Imagine having a picnic with your crew on a lush green lawn with the New York City skyline as a backdrop, surrounded by a crowd of people dressed to the nines, with great music and free flowing champagne. Oh, all while watching a polo match and counting how many times you hear the name Nacho Figueras. Well, that was my situation this past Saturday as I attended the Ninth Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic held in Liberty State Park, New Jersey. For many, the polo classic serves as an unofficial kick off for summer. This was my first time and to sum it up, the afternoon was absolutely AMAZING. I had a blast!
I’ll admit that I knew very little about polo before this event (I low key still know very little). All I knew was that it involved people on horses and throwing a ball around. But it was cool to experience for the first time. At halftime, the crowd was able to “stomp the divots” Pretty Woman style. During the match, the horses tear up the ground pretty badly and their hooves leave holes in the ground. In the polo tradition of stomping the divots, spectators are invited on the field during halftime to socialize with the crowd and patch up or “stomp” on a divot or hole made in the ground. Doing this makes the ground flat enough to continue playing. This part was fun b/c I was able to people watch and really take in the scene. By then, I was in need of some more champagne so I made my way to the bar.
The homies…Dougie and Ashlyn
Ashlyn looking fabulous and striking a pose, but what else is new? (Outfit details – Dress: Asos, Shoes: Cole Haan, Flower: Randomly found in her home)
The homie Douglas looking extra dapper. Men’s fashion is important too.
My absolute favorite part of the event was the fashion. Literally everyone came dressed to kill. Dapper men came dressed in their finest linen and seersucker suits and hats, while the ladies wore fancy sundresses, rompers, and pantsuits in spring colors and florals. Ladies accented their outfits with large floppy hats, fascinators and sunglasses. The closest thing I can compare it to is the Kentucky Derby, but with a cool and modern twist.
As for me, I chose to wear a Rachel by Rachel Roy black floral dress with a small midriff cutout. I saw the dress on Macys.com and went on a wild goose chase to find it a few days before the event. I was so happy I did because the dress was perfect (so perfect that you will see me wear this again and again this summer so don’t judge me 😊😊😊). I had the perfect coral strappy heels to go with for picture taking, and changed into flats for the long walk to and from the ferry. Ladies, bring flats because you will be doing a lot of walking from the shuttle or ferry to the grounds. I put my hair up into a marley bun to avoid the frizz with the humidity.
After the match, the event quickly transitioned into a nice little turn up. People continued to pop bottles, eat food, and be social. My friends and I walked around to find bottle art photo ops. As the day progresses, some people collect as many bottles as they can to create their own bottle art. It’s actually kinda cool. There were also a lot of really cute oversized lawn games to play like Jenga and Checkers. I spent the rest of the day drinking, taking pics and living in the moment. We decided to leave just in time as it started to rain and there was a mob of people trying to get on the ferry back to NYC.
Line Sisterly love with Keerah
Lauren came by to say hello and take some pics.
Here are some tips to maximize your #vcpoloclassic experience:
1) Arrive to the ferry/shuttle point early. You can only access the event via shuttle from Jersey City or ferry from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. The check in lines move pretty quickly but are still long. The earlier you get there the better.
2) Pack a picnic basket and blanket because…duh…it’s a picnic. There are a variety of food trucks available on site but the lines are long and the prices are out of control. We went grocery shopping for the event the night before and kept costs pretty cheap because….
3) You just might splurge on alcohol. Glasses were about $25 a pop and a bottle is over $100. Upon check in, you’re given a wristband with five tabs on it to purchase five champagne glasses or one whole bottle. Oh, and don’t even try to sneak alcohol in. I’d hate for you to be upset when your bottle of Henny is confiscated during the extensive bag checks.
4) Have fun with your outfit. This event is about fashion and expressing your own polo style. Hats, fascinators, seersucker, suspenders, bow ties, linen, eyelet, flowers and the like are all encouraged. Wear your Sunday best and show out.
5) Ladies, bring flats. The walk to the event grounds is long. Wedges are a perfect shoe to stomp divots in.
6) Wear sunscreen! This is really an important summer tip – Period. This event is entirely outdoors and those UV rays are intense. Contrary to popular belief, black folk can get sunburned. Ask me because I know; my chest, arms and back were so badly burned out there. #jesuspleasebeacoolshowerandaloeveragel
Simply put, the day was absolutely beautiful! My friends and I already agreed that this will be a summer tradition and we’re already excited about next year.
Let’s talk. Did you attend the Polo Classic this year? Have you always wanted to go? Let me know in the comments section below.