Category: Style

Confirmed Merchants for Merchant Market

Confirmed Merchants for Merchant Market

Merchant Market is the perfect place at the Steeplechase of Charleston to get all of your holiday shopping done. With over thirty different merchants, you are sure to find something special for your significant other, close friend, or family member.

Merchant Market at Steeplechase of Charleston.
Photography by Caroline Herring.


We have some returning merchants, as well as new ones!

Here are the confirmed merchants for Merchant Market at Steeplechase 2022:

  1. Ace Basin Cocktail Company
  2. Ala Von Auersperg
  3. Brackish
  4. Carol Wells Collection
  5. Charleston ECO Jewelry
  6. Chipper Dog BBQ
  7. Cotton Patch Hemp
  8. Crosby Interiors
  9. Darling Clutch Company
  10. Designs by Colleen
  11. Dust & Sunshine
  12. Fascinated by Hats
  13. For All the Tea in Charleston
  14. Georgia Belle Candle
  15. Indigo Bee Company
  16. Jahde Leather Atelier
  17. Leaf Filter Gutter Protection
  18. Luxe Mobile Cigar Lounge
  19. Margerite & Motte
  20. Meena Creations
  21. Michael Noelle Leatherworx
  22. Old Man Oyster
  23. Old McCaskill’s Farm
  24. Paradise Home Improvement
  25. Refreshing Moments with Sharon
  26. Saltwater Cowboy
  27. Sargent Illustrations and Design
  28. Sea Flower Jewelry
  29. Therapy Life and Style
  30. Zinnialou Designs

Who are you most excited to see at Merchant Market?

Get Fashion-Forward at the Steeplechase

Since the origins of horse racing in 12th century Britain, decadent couture has gone hand-in-hand with the rumbling of hooves. In an effort to attract attention and demonstrate their high-society credentials, women wore extravagant fashions, beginning on their heads. The more ostentatious the hat, the better. Men also dressed to the nines, though with a bit less grandiosity.

That tradition carries on nearly a Millennium later, as the scene of major races like the Kentucky Derby attests. There you might find men in plaid or checkered jackets and pants, a bowtie or equine-themed belt and a fedora or racing beret. Women in flowing dresses and even more flowing hats abound, the better to shade themselves and those around them from the Southern sun.

If you want to fit in among the horsey set during the Steeplechase of Charleston, you need to know the finer points of horse racing fashion. So here is a primer:

Men: You have many options

Men are encouraged to express their individuality, whether that means raucous or modest in fashion. Because horse races occur on tracks, men often start with boots or rubber-soled shoes best positioned to withstand mud. Others prefer the preppy look of loafers or boat shoes. The specialty men’s shop Jordan Lash on King Street has everything you might need, from an Onward Reserve Highland Chelsea Boot to a slip-on Charleston Hornback Alligator Grain Bit Driver.

Jackets are also critical to the male fashion statement at the steeplechase. Many men opt to reflect the themes of race day on their jackets, featuring horseshoes, roses or an eye-catching pattern. Orange is a popular autumn color.

Hats are de rigueur with the cognoscenti in Hollywood – Hollywood, SC, site of the steeplechase. For men, that means a flat cap, classic fedora or straw Panama hat. This is horse racing, so everyone needs a hat.

Jordan Lash can outfit men with all the fashion necessities for the race, including accessories like ties, belts, pocket squares and socks, all of which may flash nearly any color and depict nearly any scene imaginable. You want a ficus-themed sock? Jordan’s got two!

Women: Go big or go home!

While men may recede into the scenery, women attend the races to be noticed, with clothing and accessories that mix fashion and art. When it comes to distaff dress, keep three concepts in mind: color, patterns and sensible shoes.

Women who know how to dress for the races sport polka dots, rainbows, florals and stripes of every stripe, but they never skimp on comfort. Their dresses may be showy, but they are weather appropriate because shivering and sweating are never a good fashion statement.

Visit Hampden Clothing on King Street for all the latest race-appropriate clothing and accessories, including matching handbags. A Dim Popoche Clutch from Jerome Dreyfuss beautifully complements autumnal tones like a Forte Forte wool tartan coat.

