I managed to find some shoes that looked very equestrian – look at that detailing on the top! (Alternative wedge option here – I’ve been busy with my shoe-hunting this week.)
You can find both the shoes and the dress online at The Outnet – I’d also take a pair of sunglasses and, if you have room in your bag, a tiny little bottle of face mist. Make sure you apply a good SPF (I love Anthelios from La Roche-Posay) and drink lots of water between those cocktails!
This post has been sponsored by Audi.