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Queen's Plate Fashion Advice

Queen's Plate FashionYou’ve seen it in all the magazines and blogs – fancy hats and fascinators, gorgeous dresses and jumpsuits, suits and ties to the nines… well, now it’s your turn. We breakdown the do’s and don’ts when it comes to going to the races, in style.

DO opt for classics.

The Queen’s Plate is Canada’s longest-running thoroughbred horse and longest continuously run race in North America. With such an illustrious history, place your bets on classic styles for this refined affair. Tailored suits in a summer-weight fabric like seer-sucker or linen are a fine choice for the weather. A tea-length frock will channel some serious vintage elegance.
DON’T ignore the style icons.
Take your cue from British royalty like the Duchess of York who has been known to attend a horse race or two. Or, get sartorially inspired by Canadians like Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau who is known to don Canadian couture and bespoke headpieces.

DO top off your ensemble.

Whatever your style, top off your look with a hat. A hand-woven panama or a classic straw boater has a dapper vibe, whereas a portrait-brimmed sunhat or a feathery fascinator adds glamour. A stylish topper is an absolute must for the horse track, so pick up something whimsical or dapper at one of Toronto’s top milliners like Lilliput Hats, Goorin Brothers, or The Saucy Milliner. If you don’t have your hat picked out by the big day, not to worry, David Dunkley the Official Milliner of the Queen’s Plate will be on hand to top you off with the piece that matches your outfit.
DON’T get mistaken for the mad hatter.
The hat is enough of a statement, so keep the rest of your accessories more subdued to avoid looking like you’re headed to a costume party. Try thin necklaces and stud earrings as opposed to statement pieces. Vintage-inspired suspenders and bowties are classy accessories, but avoid anything clownish or over-the-top.
DO put your best foot forward.
The Queen’s Plate is an outdoor event, so plan to wear the most sensible shoes for the occasion. During the day, you may walk across the grass to scope out the horses for your wager, so wear shoes that won’t sink in the grass. A wedge or a thicker heel are better suited than a stiletto, but flats may be your best bet.
DON’T take the weather for granted.
In early July, we expect the sweltering heat of summer but don’t take the weather for granted. Make sure to bring a cover-up in case the wind picks up or if you don’t want to burn with the sun beating down on the race track. Dressing for a day at the races means being prepared for whatever the weather brings.
DO dress for dancing.
The horse races aren’t the only entertainment at the Queen’s Cup. Canadian band Hedley along with Matthew Good and The Strumbellas will headline the classy event, and it is all included in your general admission ticket, which costs only $15 before June 16th (after that, it goes up to $22.50). Remember to dress comfortably enough so you can rock out in the grandstands.
DON’T forget to dress to impress.
Traditionally, horse races can have strict dress codes, like hemlines just above the knees and jackets a requirement. In modern times, attire has become more relaxed, but this does not give us full reign on clothing options. A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything too-tight, too-short, or too-flashy when you’re rubbing shoulders with celebrities and socialites.
Whatever you wear, own your style at the Queen’s Plate on July 3rd at the Woodbine Race track.
The Queen’s Plate is one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious events, attracting horse racing fans, style-setters and entertainment-seekers, with more than 35,000 people in attendance last year. In 2015 the 1 ¼-mile race, for three-year-old thoroughbreds, was captured by Shaman Ghost.
Inaugurated with royal blessing in 1860, the running of the Queen’s Plate stakes has taken place each year since. The history of the race is closely linked with that of Toronto, and is regarded around the world as an event of international importance within the horse racing community. Each year, a member of the Royal Family or representative of the Monarchy in Canada attends the event and awards the winner.

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