How to interpret the Hollywoodbets Durban July ‘Ride the Wave’ theme like a trendy fashionista

Hollywoodbets Durban July is all about being bold. Picture: Instagram.

Hollywoodbets Durban July is all about being bold. Picture: Instagram.

Published Jun 24, 2024


In a few weeks, all roads will lead to eThekwini for the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

Happening at the Greyville Racecourse on July 6, Africa’s highly anticipated horse racing event will see the crop of the cream showcase their extraordinary fashion skills.

From designers who will be part of the epic fashion shows to the guests who will be enjoying a taste of the good life, everyone is expected to adhere to the theme, “Ride the Wave”.

Durban’s home-grown talent, Kathrin Kidger, who announced the theme in March, advised guests to think outside the box and interpret it the best way they know, without compromising the theme inspired by the warm Indian ocean waves.

“Imagine, if you will, the scene painted by the lines of this year’s inspiration. This imagery transports us to a realm where nature’s forces collide, where the rhythm of the waves mirrors the pulsating energy of racing thoroughbreds,” he said.

“But, beneath this surface beauty lies a deeper narrative – one that celebrates the untamed spirit of the ocean and the majestic elegance of the horse. In crafting our fashion narrative for the Hollywoodbets Durban July, we are called to delve beyond the superficial and embrace the profound connection between land and sea.”

To help you look as elegant as possible, we have outlined some styling ideas for this year’s Hollywoodbets Durban July.

For the ladies

The dress

Your dress should be the star of the show, and since it’s a full day event, you need something comfortable yet elegant. If you want something shorter, a bouffant dress is your best bet.

The skirt part of the dress is bouncy and has a wavy pattern, making it easier to stick to the theme without trying too hard. Another dress to choose from could be a wet-dry dress.

You see those dresses that look wet but are dry? Consider going for that, perhaps in khaki to match the colour of the sand found in the ocean. Check out Di Petsa for inspiration. Alternatively, you can opt for something with waves embroidered on the fabric.

Wetlook dresses by Di Petsa.Picture: Instagram.

The shoes

Kitten block heels are usually a better choice for horse racing events because they are comfortable yet stylish. But if you know your plan for the day is to sit down and look pretty, you may rock some stilettos or even sandals for breathability.

These heels would work for the Hollywoodbets Durban July as the heel is thick enough for balance. Picture: Pexels.


A bold head accessory is a must because there is a category for it at the Hollywoodbets Durban July. If you want your hat to stand out, add some shells for details.

That way, you’ll be sticking to the theme by adding some of the cool things found in the ocean, usually washed on the shore by the waves.

And make sure you carry a handbag that complements your dress. It shouldn’t be too big, but it should be big enough to fit your belongings like a cellphone, lip balm, hand lotion, sanitisers and a power bank.

If you are not wearing a hat, make a bold statement with your hair. Picture: Instagram.

For the gents

The suit

We are hoping to see more of blue and less of black tuxedos. Stylish blue pants paired with a white wetlook shirt could be a killer outfit. That way, you’ll be within the theme, in a dignified, yet trendy way.

Gents can look at Suitability for style inspo. Picture: Instagram.

The shoes

Formal shoes are best for formal suits, and since you’ll be semi-casual, white sneakers will do the trick in elevating your look. You will look dapper and trendy.


A hat is optional but a clean haircut is not, so make sure you visit the best barber. A silver chain and a bold watch will do for your outfit more than you can imagine; put those on.

And since you’ll be rocking slim-fit pants, your pockets should be empty. Instead, carry a small leather clutch to carry your essentials.

Make sure you wear a wrist watch. Picture: Pexels.

Ladies and gentlemen, now that you’ve put together a look, complete it with a beautiful scent and wear your best perfume. It will boost your confidence as you network with the elites.