A lot of the points made in other posts this week bear repeating: Wear wedges or flats, no heels. Choose something light, cotton and flowy. Wear sunscreen. Be prepared for rain and don't be afraid to don some cute wellies if it's really wet out there -- the turf gets messy when soggy.
Now, because I've been unemployed and penny-pinching lately, I figured I'd contribute to the Gold Cup frenzy with a post on cost-conscious hats. I know a lot of you will be out there looking for a last-minute hat this weekend, and let's be honest: we can't all afford to drop upwards of $150. I've been around the block for a Gold Cup or two, and it always seems like such a big deal to get the perfect hat ... until you're a little too tipsy by the afternoon and drop it in the mud anyway.
So, some tips for finding a fabulous but reasonable Gold Cup hat:
1. Bargain Shop. I wish I could support some of the truly talented milliners in this city, but as I have few occasions to wear a hat, I just can't afford to drop $200 on what might be a one-time wear. Enter the big-box shops. Stores like Target, Macy's, Forever21 and Nordstrom all have reasonably priced hats in stock. Also check discount stores like Nordstrom Rack, Marshall's and T.J. Maxx. You really can find great choices for $50 and under.
2. Think Ahead to Summer. My personal poolside style is always a little retro, including a big floppy hat on days when I'll be out in the sun for more than just a casual tanning session. The great thing about so many Gold Cup hats is that they can also double as a summer beach or pool hat. If you're looking to make your purchase stretch a little, try to choose one that will also get plenty of use this summer.
3. Borrow. When push comes to shove, you can always borrow from a friend. No shame in that.
Here are some of my favorite bargain hats I've found while looking around online. If you act quickly, there still should be plenty of time for shipping before Gold Cup, but there are plenty of options out in the stores. They all know that this is Gold Cup season in D.C. and since it's all about the hat, they have plenty in stock.
These are a little pricey, but also check places like Claire's for fascinator headbands!
Happy hat shopping and Happy Friday!