Smart shoes and brilliant hats

Race fashions start with shoes and climax with hats. Flats, wedges and low-heeled tall boots are the footwear du jour because you will be walking and walking – on a variety of surfaces and in whatever weather Mother Nature throws the horses’ way. Gwynn’s of Mt. Pleasant carries a wide shoe selection to match that smashing outfit.

Ultimately, women in attendance are measured by their hats at the steeplechase. There is but one rule, whether they don a church hat, fascinator or Mirabel: draw attention. Ornamental, eye-catching and color-coordinated will make any hat wearer the queen of the ball but all styles are welcome, as long as you cheer for a horse.

Race Day Hat Guide

Everyone knows that in order to look the part for race day, you’ve got to top it off with an extravagant hat. But if you’re not keen on a small masterpiece teetering on the top of your head, don’t worry– we’ve laid out the different types of race day hats for you to find the perfect one that works for you.


Church Hat

The church hat is the typical style of the elaborate race day hats we’ve come to know and love. You can take this extravagance to any degree with this design. Flat-topped church hats are oftentimes ornamented with ribbons and bows, and can be built up with increasing details and accessories. You don’t have to go over the top though; these stiff hats feature a wide brim and bright colors and feature just a simple ribbon.


Light, stylish, colorful– the fascinator is the perfect option for someone who doesn’t want to carry the heavy ordeal. Oftentimes supported by a mere headband, a fascinator is an intricate sinamay ornamentation made of a natural straw fabric that will give you an expressive pop for race day. Ribbons, feathers, and beads can all spice up your add-on. 

Lampshade Hat

Stylish and practical– the traditional lampshade hat will give you that Derby glow while simultaneously keeping you shielded from any stray rays. With a bold sash to top it all off, you’ll fit in perfectly for race day.

Rancher Hat

Got a little dirt on your boots? A rancher hat is the perfect way to get in touch with the race day style while still keeping your country roots close. Experiment with some neutral, warmer tones to complete the look.

Mirabel Hat

Similar to the lampshade hat, the mirabel is a perfect way to stay fashionable yet burn-free. Typically straw in nature, this hat stays both breezy and cute. Warm, cream colors and a decorative sash pulls the entire look together. The mirabel hat is perfect for someone seeking a feminine touch to a sleek dress.

Gambler Hat

You’ll be repping ALL of the vintage vibes with a classic gambler hat. With traces of the traditional English style, you can rock the races with a dark accent to stand apart from the crowd. A short brim and thin belt make for a simpler yet just as stylish race day option.




Herringbone Flat Cap

A classic but timeless look; for the gentlemen that want to participate in race day get-ups without going over the top, a simple herringbone cap is the perfect option. Stick to the classic gray-scale options or experiment with brown, burgundy, or houndstooth variations.

Classic Fedora Hat

A bit more statement in style, all the same class– the fedora hat is the perfect option for anyone who wants to stay simple yet stylish on race day. Take a classic style and experiment with new fabrics and colors– pastel blue, linen, or a statement sash can all elevate this traditional look and make for the perfect race day outfit.

Braid Boater Hat

You’ll look straight out of a barbershop quartet with a braid boater hat— the perfect way to stand out for race day! With an eye-catching red and navy sash, this hat will give you the preppy look you’ve been working for.

Straw Panama Hat

A little bit more country, the panama hat offers a traditional form of masculinity when approaching race day attire. Its light brown undertones complements a variety of color schemes. It can be pulled together with a coordinating belt and buttoned-down shirt.

Pork Pie Hat

Short in nature but expressive in style– but the potential for different patterns on the pork pie hats is endless. From “Jent” to “Doc Dyer” to Tokyo Braid, pork pie hats offer an opportunity for a gentleman to take on a bit more of a unique approach.

Bowler Hat

Nothing says classy like the bowler hat. The traditional round frame and curling lip at the bottom is a timeless look; usually black in color, a bowler hat can be the perfect accent with many color schemes.

Messer Straw Fedora

The Messer straw fedora hat goes acts as the bridge between the classic fedora and a little more country. Perfect for any color scheme, the leather “belt” and the shapely frame gives this hat a masculine edge. The flat brim gives adequate sun coverage.

Mannes Hat

Petite in size but bold in pattern– the Mannes hat is the perfect option for any gentleman that wants to get a bit more creative in his display. The braided pattern allows for an eye-catching look that can go with any color scheme. A short brim and form-fitting frame makes for a comfortable race day option.

