Hats and horses
Glamorous hats will be de rigueur at the annual Ladies Hat Day on Sunday at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria.
Women who wouldn’t dream of wearing a hat any other time of the year will cheerfully don feathered fascinators and floppy brimmed straws during the Belmond El Encanto Robert Skene Trophy Final. The festivities start at 2:30 p.m. on the manicured field at 3300 Via Real.
“Hat Day is celebrated around the world at similar polo events because there’s a connection between fashion and polo. I think it stems from Royal Ascot, a fashionable high-society horse racing event attended by the royal family where fancy hats are often stars of the show,” said Kathryn Lenihan, design consultant for the Santa Barbara polo club.
She is the buyer for the club’s boutique, which has more than 500 hats for sale, ranging in price from $32 for baseball caps to fascinators that cost up to $600.
“I buy them at trade shows in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas,” said Ms. Lenihan. “Guests can stop by the boutique to shop for different hat options before Sunday’s event or any other time.”
During intermission, there will be a hat contest with prizes for Best in Show, Most Beautiful and Most Original.
“We’re also thinking of a new category called the Cool Western Look,” said Ms. Lenihan, who will be among the judges.
“People tend to be intimidated by polo. They ask, ‘What do you wear? What do you wear?’ In California, the look is more casual, but I think fashionable is synonymous with polo, which is why I renovated the boutique last year and brought in luxury items to bring it back to its former glory,” she said.
IF YOU GO
Ladies Hat Day will highlight activities Sunday at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, 3300 Via Real in Carpinteria. Festivities begin at 2:30 p.m. with a pony parade, followed by the Belmond El Encanto Robert Skene Trophy Final at 3 p.m., divot stomp at
4 p.m. and trophy presentation by 5:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $15. For more information, call 576-7292 or email@example.com.