'More sports!', I hear you cry. True, but this is a sporting event with style! The Vodacom Durban July is Africa's greatest horseracing event and takes place every year in Durban on the first Saturday of July. However, due to the World Cup, it's taking place on the 31st of July this year.
I've only been to two July's - once for the party and once to snap some pics for work - and the first time was a total riot! The agency I used to work for threw a cracking party and we boogied our socks off. I think the highlight for me was when we ordered 30 pizzas at midnight and the Debonairs bloke literally delivered them to our tent. Just hours before we were nibbling on sushi in all manner of refinery but after a couple of tequilas, it was a singalong pizza fest!
Anyway, we Durbanites don't often get the chance to dress up and the July is our golden opportunity to go to town with an outfit. If you're going this year, now is the time to start cooking up some outfit ideas! And if it's your first time attending, here are a few tips I can share with you having 'done the July' a few years ago.
Wear some form of headwear
It's de rigeur to wear a hat to the races but many people don't. Heck, when else are you going to get the chance to swan around Durbs in a giant fascinator? This is the time to chuck one on and pretend you're Julia Roberts ala Pretty Woman. (Sans 'Working Girl' job title)
The July takes place smack bang in the middle of Durban's winter and even though it's no icebox, you don't want to be shivering in the blustery wind all day. If you're wearing a dress, I'd suggest you don some tights and take a shawl or a chic little bolero jacket. Yes, I sound like your mum but take it from me, you do not want to be chattering about, covered in goosies.
Wear a solid heel
The grass on the green is spongy and has stilleto sucking powers! Save your skinny Aldos from tilling the field and opt for something with a solid heel. You'll be chuffed you did when some poor soul starts sinking before your very eyes, canapes in hand.
Dress the theme (without 'being' the theme)
I've just seen that this year's theme is florals! Hells, maybe I should buy some tickets! I do love the florals. Anyway, it's quite fun to dress the theme at the July but one doesn't necessarily need to channel a giant Strellitzia. Vamp up springy florals with an edgy (p)leather jacket or rock a giant flower brooch on a classic LBD.
When I went to the July (before my eye-opening London adventure) my dressing-up philosophy was 'black pants and a sparkly top.' So I literally wore black pants with a white, sparkly top. Not a fashion disaster but not terribly inspired either. If I were going this year, I'd definitely put more of an effort into it. The July is a rare chance to wear something truly fabulous and heck, people will probably be thrilled to spot an OTT walking Strelitizia!
Below is a VDJ outfit I threw together on Polyvore. South African shops don't usually post their stock online so I used international items I found on the site. It's pretty full-on but I hope the black dress would anchor the lot. How amazo is that floral explosion of a clutch!?
If you're going to the July, have a blast and send me a pic of your outfit! If you know anyone who might find this article handy, please feel free to share it using the Add This widget below. Ta!