Boekelo, which just wrapped up this weekend in the Netherlands, is part three-day event, part social event. There are big, swanky parties every night and cross-country day in particular is a sight to behold. This year some 60,000 people spilled out onto the sprawling course, some there to watch the horses, some just there to see and be seen.
To put the number 60,000 in context, that’s about twice the attendance of cross-country day at Rolex. It was pretty nuts. I’ve had better luck moving from stage to stage at Bonnaroo than I did moving from jump to jump at Boekelo. The best thing to do, I found, was just merge into the current and go with the flow.
The galloping lanes were lined with bars, and spectators started bellying up to them early. By mid-morning the party was in full swing, with champagne flutes sloshing and everyone cheering every time a horse went thundering past (not that you could always see them through the crowd!)
Which was actually sort of fine because the people-watching was pretty entertaining as well. As Leslie Threlkeld wrote in her Boekelo Instagram roundup, “One thing I noticed on the live stream this morning as the camera panned across the crowd and zoomed in on spectators — which happened as frequently as a horse galloping through the frame — is the Dutch are really quite stylish. I saw fur coats, you guys.”
Leslie speaks the truth, and I was taking style notes big-time. Here are a few fashion tips I picked up at the Boekelo trade fair, in case you want to get the “I just stopped by after the hunt breakfast on my way to afternoon lawn tennis with Will and Kate” country chic look.
First, let’s talk outerwear.
You’re gonna need some tweed.
Capes and caps are also having a moment.
For a more contemporary look: puff jacket.
Speaking of which, sorry PETA …
You also need a scarf.
As for footwear, country boots or wellies. Your choice.
Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. A few ideas:
Some sort of fake European accent is a plus. And don’t forget about your horse!
Well, that’s all the fashion tips I have for today. I’m going to go back to sitting in front of my computer now, eating potato chips from the bag in a threadbare 1997 Pony Club rally T-shirt and pajama pants.