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PARISH CHIC: At the Fair Grounds

Style on the Spot:

Where Thanksgiving Brings Out Style

I don’t like wasting time or money on a shirt. There are plenty of other ways to squander cash: paying to watch scantily clad women dance and shuffle from one part of a stage to the other, for example, or purchasing raffle tickets. Or inhaling secondhand smoke at a local casino and developing a headache from the constant clinging and ringing. (Maybe I’d enjoy the casino more if I could do it as elegantly as James Bond.) I'm not much of a gambler, but I enjoy horse racing. Perhaps I'm enamored by the sophistication—or maybe it just seems more Bond-like.

In New Orleans, Thanksgiving Day signals the start of horse racing season at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Once there, you can see couples strolling hand-in-hand and hat-to-hat, babies in blazers, men in suits, and women in skirts and dresses. If the style, horses, and noisy slot machines at the Fair Grounds are not enough for you, you can also find dinner and drinks. I’ve always wanted to take a date there for the holiday and wear hats together—maybe next year. 

Tricia Keffer, University of New Orleans student. She bought the hat and added the feathers herself.

Nora Goddard and Noah Sash. He bought the Webster three-piece suit from Red White & Blue, a thrift store just outside of New Orleans. Noah said the suit pants were bell-bottoms before Nora gave them their tailored look. Nora found one of the dresses in the dumpster and her friend gave her the other. 

Allan Forester, history professor. The hat is a Stetson and the suit is a JoS. A. Banks. Allan found the bow tie at the tie rack.

Danelle Brumbaugh, bartender, and Marchelle Courtois, freelance designer. Danelle's purse and top are from eBay, and the skirt is from a thrift store. Marchelle made the hat, the pieces of which she found at a dollar store. The outfit is from Buffalo Exchange.

Lionel Grant

A man on a bike with a basket of free raw oysters on ice (complete with crackers and cocktail sauce) brought the community outside the racetrack together.

Hayley Knafel, artist, bartender, pedicab driver. “But I just live.” Her outfit was bought variously from thrift stores in Los Angeles, New York, and New Orleans. Push it with style.

Except for the Rag & Bone pants and the Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, his entire ensemble is from a vintage store.

Troy Plemmons, pedicab driver. Troy culled his outfit mostly from a free-items store in Olympia, Washington. He told me, "Everyone just traded clothes with each other."



The Black Student Union at Loyola University hosted a fashion show called Black Noise. Kenneth Lévell Motley (below) was one of its producers.

Kenneth describes his style in one word: versatile. He likes to put his own edgy twist on what's trending in the fashion world. "An outfit can be like a costume," he told me, adding, "Check on me in two years. My style is only advancing." His blazer is Alfred Dunner, his pants are Sweet Rain, and his leather sneakers are 21 Men.

Damon Landry, Loyola University student and Kappa Alpha Psi member. Damon's entire outfit is from Ralph Lauren, save for his Daniel Cremieux tie.

Sherard Vincent Briscoe (center), Loyola University student. Sherard started making bow ties this summer, and after receiving a steady stream of compliments, he started his own business, Sir Vincent ( He wear a Rubensteins navy blue slim-fit suit accessorized by one of his own bow ties, and he is flanked by Marshall Nulherin and Shannon Briggs.

Yours truly. New Era EK hat. Blazer from H&M, Banana Republic shirt, bow tie from the Wild Life Reserve, Zara for Men pant and Johnston & Murphy shoes that I had not worn in ten years, until I got them restored at Pantina Shoe Parlor and switched the shoelaces. 

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