Black-Eyed Susan Day Fashion

Black-Eyed Susan Day Fashion

May 18, 2018 – Pimlico Race Course

The Black-Eyed Susan Day has become almost as popular as the day it precedes, Preakness.

BES is known for its fun and fashion.

This year, the day’s gray skies…

…and constant rain…

…did nothing to drench the day’s fun.

Many folks huddled in the party tent…

…enjoying the day’s races and festivities.

Dozens of folks forewent fancy footwear in favor of rainboots. However, there were those who took the risk. Just like the day’s races, there were some winners…

…and some losers.

Baltimore Snap “Hot Spots” columnist Brian Lawrence didn’t let the downpour dissuade him from his usual dapper style. In fact, his umbrella and duck boots only added to the look. He did admit, however, that he decided to go with his “second-best” khaki suit, in case the weather got the best of it.

“I canned what I was planning to wear and went for my caj [clothes]. Then, if it got wet, who cares,” said Claire Miller, of Bel Air, as she punched up her outfit with those blossom-covered boots.

Pictured (RtoL) How did Jeanette Coury, of Towson, and Karin Coury, of Hunt Valley, manage to keep their beautiful bonnets bone-dry? By beating the raindrops and getting to Pimlico early.

Karin found her hat on to pair with a vintage dress she’s had for about 20 years. Meanwhile, Jeanette abandoned high-falutin’ footwear in favor of flip-flops. “If I had to leave them here in the mud, I wouldn’t be heartbroken,” she explained.

Kimberly Dean (L), of Hereford, found her fascinator at Maryland Saddlery. “I ride horses in the area,” she said. Meanwhile, Jenn Jensen, of Monkton, made her own, as she does for other clients at the Crop Hair Salon she owns. She designed hers to reflect her personality. “I wanted it to be rustic and boho, and not contrived,” she said.

Believe it or not, this coordinated couple – Sherry and Dennis Openshaw from White Hall – didn’t plan their outfits that way. “It was just luck,” said Sherry.

Note the cool highlight of Dennis’s ensemble – a 100th anniversary Preakness tie from 43 years ago.

Patricia Hobday, of Baltimore, built her BES outfit from the boots up. Instead of wearing black and white Hobday is usually driving one. She’s a Baltimore police officer.

In fact, Patricia came with a cadre of her colleagues – almost all of them city police officers – proving there’s more to a Baltimore cop’s style than the uniform!
Pictured (LtoR) Heather Bocci, Community Insurance agent; Ebony Lee; Lalanya Brown; Cassidy Kapfhammer; Patricia Hobday; Sonji Roach, retired corrections officer; Danielle Epperson; and Roberta Yates

Emily Cox, of Federalsburg, showed off how Mother Nature can force one to add a bit more “oomph” to an outfit. Emily knotted one side of her maxi-dress to keep the hem out of the mud, while adding a little more visual interest.

Megan Cox, of Federalsburg, was this year’s “Miss Black-Eyed Susan.” Judging by her picture perfect ensemble, you’d never guess it was raining out.

Not exactly your usual day-at-the-races headgear! “I went to Trinidad in February for Carnival. I bought this and though it would be great for Preakness,” said Pamala Kannai, of Baltimore, who bravely wore it all day.


Dazzling DIY! Sherry Lewandowski (L) and Amanda Hartman – both of Essex – decorated their hats themselves.

Sherry and Amanda were part of a Black-Eyed Susan bachelorette party.

Jeannie Watson, of Essex, was another member of the bachelorette party.

Jeannie said her mother and her niece were her horsey hat’s creators.

The party’s guest of honor was bride-to-be Michelle Holt (C), flanked by sis Julie Holtman (L) and mom Beverly Holt (R), all of Essex.

M. Douglas Wise-Stuart, of Orlean, VA, radiated in orange and hot pink. Douglas said her Lands End dress travels well and has seen her through both the Royal Ascot in Britain, and the Dubai World Cup. It also carried this horse owner through an exciting Black-Eyed Susan Day. Her Happy Like A Fool won the Miss Preakness Race, and her Blue Prize came in second in the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes.

Karon Robinson (L), of Baltimore, and Lana Rae, of Annapolis, kickin’ it BES style. Lana – known as a local fashion expert – sported a Christine A. Moore fascinator, Calvin Klein sheath and Kent Stetson horse-themed clutch. However, she eschewed high-fashion heels in favor of Under Armour sneaks.

The Maryland-themed frock Barbara Sartell, of Marydel, had custom made for her to wear when she performs in her rockabilly band, “The Fifty-Fives.” But, it was a perfect fit for BES Day. Her daughter made Barbara’s fascinator to give the ensemble just the right race day touch.

“I love color. I thought [all these colors] made me look like a jockey,” said Shawn Hauf, of Ellicott City, with a giggle.

Outfit on Kelleye Cohen, of Owings Mills, designed by….Kelley Cohen, of Owings Mills…with a little help of Michael’s. Kelleye made her own fabulously flowery fascinator and shoe decor to match the hi-lo skirt she nabbed at Nordstrom Rack.

Scott Plank goes the dashing swashbuckler route in Top Man vest and jacket, Pink tie, and Under Armour pants tucked into his Frye boots. “I treated them last night with waterproofer,” he said. Of course, CEO Scott capped the outfit off with a cap from War Horse Cities, the real estate development company he founded.

The hat worn by Julie Barger, of Lynchburg, VA, looked like it had been made to match her Anthropologie jumpsuit. But, Julie said she actually bought it from a Black-Eyed Susan Day vendor just that day. “I didn’t like the hat I was wearing,” she said.

Monica Giavanna Douglas, of Los Angeles, wasn’t going to let Mother Nature rain on her parade. She wanted to go glam in her Top Shop dress, Zara jacket and Steve Madden heels. “If there was any sun coming out today, I would have been very upset if I wasn’t dressed [up],” she said. “Thankfully, I can wipe down these shoes (and bag)!”

Dan, the DIY Man. Dan Hochrein, of Towson, decorated his own hat, which topped off his Vineyard Vines jacket and pants, and Maryland-themed bowtie and socks.

But, Dan didn’t stop there. He also decorated the hats worn by his wife, Jen Hochrein, and friend Adam Daley.

Lesson learned by BES first-timers Pamela Johnson, of Pikesville, and Trivia Jenkins, of Baltimore? “Never to wear your good shoes here,” noted Pamela, as she pondered how to save her favorite orange flats.

Sloane Brown

Baltimore's longtime fashion and social scene reporter, Sloane is the founder/managing editor of Baltimore Snap.