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Life + Style

A Day at the Races: What to Wear to Packwood Grand

One of the most daunting fashion excursions is a day at the races. While you want to look your best, you need to be somewhat comfy for a long day in the sun. With Calgary’s own swish racing event, Packwood Grand, taking place on July 29, 2017, we asked Brenna Hardy and Phaedra Godchild of Styleista to answer a few pressing style questions.

Phaedra and Brenna are the Official Judges of the Style Stakes at Packwood Grand, where one female and one male will each win a $1,000 gift card to CrossIron Mills for being best dressed. So grab your Ascot and fascinator and head to the races. There are still tickets left!

What are one or two must-have fashion items for women who are attending Packwood Grand, and where can you find them in Calgary?

Brenna: One must-have is a hat or fascinator — find great ones at Smithbilt Hats, Chapel Hats in Chinook Centre and The Bay. My second must-have is a lace or floral feminine dress. Great places to look for these are at Nordstrom and Simons.

What are one or two must-haves fashion items for men who are attending Packwood Grand, and where can you find them in Calgary?

Phaedra: Two must have items for men are a beautiful pair of shoes — think baroque, wing tip or monk strap, polished and preferably in cognac brown (found at Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen, and Browns). The second is neckwear — bowtie, tie or ascot because they make the look dandy and are a throw back to such historical horse racing event as the Royal Ascot in England. You can find great neckwear at Club Monaco, Modern Menswear, and J.Crew.

What might someone already own that would be Packwood Grand appropriate? Men and women.

Brenna: I’m sure every woman would have a pretty dress and pair of wedges, and men can always find a fun bright, patterned shirt and loafers in their existing wardrobe.

An event like this seems to skew fancy. Is it okay to be a bit edgier? What can you do to up the fashion-forward factor?

Phaedra: Thank you for asking this! Absolutely, it is ok, and encouraged, to be a bit edgier! One easy alternative to lacy and pretty is to rock a pant suit in a lightweight fabric, white and flowing for the hot temperatures paired with an architectural, angular fascinator and a bold lip would do the trick.

Which style icon do you look to when dressing for Packwood Grand?

Brenna: The royal family does fascinators like no other. Kate Middleton is a great style icon for Packwood Grand.

If you were to personally invest in one piece for Packwood Grand that you’d wear over and over again, what would it be? And where can you buy it in Calgary?

Phaedra: Personally I love shoes, so I would invest in a block or stacked heel so I would be comfortable all day at the races but would pair with denim and the rest of my wardrobe with ease. A couple of my favourite places to shop for shoes are Holts for designer, Gravity Pope for a broad range and Zara for accessible price points. I am also currently obsessed with the shoes that Club Monaco is carrying!

By Ricky Zayshley