Polo has long been considered an “upscale” equestrian sport, often played at elite country clubs or for royalty. If you’ve been invited to a polo match or are interested in the sport, what you wear should be your first priority. There are often dress codes for polo events, so your wardrobe should be chosen accordingly.
Time of Day
One of the things you should consider when deciding what to wear to a polo match is the time of day during which the game takes place. Evening events will require more formal clothing, while a game that takes place in the morning or afternoon will be a more casual affair.
Even if you are attending a polo match in the evening, footwear must be comfortable if you are hoping to enjoy yourself. Most polo matches take place on large fields, and the grounds will be extensive. Simply walking from your car to the field will eliminate high heels and other fancy footwear from your wardrobe.
Loafers, tennis shoes and boots are the most common types of footwear at a polo match. You can wear sandals, but don’t get near any of the horses if you do. If a horse steps on an exposed toe, you’ll probably have to miss the match to go to the emergency room.
Typically, men should wear comfortable clothing to a polo match. In the winter and fall, a pair of nice dress pants is appropriate with a button-down shirt. Ties and jackets are not necessary, but a blazer is appropriate.
In the summer, it is usually acceptable for men to wear shorts to a polo match, though jeans are usually not considered polite. A pair of shorts, for example, would work just fine paired with a button-down shirt or polo shirt.
Women favor “country casual” outfits for polo events, from trousers to linen shorts with a fitted knit top or button-down blouse. Women may also wear skirts, but remember there will likely be quite a bit of walking during and after the event.
In many cases, a polo match will be followed by another event such as a charity banquet, party or awards ceremony. In this case, you do not need to wear your party clothes to the match itself; simply bring your clothes with you and change after the game.
Watch the Weather
Like many equestrian sports, rain and other precipitation will not necessarily result in the cancellation of a polo match. Therefore, prepare yourself for any type of weather. If rain is forecast, make sure to bring an umbrella or rain poncho, and find out in advance if there will be covered areas for spectators.
Attending a polo match is an exciting event, and it is important to be comfortable in what you wear. If you are at all unsure, call the sponsors of the event to ask whether a dress code is enforced. Alternatively, you can call friends or relatives who have attended similar events to find out what they chose to wear.