What to wear – a fashionista’s guide to luxuriating comfort on pitch and off
Year in year out we see fresh takes on traditional themes at WEPA and we are never more entertained than when we see haute couture matched effortlessly with modern grace and piquant fashion. It is however an environment in which the unwary or the sartorially dispossessed may find themselves uncomfortable, so a few thoughts have been added below to assist with choices of wardrobe.
DURING THE HOURS OF THE MORNING SUN
Players and spectators alike are urged to dress for comfort from breakfast through to the end of the games in the early afternoon. Most players will dress in their team kit for breakfast and proceed from there to the pitch. It would be advisable to have a jersey or some form of warm top on in the early morning as mist can descend for the first hour or so of our waking day.
Players are urged to pack the following:
Boots – riding half boots or chukha boots accompanied by chaps or full length polo/riding boots. So long as the footwear is hard wearing and has a step heel which can catch the stirrup rope then all is well. Ones calfs can be a touch tender after a full game without a double layer of protection which is why chaps are recommended for thos not wearing full length boots.
White polo jeans or jodhpurs – It is suggested that 2 pairs of these are brought as they are the most appropriate both in style, colour and material.
Team Polo Shirts – It is suggested that each player has 4 team polo shirts on which to play throughout the week. Laundry services will be covered later but it will take 2-3 days to turn around a set of laundry hence the multitude of shirts that are recommended. The players' numbers should be present on the back of the shirt and made as large as possible so that players can be identified at a distance while playing. One can achieve a slight glow during play so it may be courteous to others to bring a spare polo shirt to the pitch to wear after one's game.
Gloves – A left and right glove in order to prevent chafing and blistering from the sticks and saddle ropes. The sort used by polo players and baseball players are most appropriate.
Players and spectators alike should be aware that temperatures can rise pleasantly beyond 1030 and so may wish to consider shorts and flipflops as a mode of expressing one's inner calm with the Paris catwalk, as well of course as some modern equivalent of the solar topi in order to prevent the sun's rays from beating the top of one's head into a submissive throb.
DURING THE HOURS OF THE AFTERNOON SUN
After lunch there is a general trend to repair to the lodge for a variety of activities. Some will vote with their feet for the siesta option; it would be interfering for us to suggest a mode of dress for this most gentlemanly of pastimes and so your imagination is left to run riot. Others will opt for various safari options be they by boat, Landrover, foot or pachyderm; the accomplished traveller will ensure that swimming wear, casual light fabric trousers, polo shirts and long sleeved warm tops are packed for these activities.
AS THE SUN SETS ON EACH GLORIOUS DAY AT WEPA 2012
Most adventurers will opt for a few sundowners on the lawn of the lodge in whatever attire they have most recently been sporting, except, of course, for the siesta crowd who may wish to change first.
EARLY EVENING AND BEYOND INTO THE FRENZIED NIGHTS THAT MAKE WEPA LEGEND
It is traditional that all guests gather at around 1930 for drinks and the day's announcements followed by dinner. While there are some evenings where black tie or national dress are required (see the week's program in detail soon to be declared on this website) it is usual for gentlemen to wear a jacket and tie of an evening and the ladies to dress appropriately. Some evenings can be a touch nippy so ladies may wish to consider having a shawl or some form of cashmere packed for the occasion. The ground around the lodge is grassy and occasionally uneven so while stilettos may be a challenge, normal heels will work a treat but some pumps should also be arranged.
LAUNDRY AND A NOTE ON SMALLS
Laundry services are available but as this is carried out by hand and in order to accommodate local customs and sensitivities there is no facility for having underwear laundered. Laundry will usually take 24 to 48 hours depending on the cooperation of the sun for drying purposes.
GENERAL TRAVELLING ACCOUTREMENTS
You will be hosted throughout this adventure at a most comfortable but one must never forget remote lodge. To this end there are a few things the savvy traveller would pack to ensure comfort and resilient outlooks are maintained throughout the tournament.
First aid kit – this need not be on an expeditionary scale but think logically for there are no shops within striking distance. It would be wise to pack any medications one regularly partakes of as well as some Imodium, sunscreen, after sun, painkillers, anti-inflammatories (for players), alka seltzer or one's chosen cure for a cloudy morning after head, insect repellent, insect anti itching lotion, stomach settlers, plasters and throat lozenges to soothe one's trachea after hours of lusty side-line support.
Torch – While there is always plenty of lighting available in the form of hurricane lamps this is an eco friendly safari lodge so do not expect the horrific bright halogen monstrosities of such dens of iniquity as Ibiza, Blackpool or Tristan de Cunha. A torch can come most in handy for identifying ones lodgings in the early hours or availing oneself of the ablutions when the moon has not risen yet to its nightly zenith.
Camera and charging equipment – there is limited electricity at the lodge so it is best to bring all electrical equipment fully charged and carefully guard its use. Charging of appliances normally takes place in the office so international plug adaptors are also recommended as well as labelling of one's own equipment so there can be no confusion.
That most horrible of modern inventions – the smart phone – There is a very limited mobile phone signal at the lodge so do not expect data to arrive at all and if it does then the speed will be slow and intermittent. Satellite phones are recommended for those who must be in contact with the outside world at all times of day and night.
Black Tie – It is, as many a travel writer has commented, always advisable to carry your dinner jacket while touring the world for it is always embarrassing to be under dressed but puts you on the front foot to be over dressed should there be a choice between the two. The last evening at WEPA 2012 will be a formal evening where all in attendance are requested to wear either black tie or their national dress. For any Antipodeans among the readership I would advise black tie as (to enter your vernacular) "thongs, board shorts and a vest" may lead to a few unusual glances.