What to Wear: Steeplechase

Steeplechase is basically Nashville’s way of saying “Let summer begin!” Seriously, far more than Memorial Day, Steeplechase is when all will agree that flip flops are okay and linen is once again a mainstay in our wardrobe choices. Today, we are showcasing fashions for both men and women, as well as sharing some pointers from MODA Image Consulting owner, Mila Grigg.

Men’s Fashion for Steeplechase:

Today, we are starting out at J. Michael’s. We have put together a couple of looks for the man who has a grey or tan suit that he needs to update for this daylong event at the track. For men, think fun. Mix some patterns. Seriously, for a guy, if you go all out, it’s only to be more respected and embraced by everyone around you!


Take your gorgeous tan suit (this one is Hickey Freeman) and add some fun with a checked shirt (Hamilton Shirt Maker, $245), a “day at the races” bright green tie (Seaward & Son $145) and don’t forget your handkerchief (Hanauer, $75). This one has riding hats on it!



A closer look.

Next, let’s look at the basic grey suit and how to liven it up:


This suit (Polo Blue Label) is a great grey suit for summer. Take this and have some fun with color: lavender shirt (Agho, $180), bright aqua tie (that has horseshoes on it! Marchesi di Como, $98) and a paisley linen handkerchief (Seaword & Stern, $80). As you can see in the background, if bow ties are more your thing, there are plenty here.


A summer dress shoe, like these from Donald Pliner work well. And, it’s hard to miss that the embellishment is perfect for a day with the horses! These work well with a suit, slacks or shorts (yes, infield, we are talking to you here!)



Speaking of the infield, this seersucker jacket ($510) with blue shirt (New England Shirt Co, $195) would look great with those shoes featured above and a pair of cape cod red shorts. Or, pair with cape cod red pants and add a bow tie for a little dressier, but very fun, Steeplechase look.

Next, I stopped by The Oxford Shop looking for sport coats, fun colors and patterns. My aim was to find some options that could update what a guy might already have in his closet.


This Peter Millar jacket ($825), paired with the classically updated blue button down ($145), paisley bow tie ($85), subdued cotton handkerchief ($58) and Samuelsohn pants ($295), is a great men’s look.



A closer look.



Really, I want you to see the big patterns and the tiny ones at play. So, one more really close up!



Here, I wanted to show off the poppy pants (Bill’s Khakis, $135) and how great they look with a navy sportcoat. Many guys have a navy sportcoat (Samuelsohn, $895) and this is how you bring it into spring and more specifically, Steeplechase. That tie ($140) certainly pulls the whole look together, as does the whip-stitching on the handkerchief. The great shirt is a private label collection sold exclusively at The Oxford Shop ($155)

One last stop was J. McLaughlin, in their men’s section.


J. McLaughlin has a nice selection of classic but fun and fresh button downs that are great for spring. Add one of their bow ties and chinos or shorts to make a great Steeplechase statement that is on the more casual side.

The best men’s hats I found were at Stacey Rhodes Boutique by Carol Carr. It’s not just the ladies who can have fun with a hat. Men, these are calling your name! The prices I saw were $149-$249.


This iguana is great and will never leave you lacking something to talk about!



When a flamboyant look is called for, here’s just the thing: a little pimp-daddy-meets-the-race-track. Now that’s a hat! 



I like to call this the Steeplechase hat for the sportsman who likes to have fun. With a natural feature and leather knots that are reminiscent of barbed wire, I promise I could see this hat at Steeplechase and then with shorts and flip flops at a bar in Key West!



There are lots of men’s hats to choose from at Stacey Rhodes.

Women’s Fashion for Steeplechase:

As we head into women’s fashion, I want to highlight a few words of advice from Image Consultant Mila Grigg (www.modaimageconsulting.com):

Shoes: “A nude wedge is a safe and chic option. I would choose a leather or cork verses a rope wedge–rope can tend to add bulk to your feet, and you want to keep a clean line with your dress!

Hat: “Have a ball with your hat; just make sure it fits proportionally to your frame. The brim and the crown should not overpower your narrow face. Or if you have a larger head, keep the feathers and flowers to a minimum and decide to have a bit more fun with your dress. Think of a mullet: business in the front, party in the back. If you decide to go wild with your hat (the party), find a classic dress with a simpler pattern to accent your shape (the business).”

Dress: “You don’t want the dress pattern to fight with the flowers, birds or feathers on your head. Dress length is important–right above the knee is perfection. Many of my clients don’t want to show their knees, and we keep it right below the knee cap. If you decide to go below the knee, make sure to add height with a wedge so you don’t chop off your length. Have fun with color this year; be bold and use fashion to tell the world who you are and invite them to get to know you.”

