Fashion bonanza at polo tourney

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Chipo Sabeta
As the polo season looms large, elegance is expected to take centre stage but in a more relaxed and sporty environment. All is now set for a true festive feast of polo at Bushman Rock Safaris, which is hosting the third annual Carrick Ambassadors Cup Polo Tournament.
Billed as the most popular social highlight of the year and favoured by Zimbabwe’s A-List, the Carrick Ambassadors Cup, will be held today and tomorrow.

This provides a perfect platform for “fashionistas” to show-off their dress sense.
With top-end brands keen to associate their products with the glitz and glamour that comes with polo, it goes without saying that two words that tend to go together are ‘polo fashion’.

The annual event has been synonymous with “high” fashion since its inception in 2016 and this year’s best dresser (male and female) are expected to win return business class tickets to Cape Town, courtesy of sponsor, RwandAir.

Themed: “Pretty Posh-Oh my Gosh”, this year’s judges’ panel of selectors will include radio personality, Candice Mwakalyelye; male style icon, Craig Zoowie and RwandAir country manager Ada Mugenyi.

Since the Carrick Ambassadors Cup Polo Tournament is one of the most prestigious events on the local social calendar, it doesn’t come as a shock that attendees at the illustrious occasion pull all stops to look grand.

But what are the “dos” and “don’ts” of polo fashion and etiquette?
Male style icon and stylist Zoowie said the dress code for a polo outing must be comfortable yet highly stylish.

Zoowie said going for polo is a unique outing, both in terms of sporting spectatorship and dress code.

“Many people go into a mild panic when the theme: “Pretty Posh-Oh my Gosh” is mentioned,” said Zoowie.

“The key rules for assembling a polo outfit are to take into consideration the day. It’s a sporting day – so comfort is a big thing, a big consideration.

“It’s all about style and looking expensive. It’s also a combination of simple and wearing noticeable colour combinations and playing around with stylish accessories.”

He explained that while bearing some similarities with a day at the races, polo dress is less structured, more ‘undone’ and is all about comfort more than anything else.

The pint-sized event planner, who is also a holder of Prince2 Project Management certification from the University of Cape Town, added that whether one opts for a pretty sundress, a floating maxi dress, tailored trousers or comfortable culottes, the general rule is smartness and femininity.

Said Zoowie: “Think stylish summer picnic meets garden party and you can’t go too far wrong. Colour-wise, bright colours go along with nature.
“A scarf is a good idea because of the unpredictable weather.”

Being smart at prestigious events such as polo allows spectators to be in a more relaxed frame of mind.

But unlike women, males have been advised to overdress for such sporting events.
Khakis, denims are great but have to come with a shirt and a nice jacket.

For Zoowie, the chinos is the way to go, adding that attendees must choose light, summery shades such as pastels, white, beige and camel and pair with navy blue or olive.

“The polo is your chance to have some fun with colour and accessories, so don’t be afraid of a pocket square, bow-tie or a belt in a bold shade.

“Obviously, don’t be too casual because the casual interpretation for polo dressing is something really elegant and European.”

Mwakalyelye, a fashion model, also waded into the polo fashion.
She said polo is a sport synonymous with luxury, despite being for everyone.
“However, stilettos are not a great idea at the polo to all ladies out there. Not only will you sink into the grass at every step but they may also be uncomfortable.

“Instead, choose wedges, a block heel or a chic flat. Remember one has to look sporty. It is a great chance to have some fun with your accessories and bright, playful or statement-making pieces are a go.

“A wicker clutch a bold pair of sunglasses can completely round out an outfit,” she said.

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