What to Wear To… Atlanta Steeplechase

Spring is right around the corner and I’m not sure about you, but I can smell the seersucker. I can also smell the horses as the excitement for the Atlanta Steeplechase builds, an event that I’ll be attending for the first time this year. Mark, my husband, and I will be wandering the grounds and photographing the event, particularly the good looks, for Back Down South. With that being said, I’d like to ensure that there will, in fact, be good looks. Mark has asked me a few times already what he should wear. We’ve seen the Derby, we get the idea: colors, lots of colors, and hats of the large variety. But when it actually comes time to attend something like this, all of a sudden your closet feels inadequate. Changing this was easy for me: I purchased a seersucker Lilly Pulitzer dress and a big hat. Done.

While some men sport hats to horse races, it’s not as popular (but if you’ve got one, I’d encourage wearing it!). What’s really necessary is eye-catching color. Break out that seersucker suit if you’ve got it! Don your bow ties! Step into your go-to-hell pants! Paint the place pastel! Not inspired yet? The looks below may help you, boys.

Shirt | Brooks Brothers short sleeve seersucker.
Belt | Smathers & Branson Horse Bits needlepoint.
Khaki pants | These are the Tommy Hilfiger Frenchtown.
White bucks | Cole Haan Air Franklin’s.
Flask | J.Crew leather.

Bow tie | Bird Dog Bay “Bits & Shoes.” I also love the Horse & Cup from Southern Proper.
White button down | Brooks Brothers Slim Fit End-on-End.
Rope belt | Kiel James Patrick “Hortock’s Compass Rose.”
Seersucker pants | Castaway Clothing Harbor pants.
Navy suede bucks |  Brooks Brothers classic.

Bow tie | Social Primer for Brooks Brothers.
Ray Ban’s | Repp stripe Wayfarer’s from Brooks Brothers.
Hoof pick belt | Orvis Farrier’s.
White shorts | Ralph Lauren straight fit.
Sperry’s | Original classic brown. Can’t beat ‘em.

Lastly, if you’re the kind of guy who just wants to wear a polo, at least get one from from Cash Robinson, a company who is inspired by the southern lifestyle seen in Kentucky’s bourbon and horse racing. Their Silk Reserves would make for the perfect Steeplechase polo.

About the Author Caroline Fontenot

Caroline is a Texan living in Georgia. She is a full time photographer and runs the southern style blog Back Down South. She is a huge fan of her husband, warm weather, traveling, eating good eats and drinking good drinks. She is not a fan of cargo shorts or writing in third person...


  1. I’m a big fan of Back Down South, and even got the chance to meet Caroline and her husband when they were passing through New Orleans. It’s cool to see her guest post here.

  2. Short sleeve button up? Seriously?

    • Adam, I feel your apprehension towards short sleeve button downs. However, they can be done. New short sleeve button downs often come with a more tailored (slim) fit and shorter sleeves, which takes the “dork” factor away. When not at the Steeplechase, wear it with jeans, and make it a little less “uptight”. The new fits that are coming out give it a much more athletic appeal.

  3. Need the same article for The Masters…

  4. @TA Mulloy – Check out this post on The Love List that I photographed. Masters looks!

  5. Ive been to Steeplechase quite a few times and have some very practical advice:

    1) It is often colder in the morning, so bring layers! We jokingly brought a snuggie last year and people actually fought over it till the sun warmed up around noon.
    2) The parking area and fields around the main space are FILLED w/ thorns and thistles, so those cute open toed shoes may lead to injury.
    3) That field? Often muddy in many spots. I highly recommend packing a pair of espadrilles or wedges if you must have a heel, or practical but cute flip flops that match your dress. I have a very cute pair of Hunter boots that I’ve worn once b/c it was so sloppy one year. I’ve seen too many pretty linen or white shoes ruined b/c people didn’t know about the conditions.

  6. Stumbled upon this while trying to find info on what to wear to the fall Aiken Steeplechase. As a not so southern gal, I’ve been searching around for what exactly to wear to this thing… Happen to have any advice/tips/blogs with more info? PS: Glad to have found your blog–it’s been enjoyable to browse!

  7. great looking outfits, some of the pants are similar to Alex Maine pants. either look great with the shirt and tie set ups.

  8. Love the looks! I agree, all we need is colorful dress, fab hat, slap on some lip gloss and you are perfecto.


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