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This wasn't your grandmother's polo match.
By Sarah Spigelman
The Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic has long been a symbol of elegance and indulgence. It's the time to bring out the champagne picnic glasses, the seersucker and the Lilly Pulitzer. Though the men mostly stayed within the classic range of salamander or cerulean pants, navy blazers, and boating shoes, the women looked straight out of the pages of Vogue.
Polo's elegance has a new, exciting edge – this isn't your grandmother's polo match.
This year's event, held at Liberty State Park, showed a fashion forward crowd that favored bright colors, structured shapes and bold prints.
The palette for a polo match is traditionally pastel, and though there was plenty of periwinkle and sea foam this year 'round, there were many more vibrant hues. Electric orange, hot pink and acid green were all on display, showing off tans from Memorial Day parties in the Hamptons.
There weren't just the normal sundresses, but structured, short frocks showing off dramatically cinched in waists and peplum skirts. The décolletage was eschewed in favor of daringly low backs and thigh-high slits in dresses. Even those who did wear the traditional white or lemon yellow dresses upped the modern aesthetic by pairing them with either flat, metallic sandals (Jack Rogers is a perennial favorite) or sky-high wedges. Stilettos were few and far between, thanks to the walk from the ferry drop off point to the game. The wedges weren't quiet either, often bedecked with vibrantly colored patent leather or charms.
Accessories ranged from stately and traditional Louis Vuitton bags to whimsical whale patterned bow ties. Silk flower crowns made a big hit this year with those wearing flowing frocks, a distinct contrast to the chunky statement necklaces on those wearing the more architectural digs.
And those hats. They were all over the place, but smaller and more streamlined than in years past. Gone (for the most part) are chapeaus large enough to carry the wreckage of the Titanic or floppy enough to resemble uncooked pizza dough. In their places are flexible, lightweight hats that are elegant but not over the top and give full focus to the outfit and other accessories.
This may have been in New Jersey, but it was definitely a Manhattan event. The crowd could have gone right to the swanky hotels and nightclubs of the Meatpacking district without missing a beat.
This summer, expect saturated, bright color, large graphic prints, and fun with headbands and headpieces, because the style at the Polo match may have been classic, but it wasn't boring.
And even though the match has ended, the fun hasn't! Enter the #VCPoloClassic style sweepstakes by tagging your stylish selfies from this weekend with #CliquotStyle to enter. Vote on your favorite looks, and if you are a winner, expect a selection of Veuve Cliquot treats. Sweepstakes concludes 6/6/14.
Editor's Note: A special thank you to Sara Cavic for her amazing photography work!