Speaking of hats...I have mine for the Prix de Diane!


Cowboy hats, baseball caps, red berets...they all have one thing in common. They look silly on me. Or to be more specific, I look silly wearing them. So, the fact that I'm willing to wear a hat to the Prix de Diane in Chantilly for the second year in a row is a pretty good indication of how much fun Stéphane and I had at the horse races last year.

In preparation for the big day, Finding Noon and I decided to do some serious hat shopping shortly after we were freed from the café where we had been held hostage by a torrential downpour yesterday afternoon. But first, we wanted to learn more about betting on horses in France. Walking into a dimly lit tobacco shop, we pushed past men poring over racing forms and drinking beer to ask the cashier if she had a Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) instruction booklet. There we were, two innocents in a den of inequity, without any idea of how to take the next step. Acting as if she had never heard of such a concept, the woman said that she didn't have any pamphlets and sent us on our way. Assuring Finding Noon that the Prix de Diane is chic not sleazy, we decided to confine our research on betting to the internet.

Next stop, Tanago, a small boutique on the rue du Commerce in the 15th arrondissement. To make a long story short, I finally found this years's head topper after trying on just about every hat in the store...three times. It's simple, goes well with my black and white polka dot dress and doesn't make me feel like a complete idiot.

If you're looking for something different to do, pack a picnic (don't forget the foie gras, champagne and strawberries!) and have a wonderful day at the Prix de Diane horse race in Chantilly on June 17, 2012. You'll see me there - I'll be the one wearing a hat!

For those of you (like my dearest friend, Heidi!), who are still looking for a hat, please click here to see what some of the women were wearing last year.

Many thanks to Denise for sending me the link for "A Guide to Betting on Horseracing" in France.

Comments

  1. Well, my dearest MK, I also found MY hat this week! It doesn't look that different from yours... but I'm not going to say more now... Looking forward to seeing you soon in Paris!
    Love, Heidi

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    1. Ha! Why am I not surprised that we chose similar hats, Heidi?! Solidarity! Two women who don't like to wear hats joined together in our ridiculousness. It will be like when we wore jeans to our first afternoon tea together in London! Now, we just have to hope for good weather.

      See you soon!

      Love, Mary Kay

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  2. Glad you got the link. Really gutted that Michael and I will miss it, but I now have my own hat/outfit dilemma for July the 1st at Chantilly. Due in part to me telling Michael you were going on June 17th! spurred him to make reservations for the Panoramic restaurant as a "surprise". Ha!

    Love the hat you chose. (IT IS OBLIGATORY TO PUBLISH FULL DETAILS OF ALL OUTFITS OF LADIES IN THE PARTY! please) I am sure it will look stunning on you.

    I have a similar one in cream and coffee which I love , but how do you transport it on a plane?....especially with the carry on rule? Wear it? or should I take a fascinator? Do they wear them in France as much as in England?

    I await your research as to which is more appropriate!

    Love Denise

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    1. The Panoramic Restaurant looks lovely! Michael and you are in for a real treat. I momentarily thought about it for the Prix de Diane but decided to pack a picnic when I saw the price. I look forward to reading all about it on your blog!

      And Denise, you surprise me. I know that you're not the least bit sexist yet you only want to know about the ladies' outfits? Stephane is crushed. In between "Finding Noon" and "Out and About", I'm sure that you'll hear plenty about what we were all wearing. If I get permission, maybe I'll even post some photos of our group.

      I think that you would be fine with a fascinator. I saw lots of women wearing them at the Prix de Diane last year. Plus, as you say, it would be hard to transport a hat to Paris. If you end up deciding that you would like to wear a hat after you get here, you're welcome to use the one shown in the photo or the black one that I wore last year.

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    1. Oh, no! I just realized that I had intended to include the information that you sent me about the banning of fascinators in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot in this post. I'll have to remember to put it in a future post.

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  4. A great hat! And, you know that I wear big bold hats all the time in the sunshine!

    Many women don't know that with constant use of a big wide brim you might not want a facelift in years to come. It keeps your skin from aging and each inch of hat brim reduces your risk of skin cancer on the head neck and other shaded area by 10%.

    Fashionable and smart!

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    1. You're a wise woman to wear a big bold hat in the sunshine, Penny. I had mine on while I was watching tennis at Roland Garros today! Thanks for including the information about why it's crucial for people to protect their skin. As you know, skin cancer is a subject that is of the utmost concern to me.

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  5. I would have LOVED to have gone hat shopping with you and Finding Noon. It would have been such fun! I really want to go to the horse races. It sounds really cool. I'll seee if Sir Lancelot is up for it!

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    1. Hat shopping was a spur of the moment decision when the weather spoiled our plans to go for a walk. But it turned out to be lots of fun! Plus, I'm sure that Stephane was relieved that he didn't have to go through the whole process with me again this year.

      If you decide to get a hat and join us, you know where we'll be next Sunday. I hope that you're not too tired after your soirée!

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  6. That is a 'grandious' hat Mary Kay, and indeed it goes wonderfully well with your polka dots dress.
    Have fun at the races and don't worry about learning how to bet, just go with your heart.
    What a life!
    :-)

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    1. Thank you, Sylvia! I think that I'll take your advice to "go with your heart" when it comes to betting, especially since I won't have anything else that I can use!

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    2. I agree with Sylvia. The hat is stunning and oh so glamorous. Perfect for you. Do enjoy yourselves.

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    3. Thanks! After having so much fun last year, we're really looking forward to next Sunday.

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  7. And pearls even! Very proper and lady-like. A fun day at the races, indeed.

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    1. Oh, you're so observant! The pearls were a last minute addition. When I got the hat, I bought a long sparkly red necklace and earrings to add a bit of color. After I got home, I decided to be more lady-like. The splash of red is going to come from my purse.

      Now, I just wish that they served mint juleps at the Prix de Diane. Ever since I read about them on your blog, it seems like the drink to have at a horse race.

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  8. Aplogies to Stephane..of course we all want a run down on what the gentlemen are wearing too. I am sure he will look tres chic, as only international travelling, European men, can do!

    Do they have the equivalent of a "Royal enclosure" where the men have to wear morning suits?.....

    just a little story......

    We once accidentally found ourselves in the Presidential box at Longchamps. Prix de L'Arc de Triomohe. Somehow we just walked past the security. This was at the time of the Afghanistan invasion, when Americans and French were having a bit of a dispute.

    Completely unaware of this, as we are not familiar with French politicians, we sat down, Michael tucked into the free buffet and we watched the big race. Only when we saw the people besides us cheering on the big screen did we realise we were with the VIP's.

    Michael was quite happy to stay and continue with the free food! but horrified that if the security found us they would think we were terrorists, or at least be a bit annoyed we had got past them, we beat a hasty retreat!

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    1. LOL! You live an interesting life, Denise! Thanks for sharing the story about how Michael and you almost ended up in the slammer as suspected terrorists.

      I don't think that there's an equivalent of the "royal" enclosure at the Prix de Diane, although Longines (the primary sponsor of the race) has a really nice roped off area. Try as I might, I couldn't manage to accidentally find myself inside last year. I'll have to try harder this time!

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  9. I love hats and love wearing them, but usually in winter because I don't have a lot of hat-wearing venues in summer! Nearly all of mine come from Australia. I introduced Relationnel to hats too, so he wears them as well. I'm sorry we didn't get a photo of you in the hat! Enjoy the race.

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    1. One of my first experiences with fancy hats was when some Aussie friends invited me to their Melbourne Cup party years ago. My hat was rather plain compared to some of the other creations!

      But there is a photo of me in the hat - it's at the top of the post! ;)

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