After an astounding nine years in NYC it’s hard to find anything left on the bucketlist but that is one of the marvelous things about this city, there is always an event, a restaurant, a new shop or somewhere that I have yet to experience. The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic is the one event that I’ve been longing to attend. Due to an annual family reunion I’ve never been in the city for the big event but this year my luck changed. I snagged one of the coveted tickets to attend with a dear friend and immediately began putting together a plan of attack on what to wear, what to pack and what to know about polo as I admittedly have only been to a few polo matches since moving to the east coast. Below I’ve outlined the top 5 things to know as a VC Polo Classic first timer.
What tickets to grab?
If you can swing a ticket to the Rose Garden, which is the significantly pricier option but I highly recommend it as you have tables, a designated area … the whole nine yards. It is worth it. However, if you don’t care to drop a couple of hundred dollars then go with general admission which allows you on the ferry, admission into the event and a fantastic time. You don’t get bottles of Veuve though, you will receive a wristband but that is simply to monitor how much bubbly you intake as you are limited to one (1) bottle per person. (See below for thoughts on this)
What to wear?
While it is true that a polo match is going on (as is your prime opportunity to catch Nacho in action!) this particular match has turned into more of fashion scene for the whose who of the style set than ever before. As you board the ferry Bill is snapping away in his signature blue jacket, guys are dressed so impeccably well that they don’t even mind that they’re breaking a sweat through their custom three-piece linen suit and the ladies pulled together such well curated, appropriate looks that you feel more at fashion week than a polo match.
Pull a Julia Roberts Pretty Woman move … wear a dress that has some movement and allows for breathing, a sensible heel (you are on a lawn!! No skinny stilettos please) an amazing wide brimmed hat and a smile. It’s that simple.
I went with a breezy sundress from LIE’s spring collection, a stacked heel from Sole Society, Karen Walker oversized sunnies and a vintage clutch.
Attention to details:
Small details go a long way with this particular event. PRIV sent a stylist who turned a standard blowout into the chicest little half up bow I’ve ever seen and people noticed. I likely received twenty plus compliments on how perfect this was. Going the extra mile will go a long way.
What to pack?
Don’t leave home without a hat, a fan or a properly packed picnic basket. We bought the chic VC hand fans for $10 and they were without a doubt the best $10 I’ve likely ever spent. It gets toasty out there and you’ll want something to help cool you down along with the bubbly. I’ve rounded up my top hat picks as you will want one with a wide brim since you’re sitting in the sun. Don’t get confused by a horse race and a polo match when it comes to hat decisions!
As for the picnic spread, pop over to this post from last year for a great recommendation on curating the perfect basket. Make sure you also pack a water bottle or two, you will want it! There are food trucks there but the food is food truck food, fried and delicious but not necessarily what you want on a hot June day.
Where to sit?
If you’re in the Rose Garden you will have a lovely designated area with tables, umbrellas and your own bar. With a GA ticket you aren’t slumming it trust me but you don’t have a designated area so go early. I cannot stress the importance of going early to secure a great spot. We arrived around 12:30 and were not able to sit in an area that allowed viewing the actual match very well. Make sure that you have a few blankets to spread out among your crew. I saw a number of friends who brought folding tables and chairs, which if you have the room in NYC and actually own these items bring them! (Also, who are you and can we be friends!?)
Sneaky little recommendations:
You are limited to one bottle of bubbly. You can sneak around this by talking to the bartender’s while getting your first bottle and distracting them just enough to where they forget to ask for your wristband. This worked multiple times for our group. Another route to go is to get creative – our group felt that we easily could have snuck in a few small bottles to make cocktails and such. Now I’m not a rule breaker but I am a fan of cocktails especially when you’re limited to one bottle of bubbly over the course of 4 hours in the sun!