With these words of advice, we headed to Kayce Hughes.


The yellow dress is Eva Franco ($395) and the green dress is Kayce Hughes ($138). With hats and accessories, as well as sunglasses, you can load up for Steeplechase during one stop!



This Kayce Hughes dress ($160) is so pretty and just screams spring! Add some wedges to the pearls and sunhat and you are set!



The navy sunglasses are the perfect compliment to the Eva Franco dress.

Next, we walked across the street at The Hill Center Green Hills to J. McLaughlin:


This maxi dress ($210), made in J. McLaughlin’s amazing Catalina fabric, is basically sweat proof. The large brown leather bag ($395) can hold many Steeplchase treats and can be wiped down if a muddy splash occurs!



This strapless dress ($185) has a shape that is flattering on many. It’s not too short and has great movement. Add a belt or cardigan for a new look.



This blue pique dress ($195) provides a great canvas for big, bold jewelry. The bright pink bag ($345) and scarf add a pop of color here. Add a hat and sandals, and viola! Steeplechase.

Now, let’s talk shoes. Leave any heels, with the exception of a wedge, at home. You are walking across dirt and grass and your heels will sink. Flat sandals work, as well.

Our first stop was Stacey Rhodes Boutique for these sandals:


Great cork wedges in patent black or metallic.

Next, I found some fun shoes with vintage flair at Kayce Hughes:


The stitching and small heel, along with the neutral color, will make these a big hit. Sundresses and white jeans all will look great with this shoe.

We hit the jackpot at Elaine Turner. Did you know that her shoes have two layers of memory foam for added comfort? Just found that out myself! Comfort + style is all I want:


Many women enjoy a high wedge. If this is you, look no further than Elaine Turner. Super comfy, as well. $275.


I like this marriage between a heel and a wedge ($275). These will last you from right now into Nashville’s October.

Hats: This is where you can go conservative or go wild.

My first stop was Gus Mayer. They carry a large selection of Christine Moore hats. And, if you are reading this early Friday morning, Christine Moore is going to be on the TODAY show discussing hats straight from Churchill Downs! Yes, she’s the TODAY show expert on hats during this Derby weekend! The price range is wide here, under $200 to about $500.


Since green is THE color this year, I snapped this pic showing off the many shades of green.



For the gal who wants to make a statement, but one via shape and not adornment or color, this is a good one. Just be sure the brim is not too narrow for your face.



This was my personal favorite, but really for anytime, not just Steeplechase. I would LOVE to wear a big ol’ crazy hat!

Next I was off to Stacey Rhodes Boutique to check her Carol Carr hats, straight from Palm Beach! Each year, Stacey Rhodes fills her store with hundreds of hats, at many price points, and people flock to find their perfect one. Stacey has hats from $35 to over $500.


Really bold and beautiful hats are customer favorites at Stacey Rhodes. There is also a nice selection of more conservative hats.



Check out this “halo” style head adornment. Your shoulders may get sun, but who cares? This will be remembered forEVER.



More hats on display with at Stacey Rhodes.



These fun headbands are under $30 and perfect for the younger crowd going. This is fun for little ones and teens alike.

The last stop was SOCA to see the Fanny & June collection of hats by Nashville designer Anna Zeitlin. The hats retail for $150 to $360.


Fanny & June


Fanny & June



Fanny & June

Jewelry: With crazy hats and bright dresses, jewelry is often overlooked. But, there’s a large group of women who want to wear a solid dress, a simple hat and then shine in some statement jewelry. It’s a great look.

My first stop was Kendal Boutique:


Bright earrings for just $16 each.



This gold and robin’s egg blue statement necklace looks equally good with a bright color, black or white. $24.



Super fun, huh? Just $16.

Next, I headed down to the Gulch, as I knew there were a couple necklaces from Two Old Hippies that I wanted to highlight. Have you been to Two Old Hippies yet? It’s just a blast. It’s a music venue, guitar and mandolin store AND a lifestyle store with fashions, gifts and a newly launched home collection. I really do have a weakness for their jewelry.


Seriously, with the use of actual horse bridles, this jewelry is a perfect match for Steeplechase! The Unbridled Collection by Lesley Reynolds.



The Unbridled Collection by Lesley Reynolds
Leather and bit necklace with driving pony pendant $402.00
Leather and bit necklace with turquoise pendant $352.00

And, since turquoise is seriously catching my eye as of late, here are a couple more goodies:


Look at all those blues and greens–such gorgeous ways to show some pops of color! At Elaine Turner.



This statement cuff is found at Kayce Hughes.

There are plenty of places to shop for Steeplechase, but get out there and support your bricks and mortar establishments. Enjoy!