Survival Guide: Carolina Cup 2015

With the warm sun beaming hot, and the spring season born again, you know what time of year it is!

All you southern belles get ready to break out the pastels and your favorite floppy hats, because Derby Days are here!

This annual event is one of the largest gatherings of college students from the great state of South Carolina, and is one of the most memorable and successful events to attend.

While everyone goes to watch the horse races, it’s only natural to anticipate the row of Greek tents where college students spend their day playing games, tailgating, and of course spending time with friends.

Between all the eagerness, excitement and preparation for this day, it may get you a little overwhelmed, so here are some helpful tips and some Do’s and Don’ts to get you through this long awaited Derby Day.


DON’T: Wear your little black (or little pink) dress. It might be your favorite dress or the dress you feel most confident in, but remember that it’s a classy event and you don’t want your unmentionables to be the hot gossip throughout the day.

DO: Wear a dress that you love. Who says the dress has to be revealing and tight to feel sexy in it? If you ask your southern beau, those Carolina Cup type dresses are sexy enough for him!

Wear a classy dress, preferably in a pastel color! The event is the perfect time to sport your preppiest sundress, so, pull out that Lilly Pulitzer dress, and of course, don’t forget to accessorize with the most glorious sunhats and pearls that you can find!

DON’T: Wear uncomfortable shoes. Leave those high heels at home—you don’t want to be sinking in the grass all day during the tailgate, and constantly having to ask your friends to slow down. Even if you aren’t the one’s racing, it’s always good to be able to run just in case your eye catches a cutie.

But that doesn’t mean that you should wear sneakers—even if you’re like us and think that your worn in Vans look good with everything, (which they probably do!) It’s best to leave them at home and go for something a little bit fancier.

DO: Wear cute and comfortable shoes! It’s best to wear some flats—whether it’s some Jack Rogers or literal flats. Its best to choose the shoes that wont be giving you blisters and that will keep you from enjoying your day.

DO: Accessorize! As every true Carolina girl knows, the ideal cup outfit isn’t complete without a floppy hat! Add your favorite bracelets, earrings and if necessary a necklace! Also, pack a small wristlet or a purse to store your valuables in and carry around with you without hassle.

DON’T: Wear a baseball cap because cup ain’t for caps! Don’t be cappy, be flappy!

DO: Pack a cooler with plenty of drinks and snacks (you would not want to get hungry on such a glorious day!)

DON’T: Take anything that you mind losing! Yes, this means your phones, camera, wallet, or any other personal items.

If you MUST have it, I suggest getting your date to carry it in his pocket for you. That way, you won’t lose it, you’ll always have a camera with you…bless the iPhone gods! But, don’t let the phone and the photos consume you—enjoy the day!

DO: Bring sunglasses! It’s going to be a long and sunny day spent outside, and you don’t want to be squinting in all of your pictures.

DON’T: Waste your phone battery stalking the countless photos of Carolina Cup on Instagram. I know it’ll be tempting to check out everyone else’s outfits, but if you run out of battery before the day is over, you may miss out on taking a killer Cup photo that would be perfect to post on Instagram.

DO: Pack a small purse with some reinforcements! Carrying around a few band-aids, some Advil, and make-up backups are always a good idea. It’s a long and fun day, and you don’t want anything to ruin it.

DON’T: Get frazzled because the weather is not on your side. It’s okay, we promise.

In the past, the weather has never been in the best interest of the games. So, be okay with this and prepare for the boys to be boys because they will probably start a slip-and-slide or may even wrestle (goodness).

Guess you could say the Cup is a mess. Embrace the rain, the mess, and the mud and hope for sunshine.

DO: Drink up! Hydration is so important when standing around in the sun, and you don’t want to be feeling dizzy or lightheaded before the day’s even half-way over! It also wouldn’t hurt to pack a few extra water bottles just in case there isn’t a water fountain to re-fill!

DON’T: Wander off alone. It’s a huge place, and after taking a hundred pictures, you don’t want your phone to die and for you to be completely lost!

DO: Have a buddy! You both can venture and visit around the site, but with all the tents and hundreds of people dressed in the same preppy attire, it might get a little bit overwhelming finding a friend. That won’t happen, however if you use the buddy system!

DON’T: Stay up all night. Yes, you might not be able to fall asleep out of anticipation for the derby day ahead, but you’re going to want to get a good night sleep.

It’s a long day, and you’ll want your energy to last! You’ll need to be bubbly and happy while walking around and waving to your fellow Winthrop friends, as well as all of the potential pals you may make during the day!

DO: Remember why you went to Carolina Cup in the first place. As fun as it is picking out the outfit, and meeting up with your friends from the other schools throughout the day, try and make it to the horse show. It’s bound to be exciting, and an experience you’ll never forget.

Now that you have everything prepared for the fun day ahead, it seems appropriate to say that your Carolina Cup experience will be one to remember.

We aren't horsing around—you will be the best dressed, and best prepared pastel-wearing girl there.

Happy Derby Days, collegiettes!