What to Wear to the Belmont Stakes

The Hamptons are known for drawing big names to Long Island’s shores every summer, but for one weekend in June, all eyes are on Nassau County. World-class horses, trainers and celebrities will descend on Elmont for the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes Saturday, June 10, the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. And without a Triple Crown contender, viewers will have more time to focus on fashion, like bold hats that give Kate Middleton a run for her money. Whether you’re headed to the races or to a watch party, I want you to arrive in style. To help you figure out what to wear to the Belmont Stakes, I phoned Miami-based stylist Lauren Arkin-Malacsina, who recently outfitted several clients for the Kentucky Derby. She gave me trends fit for a victorious outfit.


Given that the three legs of the triple crown, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, are in the spring, florals are a classic choice. But there are ways to put trendy twists on the staple. “One of this season’s top spring trends is large ‘couchy’ floral prints. Think of the loud and colorful couch prints that your grandparents might have had from the 60s to 80s [but] on an A-line dress.” Not everyone is down to rock such a bold pattern; expect designers to keep dainty with whimsical florals in the mix as well.


Pastels are another go-to for designers when dressing clients for the Belmont Stakes. Arkin-Malacsina explained how, “[People] will most likely see Mad Men style dress silhouettes in 90s pastel colors that will make [them] think [they] stepped into a candy store.”


A Triple Crown horse race outfit isn’t complete without a hat. Arkin-Malacsina suggested, “Even for those that stay very neutral with their outfit, you can always go big with your accessories. Many design elements that are popular this season are bold colors, feathers, rhinestones/appliques and lace.” Hats can be anything from couture to chimerical; it’s all about the impression you want to make.


“Another key trend will be dresses with architectural style lines accessorized with bold colored hats/accessories.” For those who aren’t feeling a statement hat, a playful purse might be the way to go. Betsey Johnson has a new line of 3D and floral print purses, and of course, Kate Spade’s spring collection of hummingbird and cactus designs will always be a fashion must-have for the girly-girls.


Men at the races have a lot of fashion options this year as well. “If you want to dress dapper, some accessories that are easy to coordinate are suspenders, bow ties and fedoras. If you are going for a retro feel, this will definitely tie into your outfit.” For a get-up that is bold enough without accessories, try Old Bull Lee shorts that come in paisley and floral prints. The swank bottoms hold their own against all of the ladies patterned dresses.