Early this Saturday morning, just a short while after the sun rose, I found myself rising from my bed to prepare for my trip to Camden
for my first experience with the tried and true southern experience know as Carolina Cup
I had never heard of Carolina Cup prior to my years at the University of South Carolina, but once I began my time there I quickly ascertained that it was a pretty big deal among the good ole’ boys and southern belles.
For those of you who don’t know, Carolina Cup is a horse race, and Camden, South Carolina, where the event is held, is a world-renowned epicenter of thoroughbred horse training.
Every year, followers of this tradition adorn themselves in every bit of pastel patchwork fabric, seersucker, or quirky spring apropos print that they can find and make their way to Springdale Race Course.
Of course, any true southerner would know that you don’t go anywhere half steppin’, and a trip to Springdale is no different. Although at most sporting events an old tee shirt and sneakers will do, you would look pretty foolish rolling up at Cup dressed that way.
For gentlemen, a shirt and tie is considered most appropriate, paired with a complimenting trouser or pair of shorts. Most men will choose to trust such well-known brands as Southern Tide
or Vinyard Vines
with their wardrobe. (Although I found the event to be pleasant, it was a bit too town and country for me. Being the fashion rebel that I am, I chose to shroud myself in black, instead of bright poppy spring color. Instead of Southern Tide, I went to the houses of H&M
, and Topman
for my ensemble.)
For ladies, the answer is simple: if your dress wasn’t custom made by Annabelle LaRoque
, then it better have been acquired from Lilly Pulitzer
. Of course you can’t forget the key element—the hat.
I found this little moment at a vendor from Virginia who set up shop to sell her wares to perhaps some young lady who came unprepared.
As I wandered about, I discovered booths by Sperry
and Lilly Pulitzer herself. The Lilly table was even giving away freebies, including custom Lilly Pulitzer edition animal crackers! Of course I had to indulge!
As tasty as they were, the cookies were not enough so after I returned to Columbia, I stopped by The Gourmet Shop
for a smoked salmon bagel. Delicious!
Marquis Bias is an expert in fashion and style based in Columbia, South Carolina. He is well known throughout South Carolina for his work as a fashion stylist and creative director as well as his position as the President of the Fashion Board at the University of South Carolina.
Follow Marquis on Twitter and lookout for USC’s Fashion Week.
USC Fashion Board is on Twitter as well.