Chic and Simple for Ms. Racing Queen Pageant

Events / Travel

Your hat is important but is only one piece of the fashion puzzle.

The Ms. Racing Queen Pageant is back!

In 2013, the Stronach Group decided to do something completely different and hold a ‘pageant’ searching for one young lady to represent the racing industry for a year. With more than 100 contestants from California to Florida, young ladies competed for their chance at the title, which also awarded them $100,000!

After a very successful year for 2013 Ms. Racing Queen Tatiana Schoeppler, the Stronach Group has decided to go forward and hold the competition for a second year. We first met Tatiana Schoeppler at the Preakness Stakes. She was a breath of fresh air to the races as a newcomer, yet also an obvious fan. She championed the importance of gaining new fans to racing by showing them how much fun it can be!


Fashion at the Races began dressing Ms. Racing Queen for her big race days and press opportunities. In June 2013, we were so excited to have her as our cover girl of the 2014 Fashion at the Races Calendar. A gorgeous day at Lane’s End Farm brought Tatiana and the other Queen of Racing, Zenyatta, together for the first time. With Zenyatta’s 2013 colt running around half the time and chewing on Tatiana’s dress the other half, it was a wonderful and fun experience for all involved.

If that wasn’t enough, we were able to have Ms. Racing Queen star in another month in our Calendar with the $10 million mare Havre de Grace.

If you don’t already have one, get your copy here:

To incorporate the importance of race-day fashion into the competition, the Ms. Racing Queen pageant has a Derby Wear category in which each girl struts her stuff in her race-day fashion for the famous “Run for the Roses”.

Fashion at the Races’ own Bri Mott has been asked to judge the competition this year, and we cannot think of anyone better qualified to judge this category!!


Here’s her advice on how to look your best for the Derby Day Fashion category:

The Kentucky Derby is known for its mint juleps, southern hospitality and fashion, of course! When people think Derby, they think big hats! So of course there is a bit of focus on the adornment upon your head, but we will save this focus for last.

Wear an outfit that compliments your frame in a feminine way — nothing too tight and nothing too loose. Short skirts and dresses should be left at home as they have no place at the races, especially on such a tradition-driven day. Skirt lengths should be just above knee (2-3 inches, but no more) or below, such as a tea-cup length. (Click here to learn more about tea-cup lengths.)


In our eyes, Maxi dresses are not proper for the Derby. They have more of a West Coast vibe about them, but also in the crowds at Derby they will be stepped on and ruined if you don’t trip on them first.

Lace, florals, and pastels are three trends to aim for. You should be your most feminine self, and any one of these three trends will help execute that. Leave the dark colors for fall and the black for the Belmont Stakes. Feel free to mix colors throughout your outfit with accessories and shoes.


Last and most importantly: Your Derby Hat. Your millinery or headpiece is what brings the whole outfit together. Most frequently seen at the Kentucky Derby are the bigger-brimmed pieces; however, bigger is NOT always better … especially in this competition! If you walk that stage with a huge-brimmed piece that hides half of your face, you aren’t doing yourself any justice. You would do much better to pick a medium- or smaller-brimmed piece, or even a ‘Hatinator.’ A Hatinator is a cross between a fascinator and a hat. These types of pieces are perfect for any race day and you can find one that fits your style perfectly! Also, don’t overdo it with trimmings or the flowers/feathers etc. that are on your hat.

Keep it chic and simple!

It’s not a hat competition, it’s a head-to-toe competition and you want to carry your hat and your fashion with a smile and a good deal of confidence! If you are new to the concept of purchasing millinery, don’t fall from the idea that the pricier it is, the better it is. Sometimes, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

One of the great things about Fashion at the Races’ eStore is we offer all different styles at all different prices. Take a look to find something in your budget that best fits your style! If you haven’t found anything, drop us a line and let us do the finding for you!!

The races are a place to have fun and look great. That’s what this category is all about in the competition. Be sure to remember that as you look for your winning millinery piece as well as the rest of the outfit.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest and greatest of all things horse racing, fun and fashion! 

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