Saratoga Fashion on a Budget

Events / Travel

Saratoga is one of the most glamorous horse racing meets in the country, and when people go to the track for its 40-day long festival they like to look their best. After all, Saratoga (which bears the nickname of “The Spa” due to the restorative powers of its artesian springs) is historically a playground for the rich and famous, so there’s a tradition of elegance that comes with a visit to the Upstate New York racetrack.

The good news is that getting dolled up to go to the races doesn’t have to eradicate your savings account; I’ve put together five looks that are perfect for a day at Saratoga’s resort-like track for those of us on a budget. After all, once you’re at the races and looking fabulous, you’re going to want the extra cash you’ve saved on shopping to have some cocktails and bets!

14Saratoga01 by penelopemiller featuring a fancy necklace

I love the delicate lace of this $50 Bevello dress, and I couldn’t resist pairing it with this cognac belt with a galloping horse buckle for just $20 from Cracker Barrel. By the way, apparently Cracker Barrel makes really stylish accessories now in addition to delicious road trip food. Who knew?

I love the blue of these $40 wedges from Luichiny, which contrast beautifully with the magenta of the dress. Add a bag from Aldo for just $21 and gold accessories like the $8.68 Paidu watch via Amazon and the $5.90 aviator sunglasses from Delia’s. Finish the look off with a statement necklace ($13, Wrapables via Amazon) that recalls the cobalt of the shoes and you have a Spa-worthy ensemble for just $158.58.

14Saratoga02 by penelopemiller featuring lips makeup

Red is the signature color of Saratoga, and I couldn’t resist this fantastic dress with its deconstructed basket weave pattern for $34 from Black Five. I added a skinny black belt with a silver stirrup detail from Ariat at $30 and some T-strap Sandals at $31 from Styluxe. The large cuff bracelet, which mimics the black and silver of the belt and sandals, is a steal at $1.99; and I love the white bag with black and silver detailing from Mango (plus the price is right at $35.) Finish the whole look off with a white rose fascinator (Tasha via Nordstrom, $38) and some killer red lipstick ($4.20, NYX) and you’re good to go for $174.19. 

14Saratoga03 by penelopemiller featuring matte gold jewelry

I love this understated $60 shift for Saratoga: the details keep it eye-catching without overwhelming. I paired it with yellow pumps, which are all over red carpets this summer; these are $30 from Michael Antonio. A pink fascinator ($38, Nordstrom) picks up the hues of the dress’s flowers, and the $33 quilted bag from Bebe is simple but chic. Add a gold shield ring for $9.99 from Daily Look and you have a complete ensemble for $170.99. 

14Saratoga04 by penelopemiller featuring ASOS

Nothing says sophistication to me like a pencil skirt and a sharply tailored blazer – I found this fantastic chevron skirt from SJSP at just $8.99 (not a typo!) and the short-sleeved raspberry blazer is $27 by Doublju Women. The $29 Asos heels and $37 handbag from Lulu’s keep things simple, while the round sunglasses ($12, 80s Purple) tie into the geometric pattern of the skirt. The camisole goes under the blazer and is a steal at $9.90 by Uniqlo, and I added this $17 Sole Society layered chain collar necklace to keep things youthful and modern. All together, the entire look goes for $103.89. 

14Saratoga05 by penelopemiller featuring a bright nail polish

Our final look is more laid-back but still sophisticated – it’s perfect for an afternoon spent in Saratoga’s back yard underneath the giant shade trees. The centerpiece of the outfit is the seafoam-and-cherry maxi dress, which is $23 by SUNNYCI. I added a flat gold pair of Nine West sandals for $25, a chic straw bag with matching wallet for $50 (also from Nine West) and a chevron bracelet ($45, which mimics the pattern on the skirt of the dress. The $18 Anne Klein earrings pick up the cherry hue of the dress’s details and the $7.50 Wet Seal Sunglasses are the perfect way to top off the look. Add some bright red nail polish for $15 from Butter and you’re race-ready for just $183.50!

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