A-Lines and Finish Lines: Race Day Fashion

Derby Day Fashion

Fashionable decadence has become the standard for horse races across the globe– and last week’s Kentucky Derby did not disappoint. The extravagant race day fashion that showed up for the 2021 Derby Day had us ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ in jealous admiration at our television screens. As our excitement grows for the 2021 Steeplechase of Charleston, so do our expected hat sizes.

Today’s horse race viewers show out in outfits that straddle the line between fashion and art. Colorful plumes teeter above smiling attendees and speak to creative craftsmanship and attention to detail. 

From patterned blazers to beaded masks, we rounded up our fashion inspo for Steeplechase of Charleston and left our Derby viewing parties with renewed excitement. But we’re hardly the trendsetters in these modern day styles.

Race Day Style Origins

From its beginnings in the 12th century UK, horse racing has been a sport associated with class and extravagance. Women chased a high-class status by imbuing themselves with ornamented hats at the most highly-anticipated events of the year: weddings, balls, and horse races became avenues for aesthetic and socioeconomic display.

Today’s admiration for the lavish outerwear stems from much more innocent motives, but the thrill of dressing up for race day is the same. While Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. had sought to capture the European spirits and styles on American soil, today’s viewers seek to be a part of decades of class and intrigue. 

Since then, numerous competitions for the most unique race day looks have popped up across the country, fueling the fashion craze. Fashions on the Field is the highlight of the Melbourne Cup, and the Kentucky Oaks features the Longines Fashion Contest. Celebrities, royals, and eager fans all perpetuate the longstanding traditions and add to a growing love for race day.

Our Picks

The 2020 Steeplechase of Charleston attendees understood the wardrobe assignment. Viewers showed out in their most ornate designs and lavish colors and added to the November day spectacle. We pulled together some of our favorite looks from that day to kickstart your inspiration for Steeplechase 2021!

We can’t get enough of the colorful ornamentation on this vest! Stand out at Steeplechase of Charleston with your boldest and brightest patterns.

The bigger the better! The beautiful detail in this race day hat perfectly complements a chunky necklace and darker color scheme.

All red for race day! Stand out with a pop of color and an eye-catching accent to top it all off. Doesn’t hurt to have a bottle of champagne in your hand as well!

Make your presence known as the best-dressed couple at Steeplechase of Charleston. We can’t pick our favorite element of this gentleman’s attire– the hat? the glasses? the bowtie?

We love the coordination between this hat color and complementing accessories! This rich shade of purple is fit for a queen.

It’s never too early to start getting excited about your Steeplechase outfits. No matter where you’re getting your inspiration from, we can’t wait to see your race day get-ups at the 2021 Steeplechase of Charleston. Go bold!

2020 National Anthem Performance Detailed

Grammy Award-winning artists perform the National Anthem for the 2020 Steeplechase of Charleston

Grammy Award-winning artists Quiana Parler, vocalist, and Charlton Singleton, trumpeter, of the quintet Ranky Tanky performed the National Anthem for The Post and Courier’s 2020 Steeplechase of Charleston. This pre-recorded performance offers views of Charleston steeples with the Alston Cup, a coveted Steeplechase trophy, on display.

Grammy Award-winning artists Quiana Parler, vocalist, and Charlton Singleton, trumpeter, of the quintet Ranky Tanky

The anthem will air during opening ceremonies at the Steeplechase of Charleston on Sunday, November 15. Additionally, it will live-stream on the Steeplechase of Charleston app and social media channels, as well as on the National Steeplechase Facebook Live.

Ranky Tanky is a Charleston-based group, specializing in jazz and soulful music of the Gullah culture, which originated among descendants of enslaved Africans of the Lowcountry region.

“We are honored Quiana and Charlton of Ranky Tanky perform the National Anthem for us,” says Chris Zoeller, The Post and Courier’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We wanted a special rendition during the challenging times our world is facing, and we thought this would be a creative and safe way to celebrate this event. Our team has worked hard to create a unique and safe family-friendly environment for the upcoming steeplechase, and we look forward to welcoming members of the community to a fun day at the races.”

With deep roots in southern heritage since 1792, the historic Steeplechase of Charleston is a nationally sanctioned equestrian racing event. The Stono Ferry Racetrack in Hollywood, S.C., will host the event on November 15. For more information and to reserve tailgating spots, visit